The B-1 visa (business visa) is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the United States for a temporary period to engage in certain business activities. It is intended for individuals who need to visit the U.S. for short-term business purposes, such as attending meetings, negotiating contracts, conducting research and others.
Eligibility requirements for a B-1 visa include:
- having residence outside the United States,
- having the financial resources to cover travel expenses and stay in the U.S., and
- intending to engage in legitimate business activities while in the U.S.
The purpose of the B-1 visa is to allow foreign nationals to engage in legitimate business activities, not to work or live permanently in the U.S.
The B-1 visa allows for a temporary stay in the United States, typically up to six months. Below is the list of the most common allowed activities:
- Attending business meetings or conferences
- Consulting with business associates
- Conducting research
- Participating in short-term training programs
- Engaging in litigation
- Installing, servicing, or repairing equipment
- Participating in sport events
In addition, domestic servants who are employed by a US citizen or a foreign national may also be eligible for a B-1 visa to accompany their employer to the U.S. and perform household duties incidental to the individual's temporary visit. This excludes employment for "green card holders".
The duration of stay on a B-1 visa is typically for 3 or 6 months but it is always determined by the immigration officer at the port of entry.
Extensions of stay and changing to another status category are possible, but they require filing a formal application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).