Do I need a visa to attend a business convention in the US
The United States is home to hundreds – if not more – of business conventions and conferences every single year. These conventions attract many people from all over the world, and they can be vital networking and business opportunities for foreign nationals who deal with the United States in business.
Many of these foreign nationals, including Canadian citizens, require B-1 business visitor visas in order to be allowed to come to the United States and conduct these activities. It can be difficult to discern which activities are legitimate business activities and which would require a work permit. Some examples of activities that are permitted on a B-1 business visitor visa are attending conventions, consulting with associates, negotiating contracts and having business meetings.
What is needed to obtain a business visitor visa for the United States?
One of the main criteria for obtaining a business visitor visa for the United States is that you demonstrate you only intend to engage in allowed activities. It is a good idea to have a letter from your employer stating your intended activities, a copy of your itinerary, and a letter from the organization that has invited you to the United States.
Another important component of these visas is that you are able to prove you will return home when you are finished with your trip or event. You must be able to demonstrate strong ties to Canada, such as a home, a job, or a family.
Despite being a somewhat quick and temporary visa, business visitor visas are not easy to obtain. You must be able to provide United States immigration officials with all the proper supporting documentation required, or you could end up being denied for your visa and missing your event.
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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