B-1 Visa

Business Visa Program
Requirements, Benefits, Limitations and Forms

For foreign visitors that travel to the United States for the purpose of consulting with business associates, attending a work or education related convention or conference, make a business investment or purchase, take care of an estate or to negotiate a contract, a B-1 non-immigrant business visa would be for you. The B-1 visa usually allows visa holders up to a 6 month stay for the sole purpose of business.

Benefits of the B-1 Visa

  • B-1 non-immigrant visas are of more benefit than a visa waiver because it allows you to request an extension of stay prior to its expiration.
  • You can apply for a B-1 visa at an American Embassy near you in your country of residency.
  • The B-1 non-immigrant visa is relatively easy to obtain.


  • The business trip must not involve receiving a salary or payment. However, reimbursement of travel expenses and per diem is allowed.
  • The B-1 visa holder is not allowed to work in the United States.
  • In order to work legally in the United States, you must apply for a work visa such as the H-1B or H-2B.
  • You also may not study in the United States with a B-1 visa. You must obtain a F-1 student visa.
  • It is up to the immigration officer at the port of entry to determine the length of stay. Generally it is up to 6 months.


  • You must apply for the B-1 visa at an American Consulate in your native country where you have permanent residency.
  • Your intention must be to enter the United States temporarily.
  • Provide documentation that you have sufficient funds to support the trip or that your employer will provide support.

Documentation Required

  • Form DS-156, Non-immigrant Visa Application
  • Form DS-157, Supplemental Non-immigrant Visa Application, for all male applicants between the ages of 16 and 45
  • A current passport which is valid beyond the time frame of your stay
  • A copy of your itinerary
  • Company information such as a brochure, catalog or media kit
  • Letter of support from the sponsoring company outlining the purpose of the trip
  • Documentation of financial support for the trip whether personal or company sponsored

Given the high stakes of the outcome of your B-1 visa application, it is important to understand your rights and your obligations under the law. If you are ready to begin the application process or have questions, then contact us today to schedule a call or a meeting. We are more than happy to call you wherever you are in the world at no cost to you.

Eliana Phelps

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