The US B1 visa is one of the most popular visas as it is a non-immigrant visa and allows people to come to the US for business purposes. However, getting this visa is a lot more than just filling out a US B1 visa application. Since this visa allows you to enter the country for a short amount of time, there are certain criteria that you have to fit to get this visa. The following guide will give you all the information you need on the US B1 Visa.
What does a US B1 Visa Allow You to Do?
The US B1 Visa allows you to indulge in business-related activities. Some examples are:
- In a globalised world, it is common to have business partners staying in other countries. So, with a US B1 Visa, you can consult with your business partners and associates that are living in the US.
- You may be starting a new business venture and are required to negotiate and sign contracts. So, the US B1 Visa allows you to come to the country and sign contracts with the relevant authority.
- The US B1 Visa also allows you to attend business-related seminars, educational events, and other related meetings.
- You can also enter to import and export goods, but you need to have all your documentation in order and the relevant authorities will oversee all your business transactions.
- Businesses and partnerships also come to an end, so one may need to travel to settle payments and estate. The US B1 Visa also allows entry into the country for such matters.
Note: You can also research the visa waiver program, which allows citizens and nationals of many countries to travel to the US for business or tourism and stay up to 90 days or less without a visa.
Eligibility Criteria for US B1 Visa
This is one of the easier visas to get as you are only staying in the country for a short amount of time. The criteria are similar to the B2 visa (tourist visa) with a few fundamental differences. Here’s what you’ll need for a US B1 Visa:
- A valid passport with more than 6 months of validity left. And a few blank pages for your passport to get stamped.
- Latest digital passport photographs in front of white background. This picture needs to have been taken in the last 3-6 months.
- Proof showing that you have a family, job or business, and residence back in your country that act as a reason for you to return back to your home country.
- Financial resources to cover your whole trip including travel, living, and dining expenses while you are staying in the US.
US B1 Visa Applications Steps
- Now that you know about the eligibility criteria for a US B1 Visa travel to the US, you need to know about the steps. Here’s how you go about it:
- Fill Out Form DS-160 – This is the main form used for non-immigrant visas. This is a multipurpose form so, you have to locate the B1 section and fill it out properly with all the accurate information about your background and intention to visit. Once complete, you have to submit the form.
- Pay the Fees – You will be required to pay a certain amount as fees for visa processing. This is a non-refundable amount in case your visa application gets rejected.
- Schedule Interview – Before you are granted your visa, you need to meet with an official who will interview you. For that, you will need to schedule a fixed appointment during business hours at the US consulate in your country.
- Submit Documents – All the documents mentioned need to be submitted along with a properly filled out Form DS-160.
- Letter explaining the purpose of the visit. You can use your business’s official letterhead for this letter.
- If you have visited the US before, you can submit those documents as well. They will help you qualify for a US B1 Visa.
- If you are being sent by your employer, you need an official letter from them explaining the purpose of your visit.
Attend Interview – Be sure to be punctual for your visa appointment. This is one of the most important processes and you cannot afford to make mistakes. You’ll be asked a variety of questions so make sure you answer honestly and confidently. Just in case for whatever reason you cannot attend your interview, make sure to reschedule well in advance.
US B1 Visa Extension
In rare cases, there may be reasons that you might have to extend your visa beyond the stipulated time. In such a case, you will have to prove that your work is not complete, and you fully intend to return back to your country once the business has been fulfilled. Another option is that you can return to your country and apply for a US B1 visa renewal. Since you have already been here before, the next time around it won’t be such a problem.
Note: If you wish to get permanent US citizenship or apply for a green card, you can check out the US golden visa program.
Though the process is relatively simple, the US is one of the most difficult countries to get a visa to. There are only 38 countries in the world whose citizens are exempt from visas before coming to the US. It is even more difficult for citizens from countries in the Middle East and South Asia. But to ensure that your visa doesn’t get rejected, you can use professional visa service companies. They are well-versed in the process and will help you out in exchange for a small fee with your US B1 visa application. It is completely worth it.
How Long is the B1 Visa Valid?
The B1 visa USA is initially valid for 6 months. The U.S. Embassy presumes this is sufficient time to finish all your business in the country. Six months also allows adequate time to visit and tour any places in the United States that you wish to see.
Can a B1 Visa Holder Get a Green Card?
Before proceeding with B1 visa application process, you require proving that you will go back to your home country, which is not likely for permanent residency within the US. It makes it intricate in obtaining a Green Card while on B1 visa. For obtaining permanent residence, you should have family in US, marry US citizen with valid marriage, or get a job in US which sponsors your visa, like the H-1B visa, & apply for Green Card. However, as the B1 business visa USA is business visitor visa, getting a job in US will prevent you to working for the home country company. This requires complex procedures and proof of an unexpected opportunity.
Does a Business Visa Grant Me Access to American Healthcare?
As a tourist traveling to the United States, you will not get free medical care. The American healthcare system is the costliest globally, with treating a broken leg or arm running about $2,500. Staying all night in a U.S. hospital can cost about $10,000. Hence, you must buy health insurance for covering these expenses.
Are Dependents Able to Enter the United States on a Business Visa?
The B1 visa is an individual temporary visa that does not allow dependents to join the individual in the United States. The B1 visa USA requirements do not suffice here. To join, they must apply for the B2 visa or the US tourist visa, which allows them to stay with the individual for 6 months and can request extensions for up to 1 year. Dependents’ visa status depends on the individual’s financial stability and the plan to return home. If parents process the B1 visa application and visit with a B1 visa, it is advisable to check health insurance plans to cover their stay. Should the employer sponsors the visa, like the H-1B visa, the person can apply for Green Card. If the individual however finds a job in US, he/she cannot work for a company in the home country. This requires complicated procedures and proof of not intending to find a job in the US.