Do I need a visa to attend a business conference in the United States
Many people do not realize that even an individual who must go to the United States for a short period of time to attend a business conference could be required to obtain a visa. They would need a special type of visitor visa, called a business visitor visa. This is different than a regular visitor visa for the United States, and is also known as the B-1 business visitor visa.
Canadians can obtain this visa on their way to their event by requesting it at the border. However, there is often a chance that they could find themselves being denied for this visa, and having to miss their event because they were not eligible for one or did not have the proper supporting documentation for this visa.
What do I need for a B-1 business visitor visa?
Someone who wishes to obtain a B-1 business visitor visa must demonstrate to immigration authorities that they are qualified for one, and that they will only be engaging in permissible activities. There is a long list of acceptable activities, but it can still be confusing. A letter from your employer or from whoever invited you to the United States should indicate your itinerary. Some examples of permissible activities include purchasing property, negotiating contracts, investigating business opportunities, attending business meetings, consulting with associates or attending business conferences.
Applicants must also demonstrate their intentions to return to Canada once their trip has concluded, and usually financial statements, information about your property, family or employment can help you demonstrate that you have strong ties to Canada and will not overstay your visa.
Do you have an upcoming business event in the United States? Please let us help you!
Call us at the telephone number above to speak with a licensed immigration lawyer.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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