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

  • Susan

    I am a Canadian with a small business opportunity to attend a trade show in the USA. I wish to sell my product in the USA at this trade show. I have all the necessary Import/Export License and Brokerage accounts. I am aware that I cannot directly sell on the floor of the Trade Show/Convention only take orders and not collect cash or credit for purchases. Will a B-1 Temp Business Visitor VISA provide the exemption for me to sell on the floor? Thank you.

    • Immigration Lawyers

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for contacting us at VisaPlace! There are several programs that you may be qualified for to sell your products in the United States. We would love to help you determine the best program for you. Hiring an immigration lawyer will help you get answers to all of your questions, plus it will increase the chance of getting a visa approved. Please, complete this form for me it is just a quick and easy way for me to learn more details about your situation so that I will be able to advise you accurately and determine the best avenue for us to take to give you the best legal advice.

      The above response is for informational purposes only and does not form a lawyer-client relationship nor should it be construed to be legal advice.

  • Susan

    My son is in the US studying to write his Medical board exams. He has a B1 permit for four months. Would he have an additional 6 months on top of the 4 months to remain in the US.

    He was advised by the school that remaining in the US to study for the exams has never been an issue for any student. However with the current climate in the US we were concerned.


    • Immigration Lawyers

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for contacting VisaPlace! We understand your concern given the current climate in the U.S. regarding immigration. Unfortunately, we cannot give legal advice over the internet, but we would be happy to help you. You can contact us here:

      The above response is for informational purposes only and does not form a lawyer-client relationship nor should it be construed to be legal advice.

  • JIM


    • owen

      Hello Jim,

      Thanks for the question. You may be eligible for certain temporary employment visa’s, such as an H-2B visa, and our US immigration team can definitely assist you with this. Please see for more information.


The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

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