B1 visas are commonly issued to foreign business people. Unlike a B2, tourist visa, a B1 visa is issued to allow foreigners to complete business-related tasks that do not required actually working in the U.S.
Factors to be used in determining entitlement to Temporary Visitor Classification are as follows: whether the applicants: (a) Have a residence in a foreign country, which they do not intend to abandon; (b) Intend to enter the United States for a period of specifically limited duration; and (c) Seek admission for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure.
Aliens should be classified B-1 visitors for business, if otherwise eligible, if they are traveling to the United States to: (1) Engage in commercial transactions, which do not involve gainful employment in the United States (such as a merchant who takes orders for goods manufactured abroad); (2) Negotiate contracts; (3) Consult with business associates; (4) Litigate; (5) Participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars; or (6) Undertake independent research.
An alien who is a member of the board of directors of a U.S. corporation seeking to enter the United States to attend a meeting of the board or to perform other functions resulting from membership on the board.
A nonimmigrant in B-1 status may not receive a salary from a U.S. source for services rendered in connection with his or her activities in the United States. A U.S. source, however, may provide the alien with an expense allowance or reimbursement for expenses incidental to the temporary stay. Incidental expenses may not exceed the actual reasonable expenses the alien will incur in traveling to and from the event, together with living expenses the alien reasonably can be expected to incur for meals, lodging, laundry, and other basic services.
The length of time that is issued for the visa depends on the reciprocity agreement between the United States and the foreigner’s home country. For example, a B1 visa issued to an Indian citizen may be valid for up to 120 months, while an B1 visa issued to a Haitian citizen may be valid for up to 60 months.
If you are interested in obtaining a B1 visa, please take into consideration that you may also apply for a B2 visa to enter the US for tourism purposes. The consulate will issue a B1/B2 visa which will allow you to travel for both business and tourism purposes.