B-1 Temporary Business Visitors  

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B-1 Temporary Business Visitors  

B-1 Temporary Business Visitors 

This visa classification is reserved for individuals seeking to come to the U.S. as business visitors to secure office space and funding, attend business meetings, or negotiate a contract before or in connection with the opening and operating a new business venture in the country.  

Defining “A Short Period of Time” in Relation to B-1 Visas 

One unique B-1 visa feature is that it is never intended for extended or long-term activity in the U.S. On the contrary, this visa category is intended for specific activities.  

As such, the maximum duration of validity for B-1 nonimmigrants is six months. However, the typical period of admission under this visa classification is a period which is fair and reasonable for the satisfactory completion of the intended purpose of the visit. That means that the duration of validity can be less than six months.  

Extensions for B-1 stays may be allowed to complete the purpose of the visit. However, It is also worth noting that the validity duration for a B-1 visa can never be more than one year.  

With the exceptions of some missionaries, extensions of B-1 stays cannot be granted in intervals of over six months each.  

Another condition for this visa category is that you must show that you are financially capable of covering the expenses of your trip and stay in the U.S. You are also required to prove that you maintain your residency abroad (in your country of residence), which you have no intention of abandoning. The USCIS will also want to see that you have other binding ties which will guarantee your return abroad at the end of your stay in the United States.  

What Business Activities Can You Engage in? 

A B-1 visa is available for individuals seeking to participate in business activities of a professional or commercial nature in the U.S., including, but not limited to: 

  • Consulting with associates; 
  • Attending meetings; 
  • Engaging in negotiations;  
  • Attending conferences and researching options for launching a business in the U.S., such as finding and entering into a lease agreement for office space; or 
  • Taking orders for goods produced and found outside the U.S.  

B-1 visa holders are not permitted to engage in activities or perform services that constitute local employment for hire within the U.S. That means you cannot work for a U.S. employer as a B-1 visitor. You are also not allowed to open or operate a business in the U.S. while in B-1 status.  

If your mission is to secure funding for a new business venture in the United States, you cannot remain in the country after securing said funds unless you change your status to a visa classification that authorizes employment in the U.S.  

Can You Collect A Salary? 

As a B-1 visitor, you can conduct business on behalf of a foreign employer, but you cannot collect a salary from a U.S. employer. However, in some cases, you may receive reimbursements from a U.S. source for reasonable incidental expenses incurred during your stay in the country.  

Note: It is not guaranteed that the United States Department of States will issue you a B-1 Visa or that the DHS will grant you B-1 status after adducing the evidence described above. A DHS or consular officer will consider all relevant facts before deciding whether to issue a B-1 visa or grant status. Therefore, it is critical that you fully explain the intended purpose of your visit and the activities you will participate in so that the DOS or DHS can make an informed determination on your application.

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