For individuals that will like to do business in the United States and don’t have a clue about how to go about it, you can now know what the B1 visa also known as the business visa entails by reading this article.
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The B1 visa is a Nonimmigrant Visa that allows visitors to go to the United States for any business purposes.
Anyone with a B1 visa holder can engage in any of the following activities:
- Negotiate contracts.
- Consult with business associates in the US.
- Settle estates.
- Attend conferences, educational, professional, or business events.
The benefit of the B1 visa is that you can create a business relationship and visit the US for any business when necessary.
When your visa expires you can only apply for another one and there are no rules to the number of times that a visa can be issued per year.
Do I Need to Apply for a US Business Visa?
If you are a citizen of any country in the Visa waiver program, there will be no need for you to apply for a business visa. You will apply for the ESTA instead, and with this, there will be no need for you to go to the embassy in person, and you can get the business visa faster too.
What are the Eligibility Criteria to Qualify for the B1 Visa?
There isn’t so much strictness in the business visa compared to others, but there is some criteria/ information that you have to fill for you to be eligible. Some of the criteria are:
- That your intent for visiting the United States is business-related.
- You have enough finances to cover your stay in the United States.
- You intend to return to your home country as soon as your visa expires and you do not intend to stay in the United States.
If these criteria are met can you can show your eligibility by your valid documents in the application, then you can apply for the business visa and get it
Steps to Apply for a US Business Visa
For you to apply you are to go through these various steps:
Complete Form DS-160
For you to apply for any type of Nonimmigrant Visa you will have to fill the DS-160 form. A DS-160 form is an application form for all types of Nonimmigrant Visa including a K visa.
This form can be seen on the consular Electronic Application Center website where you have to fill it and then submit it online to the department of state. All information must be in English while filling the form.
Pay the B1 visa fees
The fee for this visa application is about $160, and you are expected to pay for you to be able to continue your application. outside the application fee, you will be expected to pay other fees such as insurance fees.
The number of visa issuances that you will pay depends on the relationship your country has with the United States. And when you are done paying these fees you are to keep the receipt and attach them to your document.
Schedule your visa interview
Applicants who are within the age range of 14 and 79 years have to attend the visa interview. The interview is to take place at the embassy where you applying and it is done by an official.
It is important for you to schedule your interview on time because of the workload that the embassy has, and when you schedule your interview a confirmation letter will be given to you and you are to bring it on the day of the interview.
Prepare your B1 visa documents file
You are to submit the required documents for the business visa application with you so as to support your application. your business visa application should have the following:
- The Form DS-160 confirmation page and code.
- Your valid passport.
- Details of your social media accounts.
- The interview confirmation page.
- A photo that complies with the US Visa photo requirements.
- A letter which describes the purpose of your trip.
- Financial or bank statements to prove you have the finances to stay in the US.
- Ties to your home country like 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.
- If you work, bring a letter from your employer and payslips for the last three months.
- A letter from the company detailing the purpose of the trip and your job position.
Attend the interview
When coming for your interview you are to bring the documents that are with you and be prepared for the question that you will be asked.
You will be asked questions about your business visa such as the purpose of the visa, what business will you be doing in the United States, if you have an intention of returning to your home country. Your answers should be very specific and straight to the point
How Long is the B1 Visa Processing Time?
The processing time is not defined, it can take a couple of weeks or months for your visa to be processed, and this depends on the workload of the embassy and other factors that they consider.
When the processing is done you will be given notice if you have the visa or not.
How Long is the B1 Visa Valid?
The original validity for a B1 visa is about 6 months and your US embassy of application assumes that the time given is enough to complete all the business that you have within the country.
B1 Visa Extension
After your 6 months, it is expected of you to go back to your home country and not for you to stay in the United States after your visa had expired. But if you want to extend it, you will then have to work with your Employer.
You should be able to show that all business has not been completed, you should get a confirmation letter from your employer to show that your stay in the US is essential for business.
You are not permitted to work in the United States so you will have to prove your financial stability.
Can I Get a Green Card as a B1 Visa Holder?
For you to qualify for the B1 visa, you have to prove that you are going to go back to your home country. This means that you cannot stay in the United States permanently, because what you have shown during your interview makes it very difficult for you to get a green card.
For you to be able to get your permanent Visa you must :
- Have family in the US and apply to join them.
- Marry a US citizen with a valid marriage and then apply for permanent residence.
- Find a job in the US where the employer is willing to sponsor your visa such as the H-1B visa, and then apply for the Green Card.