Do I need a B1 Visa if I am a Canadian?

A common question we are asked frequently at our immigration law firm is whether someone who is traveling to the United States for work purposes requires a B1 business visitor visa for the United States or whether they require a United States work permit.

Answering this question yourself can be difficult, as it is not completely clear what one can do on a B1 business visa.

First of all B1 Visas are generally not issued to Canadians. Why? Because Canadians do no require a visa to enter the US for visitation purposes. However, that does not mean Canadians can’t enter the US on B1 status. But to avoid further confusion, just consider a B1 Visa to mean B1 Status for Canadians.

What can you do on a B1 Visa?

We’ve compiled a list of acceptable, legitimate activities for a B1 business visitor visa. Some examples include:

Attending business meetings
Buying property in the United States
Discussing contracts
Meeting with associates
Going to conventions and business conferences

If you are a Canadian citizen, the list of activities you may conduct on a B1 business visa gets even larger.

For example, you can perform activities related to research and design, growth and manufacturing, marketing, sales, distribution and after-sales service.

What are the B1 visa requirements for Canadians?

If you intend to apply for a B1 business visitor visa, you will need to bring supporting documents with you on your travels that demonstrate the following:

1. That you will be engaging in acceptable B1 business visa activities. This can be shown with a letter from your employer that describes what you’ll be doing.

2. That you will not overstay your visa, as evidenced by proof of strong ties to Canada in the form of family, employment, finances or property

3. That you are not otherwise inadmissible to the United States because of a criminal record or medical issue.

Let us help you prepare your B1 visa application and make sure you have all of the supporting documentation necessary for when you travel. Preparedness is the key when applying for a B1 business visitor visa, and we have helped countless Canadians visit the United States for business reasons.

Michael Niren

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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