An Overview of the Business Visa Process
Professionals who wish to attend a business event within the US are eligible to apply for what is called a business visa. This is a temporary visa which is also known
as a B-1 visa and allows you to enter the United States for business-related meetings and other professional events which are taking place on a short-term basis.
It is important to understand that a business visa is much different than a visitor visa and has different policies and criteria which must be met in order to enter the US on a temporary basis. If you are seeking to enter the US on business here are a few facts you should know about the business visa process.
Business Visas are for Short Term Purposes
You can obtain a business visa to attend related business meetings or professional development seminars but you may not use a business visa for enrollin
g in educational classes, engaging in skilled labor, or as a news media representative.
Business visas can be granted for as long as 6 months to one year however, when you reach the US your reason for entering the country on business will be examined before your business visa is approved.
Business Visa Eligibility
Similar to any other type of visa you apply for, a business visa has specific requirements which must be met before you are approved for nonimmigrant status. You must show that you have no intentions of abandoning your country of permanent residence, you are not entering the US to seek employment, the business activity which you are participating in is legitimate, you will not be earning compensation from a US source, and you have the proper funding to support yourself during the entire trip to the US.
You are ineligible for a business visa if you will be performing work while in the US. However, if you are training other professionals on the job who must acqu
ire specific skills you still qualify for a business visa. You are also allowed to engage in a training course related to your company as long as the company is taking responsibility for your expenses.
Extending Your Stay
If for any legitimate reason it is necessary to extend your stay in the US you can apply for an Extension of Stay which is associated with your business visa (B1). According to business visa policies you can only extend your stay for 6 months at a time. The exception to this rule is if you are in the US for religious or missionary purposes in which case you can extend your stay for up to one year.
Business Visa Documentation
Business visa documentation is required in order to prove you do not plan to abandon your country of residence and that you are entering the US on legitimate business. Therefore the documentation you must provide includes but is not limited to proof of residence such as a copy of your mortgage or lease agreement and other documents which validate permanent residence in your home country.
You must also prove that you have strong ties to family in your country of residence by presenting documentation such as a marriage certificate or list of family members that reside in your home country. Additionally, you will be requested to supply proof that you are employed in your home country and that you are active in community activities in the area where you permanently reside.
Once you receive your business visa the decision to gain entry to the US is placed in the hands of US Customs and Border Protection at the US Port of Entry. The proper authorities will verify your reason for entering the US, review all documentation and then grant or deny entry into the country based on their findings.
If you plan to live and work permanently in USA then you need a Green Card, apply online HERE