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The B Visa Category | Print |  Email
Tuesday, 18 February 2003
For visitors conducting business-related activities

For visitors conducting business-related activities

Q Can you give us some information for a person who wants to enter the US on business?

A The B1 visa is available to aliens who wish to enter the US for a temporary period of time on business. B1 business visitors may be admitted for the purpose of engaging in business, but not for the purpose of being employed. A B2 visitor may be admitted to the US for not more than one year (They are usually admitted for three to six months), and may be granted extensions of temporary stay in increments of not more than six months each, with some exceptions for individuals doing missionary work.

The basic requirements.

The alien must intend to

1. Maintain a foreign residence;

2. Enter the US for a period of specifically limited duration, and

3. Seek admission solely to engage in legitimate activities relating to business.

To meet these basic requirements, the applicant should:

  • Have made arrangements such that adequate funds are available to avoid his or her unlawful employment in the US;
  • If presenting assurances of financial support from sponsoring relatives or friends in the US, show compelling ties that would lend credence to the sponsor's undertaking;
  • Present specific and realistic plans for the entire period of the contemplated visit;
  • Establish with reasonable certainty that departure from the US will take place upon completion of the temporary visit. The period of time projected for the visit must be consistent with the stated purposes;
  • Not express the proposed period of stay in terms of remaining for the maximum period allowable by US authorities;
  • Demonstrate sufficient ties to home country-permanent employment, meaningful business or financial connections, close family ties, or other commitments that indicate a strong inducement to return abroad.
  • Show adequate provision for support of any dependents while the applicant is in the US if the applicant is the family's principal wage earner.
  • A person seeking entry on B2 status should consider having a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) relative prepare a Form I-134 to demonstrate that the US citizen or LPR will provide support to the immigrant while visiting the US.

A B1 visa holder may be admitted to the US to:

  • Engage in commercial/financial transactions that do not involve his/her gainful employment in the US.
  • Negotiate contracts
  • Consult with business associates
  • Litigate cases
  • Participate in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences, or seminars; or
  • Undertake independent research.

Applicants for B1 visas may assume that all previous entries to the US could be scrutinized by US authorities during the application process.

B2 visitors should carry with them for purposes of admission written documentation regarding the purpose and duration of their trip, their intention to depart, evidence of financial support while in the US, and other documentation consistent with the considerations discussed herein.

NOTE: As a result of tightening regulations following September 11 attacks, there is a proposal to limit the admission of B visa holders to periods of one month. It has also been suggested that the extension process will be more stringent.

Information courtesy of the


59 Temple Place, Suite 1010, Boston, MA 02111

Tel. (617) 542-7654 Fax (617) 542-7655

Email: Website:

An Agency accredited by US Immigration and Naturalization Service

Disclaimer:These articles are published to inform, not to advise. Areas of law are rapidly changing. The US Immigration and Naturalization Service and US Department of State regularly amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures. For legal advice seek the assistance of an IIC immigration specialist or an immigration attorney.

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