If you are wondering how to get a business visa for the USA then you know that entering the USA requires a person to have a valid visa. They can either apply for a temporary stay through a non-immigrant visa or get an immigrant visa if they wish to reside in the USA permanently. Visitor visas are for people who wish to enter the USA for a short stay.
There are different kinds of business visas that one can apply for depending on the length of their stay and the nature of business. Some visas are valid for 6 months only, while others may have a validity of up to 3 years. Furthermore, some business visas can be extended as well.
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Types of Business Visas for the USA
You must have a valid business visa if you wish to do business in the USA or even attend any business work there. If you don’t want to get into any legal trouble, then it is important to get the right kind of visa for your case.
Here is a description of different kinds of US business visas that you can apply for.
- B1 Visa
If you want to enter the USA for business purposes, then you will need to apply for B-1 visa. This category is specifically reserved for the citizens of a foreign country who want to visit the USA for business purposes.
If you wish to travel to the USA for a business-related task, then a business visitor visa B-1 is the best option for you. This visa is also ideal for foreigners who want to travel to the USA to attend any business or professional conference, consult with their business associates, negotiate a contract or settle an estate.
The B1 Visa is a short-term visa. It has a validity of 6 months. People with this visa cannot sign any contracts but can negotiate terms. B1 Visa holders can also not work for hire on this visa.
2. E1 Visa
The E1 visa is reserved for individuals who want to trade within the USA. However, this visa is only granted to applicants from certain countries who have signed appropriate treaties with the USA. This visa remains valid for as long as the business keeps working in the USA.
3. E2 Visa
Another type of business visa, the E2 visa is also commonly known as the treaty investor visa. It is reserved for individuals of specific countries that have signed a trade treaty with the US. This visa is granted to the individuals of these countries who want to start a new business in the United States of America. This visa falls under the temporary visa category. However, it can be renewed for as long as the business keeps running in the USA.
While there are different categories of business visa, the one that is the most commonly applied for is the B1 visa. As mentioned before, it is a non-immigrant visa issued only for 6 months at a time. This is ideal for people who don’t need any actual labor work in the USA. They should also not receive any payment from any US source.
The US government allows citizens of some countries to travel to the US without the need to apply for a business visa. They come under the visa waiver program and can stay in the US for a duration of 90 days.
When to Apply for a Business Visa?
It is important to apply for a business visa to the USA as soon as you can. Apply for it at least 60 days before your travel date. If you are traveling to the USA to attend a business conference of scientific nature, then submit your visa application at least 90 days prior to traveling.
Different consulates have different waiting times. Therefore, find an expert who can guide you on how to get a business visa for the USA and apply immediately. There may be delays caused by administrative processing or security clearances. Therefore, you should apply as soon as you make your mind to travel to the United States of America.
While you should plan your travel, don’t purchase air tickets until you receive your visa. Don’t automatically assume that you will get the visa because sometimes even strong cases are rejected.
There are no set quotas for business visas. The US government mostly issues a joint B1/B2 category visa to the people traveling to the USA for business purposes.
Business visa applicants don’t have any dependent visa category. If you are traveling on a B1 visa, then you should not take your spouse or children along. After all, it is not customary for your family to accompany you to business meetings or any other business-related activities.
If they still want to accompany you, they can apply for a B2 visa category, which is reserved for tourists.
Activities You Can and Cannot Do on B1 Visa
Here are the activities that are permissible on a B1 visa:
- Settle an estate
- Consult with business partners and associates
- Negotiate or finalize contracts
- Solicit services
- Short-term training
- Appear in court trials as a witness
- Purchase materials or goods
- Solicit investment or sales
- Discuss purchases or planned investments
- Attend meetings
- Being a lecturer or speaker
- Develop business relationships
- Place an order or do business-related shopping
- Attend an annual or board meeting
- Visit US laboratories, offices, factories, shops, etc.
Following activities are prohibited on a B1 visa:
- Helping someone in a family business
- Conducting business in the USA
- Working for an American employer
- Accepting any form of employment
- Participating in a sporting or entertainment event as a professional
How to Get a Business Visa for the USA – The Documents You Need
People applying for a B1 visa require all the documents needed for a visitor visa. In addition, they should also prepare the following documents:
- Evidence of the lodging arrangements you have made for your stay in the US, for example, hotel reservation.
