“B-1” Visitor Visa for Business
- Requires a passport and a nonimmigrant visa unless exempt;
- Proof of un-relinquished foreign residence is required;
- The individual admitted for the time needed, up to one year, with the possibility of extension(s) of temporary stay in increments of not more than six months each.
- Receives no salary or income from a U.S.-based company/entity, other than prize money
B-1 status does not grant an alien permission to obtain employment in the US. However, B-1 visa holders may engage in work related activities based upon employment positions they hold outside the US.
Reasons to obtain B-1 visitor visa:
- Participate in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars;
- Lecture or speak at the conferences, with no income from a US based entity. Special rules for receiving honorarium apply.
- Perform duties as installers, repair and maintenance personnel;
- Perform tours
- Participate in a sporting event as a professional athlete in order to compete with another sports team;
- Service engineer (Commercial, Industrial) to install, maintain or repair commercial or industrial equipment or machinery sold by a non-US company to a U.S. buyer, when specifically required by the purchase contract.
- Business venture, investor seeking investment
- Survey potential sites for a business and/or to lease premises in US; however, one cannot remain in US to manage business
- Participate in conference, meeting, trade show or business event as attendee
- Conduct research with no compensation from a US based source, and with no benefit to US institution.
- Negotiate and sign contracts for products produced outside of US
“B-2” Visitor visa for pleasure
- Requires a passport and a non-immigrant visa unless exempt;
- Proof of un-relinquished foreign residence is required;
- Individual shall receive an I-94 for a minimum period of six months, even if less time is requested.
Individual may be classified as B-2 visitor for pleasure if he or she
- Came to participate in conventions and conferences;
- Traveled to the US for purposes of tourism or to visit with relatives or friends.
Temporary visitors should have no intent of abandoning foreign residence; however, they can exchange status.
- Intent to depart
- Proof of financial support for stay
If the alien is refused entry at the border or port of entry because of fraud, criminal activities, false documents violation of prior authorized stay or preconceived intent, she or he will be removed immediately and held to be inadmissible to the U.S.
Consular Process for B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa
Alien should apply at the U.S. consulate in the country of residence.
Form Required for visitor visa:
Fill out the non-immigrant application Form DS-160 online
Extension of stay for B-1/ B-2 visitors on visitor visa
One can file an Application to Extend Status/Change Non-immigrant Status (Form I-539) together with supporting documents and filing fee.
Tip. Very often the young mothers invite their own mothers to come to the U.S. to babysit for them. However, babysitting is work, so U.S. embassies routinely deny such petitions. It is difficult to comprehend that babysitting for your own grandchild is work. So the families shall find the better reason to invite, their mothers for help.
Can I re-enter the U.S. with a valid I-94 and expired visa?
Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the United States (U.S.) may be admitted at a U.S. port of entry by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), including, but not limited to the following:
– Non- immigrants who departed the U.S., for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent islands, except Cuba (for F
and J non-immigrants) for 30 days or less;
– Non-immigrants with a valid (unexpired) admission stamp or paper from I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, endorsed
by Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
A person is eligible for automatic visitor visa revalidation provided the following conditions are met:
– The underlying authorization for the current status continues to be valid for the Form I-129 (https://www.uscis.gov/i-129) for non-immigrant workers and Form I-20 (https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/acceptable-documents/additional-documentation-requirements) for students in F status.
-The person’s absence from the U.S. was 30 days or less.
-The person did not visit any countries other than Mexico or Canada in that period. Travelers who are on a F visa (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html) or J visa (https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/students-and-exchange-visitors/exchange-visitors) status are allowed to visit adjacent islands to the U.S.(i.e., the Caribbean).
– The person does not have a pending or rejected application for a new visa. Since it is not possible to renew a nonimmigrant visa in the U.S., a person on a non-immigrant visa may travel to a nearby country to apply for a new visa.
– The person is not a citizen of one of the countries designated by the U.S., as a state sponsor of terrorism (https://www.state.gov/j/ct/list/c14151.htm).
If you changed your status to H-1B/H-2B/L/J and want to re-validate with a valid or expired visa of a different classification, you can do so provided you meet the requirements under 8 CFR 214.1 (a)(3)(b) and 22 CFR 41.112(d), you may apply for admission to resume your non-immigrant status. As of 2015 the Department of State list includes four countries: Iran (designated January 19, 1984), Syria (designated August 12, 1993), Sudan (designated December 29, 1979) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea designated November 20, 2017). Cuba was removed on April 4, 2015.
Q: My parents are in the U.S. on B-1/B-2 Visitor’s visa. We have applied for Extension but still we have not received any response. In case their application is denied, how long do they have before leaving the U.S.? Also as per rule 222(g) their 10 year visa becomes void.
A: They must leave the US immediately if the request is denied, and the visa is voided.
Q: How often can I visit U.S. on a B-2 visa?
A: Once a year is a rule of thumb.
Q: I over stayed in the U.S. I was removed and I had a 3 year ban. After the three years I applied for a non-immigrant visa, it was denied, and I applied for a waiver and it was granted in my visa I have an Annotation: “212(Small D) (3)(A) waiver of 212(9)(A)(II)(II) GRANTED”
I am planning on visiting my best friend for two weeks. Will I have any problems?
A: The waiver gives you the right to board a US-bound flight from an overseas departure point but it by no means guarantees your admission once you land and present yourself for inspection to the CBP officer at the U.S. airport or POE. While your case will be considered with some sympathy due to the consulate having granted you a waiver, you will still be thoroughly questioned and to be admitted must convince the officer of your intent to depart after a temporary visit.
Examples of B-l Visitor Visa Permissible Activities
1. I need to perform commercial or industrial services. Is this permissible?
a. As long as you are not receiving compensation from a U.S. employer or business it is generally permissible. For instance, you may negotiate contracts, consult with business associates, including attending meetings of the Board of Directors of a U.S. corporation, litigate, participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars, and undertake independent research.
2. I need to come to the U.S. to install, service, or repair equipment/machinery purchased from a foreign company. I also need to train U.S. workers to perform these services. Is
a. If the contract of sale specifically requires the seller to provide these services or training, and you possess specialized knowledge essential to the seller’s contractual obligation to
perform the services or training it may be permissible for you to perform these services. In addition, the machinery or equipment must have been manufactured at a location
outside of the United States and you may not receive compensation from a U.S. source.
3. I am a professional athlete. May I receive compensation?
a. Maybe. An individual may be able to enter for a particular event receives prize money for participation in tournaments or sporting events. However, it is not permissible to, in
effect, live and work in the United States, including where prize money are the primary source of income.
4. May I still come to the U.S. if I am an athlete or a player on a foreign-based sports team, to compete with another sports team?
a. In general, you and your team’s principal place of business or activity must be located in a foreign country, your team’s income and the team player’s salary must be primarily
earned in a foreign country, and your team is a member of an international sports league or the sporting activities have an international aspect.
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