Who is Eligible for a B-1 Visa?
If you are entering the United States for business purposes, you may require a B-1 visa. The B-1 visa is a very fast and relatively simple means of visiting the United States for business purposes. Canadians, in particular, are usually are not issued formal B-1 visas but rather receive a stamp on their passport admitting them on B-1 Status, which they can obtain at a U.S/Canadian port of entry.
How Do I Know if I Need a B-1 Visa or a U.S. Work Visa?
The answer is not that clear. Basically, activities which "engage the U.S. labor market" are not permitted; that is, you are not supposed to engage in productive activities which are normally performed by U.S. workers. In practical terms, if you are being paid for services directly by a U.S. employer, chances are you will need a U.S. work permit. However, there are exceptions. Contact our law firm for an assessment to determine if you need a U.S. work permit or can enter the U.S. just on a B-1.
What Business Can You Do in the U.S. on a B-1 Visa?
The following is considered as legitimate B-1 visa activities for which a U.S. work permit is not required:
- Attend business meetings
- Consult with associates
- Attend business conferences and conventions
- Negotiate contracts
- Investigate business opportunities
- Purchase property in the U.S
B-1 visa holders may conduct work in the following fields:
- Research and design, including technical, scientific, and statistical research
- Growth, manufacturing, and production, including harvest owners supervising harvesting crews and purchasing and production management personnel conducting commercial transactions.
- Marketing, including market researchers and analysts and trade fair and promotional personnel attending trade conventions.
- Sales, including sales representatives and agents taking orders and negotiating contracts for goods or services, but not delivering goods or providing services; buyers purchasing for an enterprise located in Canada.
- Distribution, including transportation operators delivering to, or loading and transporting from Canada or the United States, with no intermediate loading or delivery within the United States; customs brokers performing brokerage duties associated with the export of goods.
- After-sales service, including installers, repair and maintenance personnel, and supervisors possessing specialized knowledge essential to the seller’s contractual obligation, performing services or training workers to perform such services pursuant to a warranty or other service contract incidental to the sale of commercial or industrial equipment or machinery, including computer software purchased from an enterprise located outside the country, during the life of the warranty or service agreement.
What Documents are Required for a B-1 Visa Application?
B-1 applicants may be advised to present the following documentation in support of their B-1 case:
- Evidence of ties to the home country, such as bank records
- Evidence of close family relatives
- Property deeds and any other documentation that shows that the applicant will return to their home country before or upon the expiry of B-1 status
- Documents showing that the applicant will be engaging in permissible B-1 activities
Why Seeking Professional Help for a B-1 Visa is Vital
While the B-1 visa process is relatively easy, problems arise when immigration officers suspect that you are entering the U.S. to work rather than to just visit for business purposes. In such a case, you could be refused admission to the U.S. and be asked to first obtain a U.S. work visa. The line between legitimate B-1 Business actives and work are often blurred.
It is therefore essential that if you are entering the U.S. for business purposes, your case is well documented to avoid possible refusals. If you intend to come to the U.S. for business, the assistance from a legal expert can help ensure that your intentions are clear, and that your application bid is prepared properly.
Why Hire Us to Help You With Your B-1 Visa Application?
While the procedures for B-1 visas may seem uncomplicated, it is easy to miss a detail along the way and render your application unsuccessful. Even if you complete all the details, an immigration officer may not accept your submission. With so many businesspeople interested in doing business in the U.S., the standards are very high for B-1 visas, and there is a higher risk of refusal. We have helped thousands and thousands of individuals successfully enter the U.S. with B-1 visas and we can help you too!
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