If you’re a foreign citizen that needs to do business in the United States, high chances are you’ll need a business visa (B-1). As a visitor visa (nonimmigrant) that falls under the category of B-1, a business visa USA lets you stay temporarily in the United States and engage in business activities.
Below we cover the criteria for obtaining one, as well as the application process.
What is the Business Visa USA
B-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas issued by the U.S. government. They enable individuals to temporarily travel to the United States to conduct business. On a B 1, you can’t be engaged in employment or perform duties like consultancy work.
The US government has provided examples of what you can do on a B-1 visitor visa. This includes:
- Attend business meetings or consultations
- Go to a business convention or conference
- Settle an estate
- Negotiate contracts
For a full list of permissible activities on a visitor visa b-1 allowed by the US government, go to this site here.
The B1 visa is your window into fostering business relationships and visiting the United States as many times as needed for your business affairs. After your visa expires, you can easily apply for another one. The best part is, there’s no cap on how many visas can be issued each year.
Do I Need a B-1 Visa for the US?
If you fall under any of these categories, you’re probably eligible for the business visa:
- Selling/setting up a booth/fair/etc.
- Service engineer
- Speaker or lecturer
- Business venture
- Medical elective
- Voluntary work
- Working in the Outer Continental Shelf
Having said that though, you don’t always need a B-1 visa to enter the United States. If you’re a citizen from one of the countries part of the Visa Waiver Program, you don’t need a visa to enter. Simply apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) instead.
The Visa Waiver Program in a nutshell:
The Visa Waiver Program lets citizens of 35 countries travel to the US for tourism or business, for 90 days or less, without needing a visa. Citizens of participating countries must meet the eligibility criteria to travel without a visa on the visa waiver scheme. For more information, visit the United States Department of State official website here.