The B-1 Business Visitor


B-1 Business

Visa permits a person to come to the United States temporarily for attending business meetings or trade shows, buying goods, conducting research, or other commercial activities.

To qualify you must demonstrate:

  • The purpose of your trip is for business
  • You plan to stay for a specific, limited period of time
  • You have social and economic ties outside the United States and you will return at the end of your visit

Examples of B-1 activities . The FAM sets forth many examples of permissible B-1 activities.  (See also INS Office of Business Liaison, Employment Information Bulletin 99-03, "Permissible Activities for a B-1 Business Visitor" (June 2000).

  • Professional athletes playing in tournaments, events, and competitions;
  • Members of boards of directors attending meetings;
  • Installing equipment purchased from overseas pursuant to a contract, or service or repair of commercial or industrial machinery;
  • Religious activities;
  • Attending conferences or seminars;
  • Setting up an E-2 enterprise-but not running it;
  • Consulting and meeting with clients;
  • Observing and conducting business;
  • Crew joining a vessel.
  • Engaging in commercial transactions (i.e., buying or selling) which do not involve gainful employment in the United States;
  • Negotiating contracts;
  • Consulting with business associates, including attending meetings at a U.S. corporation;
  • Litigating;
  • Participating in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences or seminars;
  • Undertaking research.
  • Professors on Honorarium only.
  • Certain Chefs and Cooks, Religious Workers, Ministers, Personal Domestic Servants, Professional athlete, airline employee, elective clerkship students, commercial truck drivers, attending executive/professional seminars, race track personnel, etc.
  • Installation, service, or repair of commercial or industrial equipment.[1]

Key questions (if any one is answered YES, then visa will NOT be issued):

  1. Will the individual be compensated (i.e., beyond reimbursement for expenses or per diem) from a U.S. source?
  2. Will the individual, even if uncompensated, perform services for which a U.S. worker would have to be hired or are the services inherently part of the U.S. labor market?
  3. Are the services primarily benefiting the U.S. entity as local work or hire (as contrasted with benefiting the alien him or herself or the foreign employer in furtherance of international trade)?

[1] In such cases the contract of sale must specifically require the seller to provide such services or training, and the alien must possess specialized knowledge essential to the seller's contractual obligation to perform the services or training and must receive no remuneration from a U.S. source. These provisions do not apply to an alien seeking to perform building or construction work, whether on-site or in-plant except for an alien who is applying as a B-1 for the purpose of supervising or training other workers engaged in building or construction work, but not actually performing any such building or construction work.

Contact the Law Offices of Ricky Malik, P.C. to schedule a consultation with an experienced and qualified attorney.

Ricky Malik, Esq.