As a foreign national who wants to do business with a U.S.-based company, you need a B1 visa to attend meetings, conferences, and even settle an estate. A B1 visa, also called a business visa, allows you to conduct and negotiate business, make investments, and attend business events in the United States during a short, specified period.
Understanding the B1 Visa Requirements
You must apply for your B1 visa at the U.S. embassy in your home country. In addition to completing Form DS-160 online, you’ll be interviewed at the embassy. You’ll also need to pay visa fees and visa insurance fees. To give yourself the best chance at approval, work with an experienced international lawyer who has a corporate background, such as the team at Rooney Nimmo.
To be eligible for a B1 visa, you must have business in the United States but be able to demonstrate you have no intention to abandon your citizenship or residence abroad. Examples of ways to prove this include showing proof of continuous employment, mortgage and homeownership liability, and children’s enrollment in school.
After you receive your visa, you can visit for a determined amount of time—usually six months to one year. The U.S. border patrol officers determine your authorized length of stay upon each visit to the U.S.
You must be visiting on legitimate business, and you cannot engage in any “productive work” while you’re here. This means you cannot receive payment within the U.S., and all work must be performed on behalf of and paid for by your foreign employer or company.
To receive a B1 visa, you need to show evidence that you can pay for your expenses during your stay, and you cannot have restrictions that bar you from entering the U.S.
Family members are ineligible for a B1 visa, but they can apply for a B2 tourist visa if they are traveling with you.
Benefits of a B1 Visa
A B1 visa holder can conduct necessary business in the U.S. for an extended period without the hassle of moving to another country. You can do many of the same things that residents do while on your B1 visa, which allows you the freedom to conduct business and establish a temporary residence as needed. These include:
- Opening a bank account and get a debit card
- Renting a car with your International Driving Permit (IDP) or a valid driver’s license from your home country
- Renting an apartment
A B1 visa is valid for multiple visits up to ten years from the initial issue date. This gives you time to network with clients and develop business relationships. There are no rules about how many B1 visas can be issued each year, so you can always apply for an extension if you need more time with your clients.
If you want to grow and expand your business, a B1 visa allows you the freedom to move back and forth between your home country and the U.S. as necessary. At Rooney Nimmo, we can help you connect with other entrepreneurs and industry professionals to grow your business. If you need ideas, we are happy to help guide you as you establish yourself in the U.S.
How Our Firm Can Help
The team at Rooney Nimmo are corporate lawyers with extensive international experience. We have offices in London, Edinburgh, New York, and San Francisco and affiliations in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong.
As fellow entrepreneurs, Allan J. P. Rooney and John Nimmo understand what it means to build business relationships and grow your company in the United States. If you need to apply for a B1 visa for the USA, contact our law firm today for a trusted advisor to walk you through the process.