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.
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
For more information, see:
- B-1 Visitor Visa: Traveling to the U.S. for Business
- B-1 Visitor Visa: Traveling to the U.S. for Work as a Personal or Domestic Employee
- B-2 Visitor Visa: Traveling to the U.S. for Tourism or a Temporary Visit
- Birth Tourism, Frequent/Extended Trips, Immigration Status Change: 3 Things that Often Prevent Entry to the U.S. (even though they are not strictly prohibited)
- Common Reasons for Visa Refusal or Visa Denial
- Expedited Removal: When Does it Apply and What are the Consequences?
- Expedited Removal: How Does the Process Work at the U.S. Port of Entry and What are the Main Concerns?
- Expedited Removal: How Do You Avoid, Challenge or Overcome It?