B-1 Visa for Temporary Business Visitor




B-1 Visas are for individuals wanting to visit the U.S. temporarily for business purposes. This includes: attending conventions, conferences or seminars, consulting with business associates, litigating and negotiating contracts and engaging in commercial transactions, among others.


In order to qualify for a B-1 visa, the prospective alien applicant must maintain a residency abroad to which he/she plans to return. Also, the employer, on whose behalf he/she is traveling to the US, must have their main place of business where profits are accrued overseas. Trips that are made to the U.S. in this category cannot involve employment in the U.S. Further, payment to the B-1 visa holder should occur abroad, although payment from outside the US may be arranged through a US financial institution. Expense and per diem payments are allowed to cover the B-1 visa holder’s time in the US.


In addition to the permissible uses described above, a B-1 visa can be appropriate for the following individuals:


  • Religious ministers and missionaries

  • Board members of U.S. corporations

  • Servants of U.S. citizens or certain non-immigrants temporarily in the U.S.

  • Professional athletes

  • Entertainers

  • Still photographers

  • Musicians recording for sale outside the U.S.

  • Employees of foreign airlines

  • Persons who would ordinarily qualify for H-1B or H-3 qualifications


Applying for a B-1 Visa


Gherasimov Law Firm submits B-1 applications for clients in the U.S. (change of status) or abroad at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (consular processing).


Individuals submitting B-1 applications abroad, will need to show:


  • They have “nonimmigrant intent” i.e. intent to depart the U.S. after the completion of their activities in the U.S

  • They have a foreign residence that they intend to maintain

  • They will be engaging in activities permitted under the B-1 visa and they will not be engaging in gainful employment in the U.S.

  • They have adequate financial arrangements to carry out the purpose of their visit

  • They are not inadmissible to the U.S.


Duration of Stay and Extension of Stay


The duration of authorized stay for a B-1 holder is decided by the Customs and Border Patrol officers at the time of the B-1 holder's entry into the U.S., and usually ranges from one week to six months. However, they may be admitted for an initial period up to one year (8 CFR § 214.2(b)(1)). It is possible to obtain extensions to the duration of stay under B-1 visas in increments of six months.


B-1 holders may change status to another non-immigrant status, like H-1, J-1, F-1 or B-2. However, one should be cautious when changing from B-1 status to another non-immigrant status. Using the B category as a bridge to a different non-immigrant status for the purpose of avoiding the more stringent application procedures associated with the new status is frowned upon by USCIS. In addition, the holder of a B-1 status may successfully apply for an adjustment of status to an immigrant visa in certain situations.



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