What is a B-1 Visa Used For?

A B-1 Visitor Visa is made available to applicants from foreign countries who wish to travel to the United States for business purposes. Although the definition of what qualifies as “business” is fairly broad, there are some clear parameters to consider. The main issue considered by the government when assessing an application is whether the applicant is a business traveler who will be participating in commercial or business-related activities in the United States. That definition is rather vague and doesn’t provide much guidance on qualified business activities. Thankfully, USCIS provides some guidance on their website (not an exhaustive list) and cites the following as acceptable reasons for applying for a B-1 visa:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in short term training
  • Transiting through the United States

The requirements for the B-1 visa are similar to the requirements for a B-2 visitor visa. You must have a residence outside of the United States that you do not intend to abandon, you must have sufficient funds to cover your trip, and also must show that you have no intention of settling in the United States. An applicant can offer proof of lack of intent to settle in the United States by confirming specific dates for planned arrival and return.

The government will assess your application with a specific focus on whether you can show that you have sufficient ties to your home country. Having sufficient ties to your home country will make it more likely that you are visiting the United States strictly for business purposes. If the United States government believes that your application contains information that suggests that you intend to use this visa as a way to stay in the United States past the length of your stay, they may deny your application outright. The government can also deny your application outright if there are any bars of entry which apply.

We recommend adding as much information into your application as possible to show that your intent is solely to visit for business purposes. If you own property, make sure to indicate any real estate holdings on your application. Additionally, if you have been working for the same employer for an extended period of time, you may also want to consider having your employer draft a letter to attach to your application detailing your long work history with the employer in addition to submitting a copy of your employment contract. You should also submit detailed financial information which demonstrates that your finances are in good order and that you clearly intend to return to your home country. If your visa is granted, you can be granted a stay from 1-6 months with the option to file an extension for up to 6 months.

If you have any questions regarding how to apply for this kind of visa or any other questions related to the B-1 visa, please reach out to our office at (201) 880-9374 or contact Steven Bedoya, Esq., at sbedoya@bhlfirm.com so that we can provide you with a detailed consultation!