By Michael Phulwani, Esq. and Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.
A B-1 visa is a temporary non-immigrant business visa. This visa is for individuals who are coming to the US for business purposes. Some qualifying business purposes include:
• Settling an estate,
• Negotiating a contract,
• Taking part in short-term training,
• Consulting with business associates,
• Attending or Participating in a Conference,
• Working as a Personal/Domestic employee.
An employment authorization document is required for a foreign citizen who wants to apply for a B-1 visitor visa to work in the US as a personal or domestic employee. NO OTHER TYPE OF B-1 VISITOR CAN PERFORM SUBSTANTIVE WORK!!!
Am I Eligible for a B-1 Visa? In order to be eligible for a B-1 visa an individual must meet the following criteria:
• The visit must be coming for a legitimate business purpose;
• The trip must be for a specific limited period of time;
• You must be able to financially fund the trip and stay on your own;
• You can show proof that you have a residence outside of the US and you have an intention of returning at the end of the visit; and
• You don’t have any other restrictions that would not allow you to be admitted in to the US such as prior visa violations or previous criminal arrests/convictions
The steps of the application process for a B-1 visa vary depending at which US Embassy or Consulate you apply at.
Under a B-1 visa an individual may stay in the US between one and six months, six months being the maximum. But, generally the applicants are given a 3 month time frame to complete their business. After the initial period of stay ends, an extension of stay may be granted for up to a maximum of 6 months. The maximum total amount of time permitted in B-1 status on a single trip is one year, with rare exceptions. Any dependents of B-1 non-immigrants, spouse and children under the age of 21, are not allowed to obtain a dependent visa. Each dependent who will join the B-1 visa holder to the US must apply separately for a B-2 visa and must follow the rules of that visa. If you are or a colleague or someone you know may benefit from a B-1 Business Visitor Visa, contact a lawyer with experience with consular processing and the visa process.