If the purpose of the planned travel is business-related, for example, to consult with business associates, attend a scientific, educational, professional or business conference, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business visitor visa (B-1) would be the appropriate type of visa for the travel unless qualifying for entry under the Visa Waiver Program*
While in the US as a business visitor, an individual may:
· Attending business meetings or consultations
· Attending a business convention or conference
· Negotiating contracts
The following activities require a working visa, and may not be carried out by business visitors:
· Running a business.
· "Gainful employment".
· Payment by an organization within the US.
· Participating as a professional in entertainment or sporting events.
*Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
Most citizens of participating countries may travel to the United States for short visits for temporary business without a visa through the Visa Waiver Program.
Travellers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel
The business visa applicant must demonstrate that:
· The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business;
· That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
· Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States;
· Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and
· That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will ensure their return home at the end of the visit.
All business visa applicants require to be interviewed by a US Consulate, before being granted the business visa. All applicants must apply for a B1 visa and set up a personal interview.
It is important to apply for a visa well in advance of the travel departure date. Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where they live.
The first step to applying for a visa is to complete online a non-immigrant visa application (DS-160). Once you have electronically submitted your DS-160 online application, you will receive the application form confirmation page which you need to bring for your interview on the selected day during the application process.
After submitting and paying the fees (application and visa issuance fee) for your application, you will have to schedule 2 appointments as part of the visitor visa process. The two-part appointment process consists of an appointment with one of the five Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to give Biometrics information that includes fingerprinting and photograph, and second an appointment with the Consulate or Embassy for a personal visa interview.
On the day and time of your appointment for the interview, go to the consulate where your interview is scheduled. Carry all mandatory and supporting documents and originals.
You must provide the commonly required documents for your US visa application with you which support your application. These documents show the US Embassy that you qualify to get the B1 visa.
Your B1 visa application must contain the following additional documents:
· The interview confirmation page
· The Form DS-160 confirmation page and code.
· Your valid passport. You must possess a passport which is six months valid beyond your planned stay in the US.
· A photo that complies to the US Visa photo requirements.
· A letter which describes the purpose of your trip.
· A letter from the company detailing the purpose of the trip and your job position
· If you work, bring a letter from your employer and payslips for the last three months.
· Financial or bank statements to prove you have the finances to stay in the US.
· Ties to your home country such as family, job contract, lease, or property deed, which prove you will return.
· Criminal records or letters from authorities stating that you do not have prior convictions.
· If you have visited the US before, bring documents relevant to your prior visits.
· Details of your social media accounts - A list of the social media that you use, and the name of your account in each.
The processing times for the US visitor visas are not exact. It can take a couple of weeks or a few months for your visa to be processed. This depends on the workload of the US Embassy and other factors that they take into consideration.
Length of stay
Those entering on visitor visas will generally be granted 6 months admission on entry, though the maximum allowable stay is 1 year. It may be possible to obtain a six-month extension to the visit visa as long as the candidate will be maintaining visitor status, and there are good reasons to do so.
It is sometimes possible to change status to another longer-term visa whilst in the US as a visitor, as long as the candidate advised the relevant US Embassy or Consulate of this possibility beforehand, or there was no preconceived intent to do so.
After 6 months, you are expected to return to your home country and not stay in the US past your visa expiration date. However, if you want a B1 visa extension, you must work with your employer on that. You must prove that you have not completed all the business that you need to complete with a B1 visa.
A B1 visa is an individual temporary visa, it does not have dependent visas. This means that your spouse, children, or other family members cannot join you in the US
In order to be able to join you, they must apply for the B-2 visa or the US tourist visa.