B-1 Visitor Visa: Traveling to the U.S. for Business

Is the B-1/B-2 the right visa to enter the U.S. to participate in a business meeting? Attend a conference or convention? Negotiate a contract? Yes on the B-1, but no on a B-2 only. If you have a combination B-1/B-2 visa, you should inform the U.S customs officer of the main purpose of your visit. Get admitted in the right classification. The B-1 is more flexible than the B-2 classification. You may engage in business activities and tourism with a B-1. But the B-2 is for tourism and social visits only, with very limited exceptions in special circumstances.

The B-1 visa or combined B-1/B-2 visa is for nonimmigrants who seek to enter the U.S. temporarily for business reasons and tourism. To get the visa or gain entry to the U.S. on this visa, you need to show you will participate in only permitted activities.

Episode 10 of The Legal Immigrant podcast summarizes:

(A) What you can do in the U.S. as a B-1 visitor - 

1) Business activities of a commercial nature. Examples:
  • engage in commercial translations
  • negotiate a contract
  • participate in business meetings
  • litigate, including to participate in a lawsuit, take a claim to court, or settle an estate
  • attend a conference
  • do independent research

2) Professional activities that do not lead to compensation or employment in the United States. Examples:
  • ministers of religion and missionaries doing missionary work
  • volunteers participating in a recognized voluntary service program
  • professional athletes competing in a tournament or sporting event of international dimension
  • investors seeking investments in U.S. 
3) Limited activities that do not amount to substantive performance of work. Examples:
  • commercial or industrial workers needed to install, service or repair equipment as required by contract of sale
  • certain foreign airline employees in an executive, supervisory or highly technical role who travel to the U.S. to join an aircraft for onward international flight
  • third/fourth-year medical students pursuing medical clerkship at U.S. medical school's hospital (without remuneration) as part of a foreign medical school degree
(B) U.S. immigration problems that might arise if you do remote work (including work for a foreign employer) while you are in the U.S. as a visitor 
  • the connection between U.S. tax law and U.S. immigration law
  • the risk of being found to have violated status if you perform activities that are not entirely consistent with the terms and conditions of the visa
(C) The eligibility requirements for the visitor visa
  • maintain a residence abroad that you do not intend to abandon
  • intend to stay in the U.S. for a specific, limited period
  • seek entry solely to engage in legitimate activities permitted on the visa
  • have no U.S. immigration violations or criminal offenses that make you inadmissible  or otherwise qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility
This is general information only and is not legal advice. To request a consultation, you may submit an email to info@dyanwilliamslaw.com or online message at www.dyanwilliamslaw.com. 

For more information, see:

Dyan Williams, Esq.
info@dyanwilliamslaw.com
www.dyanwilliamslaw.com


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