- Tax statements of the last 3 years.
- Details about your travel outside your home country in the past.
- Details for a US visa applied for in the past.
- An itinerary for your trip. Mention the length and purpose of the trip. Also mention the names of the places you intend to visit, along with the names, addresses and dates.
- An account of the length and purpose of your visit in the form of a letter from your employer. This letter should mention that they are going to pay for the entire cost of the trip.
- Proof of correspondence with suppliers, purchasers or contact in the US.
- An account of recent contracts.
- Business licenses and incorporation documents.
- Last 3 year’s tax statements.
- Names and addresses of your existing clients in the US.
- An explanation of why you are traveling to the US and not anywhere else.
- Evidence of your designation and remuneration in the company.
How to Get a Business Visa for the USA – The Application
The application procedure for a business visa differs from one country to another. Different country’s embassies and consulates will have different application procedures in place. The application procedure may also differ from one consulate to another within the same country.
Therefore, you must consult your local embassy or consulate to find out the application procedures.
However, the following items must be presented with your B1 visa application regardless of your home country:
- DS-160 Form.
- A valid passport on which you can travel to the United States of America. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay.
- The application must be submitted by each person who desires a visa even if they are included in your passport.
- A 2”x2” photograph taken within the last 6 months.
- A payment receipt for $160 in the form of visa application fee. This is a non-refundable fee that is paid in the local currency of your country.
- Your travel history for the last 10 years.
- A list of your children and siblings
How to Get a Business Visa for the USA – The Interview
Once you have submitted your business visa application, you will need to schedule an interview. The visitor visa interview is compulsory to attend if you are between the age of 14 and 79. The interview will be conducted by an official at the US Embassy of the country you are applying from. Schedule your interview as soon as you can to avoid any unnecessary delays in your visa application process. You can schedule your interview by calling the embassy and you will get a confirmation letter. Take this letter with you on the day of the interview.
Reach the embassy on time on the date of the interview. Bring your file of documents as mentioned above. Your interviewer will ask you questions about your background and why you want to visit the USA. They will also ask you about the activities you will be doing in the US and if you intend to return.
Answer all these questions specifically and give as many details about your visit as you can.
How to Get a Business Visa for the USA – FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions on how to get a business visa for the USA.
- How long is the processing time?
There is no exact processing time for the approval of B1 visas. They may take a week or even months to be processed. It depends on different factors of your application and the workload of the US Embassy. Your Embassy will notify you about your visa status once processing is complete.
2. What is the validity of a B1 visa?
The B1 visa is valid for a period of 6 months. You have 6 months to complete all your business-related work and also visit the places you want to visit in the USA.
3. Can the B1 visa be extended?
You are expected to return to your home country after 6 months. However, you can submit an application to extend your stay. You will need to prove that your business work has not been completed yet and you need more time. This application must be accompanied by letters from your company or employer and should state why you need to extend your B1 visa.
It is important to note that you cannot work for a US employer under this visa and hence cannot earn income in the US. Therefore, you must prove that you have enough funds to stay in the US and support yourself for an extended period of time.
4. Can I bring my dependents to the US on a B1 visa?
The B1 visa is strictly an individual visa. It is temporary and does not come with dependent visas. Therefore, your family members, including children and spouse, cannot accompany you to the US if only you have a valid B1 visa. If they wish to join you, then they must apply for a US tourist visa. They can come and stay with you on a tourist visa for 6 months. This visa can also be extended for up to a year if needed.
This was everything you need to know about how to get a business visa for the USA. It is a long and complex process and involves a lot of paperwork. Many applicants make mistakes that cost them their visa. Therefore, it is best if you apply for a B1 visa through an expert.
There are different immigration companies out there who can help you get a B1 visa. They have years of experience in the field and understand the process inside out. They will help you with the paperwork and will also help schedule your interview at the embassy. Applying for the USA visa through immigration experts increases your chances of getting it.
Now that you know how to get a business visa for the USA, you can apply for it if you want to travel to the US for any business-related work.
Call us at 407-910-4770 or email us at [email protected] for any immigration needs you may have.