US Business Visitors What you need to know about B-1 Visas to the USA
The B-1 Visa Category
If you are planning to travel to the US as a business visitor, you may be admitted without having to apply for a formal US Work Permit. However, upon entry to the US, you have to demonstrate that your activities in the US fall under the B-1 visa category.
The following is a non exhaustive list of some of the more typical B-1 Visa activities:
1. Conference, meetings, trade shows, business events attendee receiving no salary in the US
2. After-Sales Service under NAFTA: This activity consists of installers, repair and maintenance personnel, and supervisors that:
- have specialized knowledge essential to the seller’s contractual obligations.
- perform services or train workers to perform services that is pursuant to a warranty or other service contract related to the sale of commercial or industrial equipment or machinery, including software, manufactured in Canada This provision, however, does not apply to residential sales or items.
3. General Sales: Sales representatives taking orders, negotiating contracts, for goods or services for a business located outside the US but not delivering or proving those goods or services . Also, buyers purchasing for a business located outside the US.
There are many other activities that can be considered as legitimate US business visitors. You should consult with an immigration lawyer should you have any questions about whether your activities will require a US Work Permit or you can just enter the US as a business visitor.
If you plan to enter the US as a B-1 Visa Visitor for business, make sure that you come with sufficient documentation that clearly shows the purpose of your entry including any temporary invitations from US companies, travel itineraries, conference schedules, accommodations etc. You should also have with you documentation showing your “ties” to your home county including bank statements, property documents, drivers licences and employment references. The more documentation you have with you, the greater chances that you will not run into trouble at the US border.
In Toronto, travelers to the US entering from Pearson International Airport should really be aware of the issues regarding entering the US as business visitors as officers often refuse entry to the US based on insufficient documentation.
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For more information on B-1 Visas to the US you can visit our website at our B-1 Visa section here.
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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