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Business Visa Information (B-1)

The B-1 business visa category is designed for travellers wishing to visit the US for business purposes, e.g.

  • Meetings with business associates
  • Attendance at a business-related convention or conference
  • Settlement of an estate
  • Contractual negotiations

Travellers eligible for a B-1 category visa include

  • Sportspeople belonging to a non-US team and entering the US in order to compete
  • Professional sportspeople competing in the US solely for prize money
  • Individuals undertaking medical or other professional training programmes who are under the direct supervision of a teaching hospital
  • Missionaries and individuals engaged in travelling evangelical activity who do not intend to make a prolonged stay at any one church; individuals visiting the US in order to preach for a restricted period
  • Volunteers participating in activities intended to bring benefit to a US community
  • Investors investigating business opportunities
  • Lecturers or speakers who are not remunerated by any US-based enterprise, save receipt of honoraria or reimbursement of travel expenses for a period not exceeding nine days at any one institution. No more than five US-based institutions may award honoraria to the visa-holder in any one six-month period
  • Personal or domestic staff accompanying a US-citizen employer whose permanent residence is outside the US; personal or domestic staff accompanying a foreign citizen with a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q immigration status
  • Sales staff visiting the US for the purpose of sales-based business negotiations related to merchandise produced outside the US
  • Engineers required by US enterprises to install or service equipment procured from a non-US seller

Students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists and other media-related professionals may not obtain any visa within the B category.

Travellers on a B-1 visa may not be employed by, or manage, or be remunerated by, any US-based company. A change of visa status is necessary to carry out this type of employment: travellers must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status.

A B-1 visa is valid for up to ten years from the date of issue. However, each visit to the US within that period must be no longer than six months, although applications to extend may be considered.


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