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How to Visit the U.S. with a Visitor (B-1) Visa to Conduct Business on Behalf of Overseas Employer (Part 2)

April 3, 2011

Business guyThis is the second part of a two-part B-1 “Business Visa” article. Please find Part 1 here. To reiterate Part 1, the B-1 visa allows a visitor to temporarily come to the U.S. to conduct business on behalf of an overseas employer. Again, this article calls a B-1 visa the “business visa.” This article provides more substantive guidance in obtaining the B-1 “Business Visa.”

Bona Fide Nonimmigrant Intent

To obtain the B-1 business visa, you must have bona fide nonimmigrant intent. Nonimmigrant is simply the legal term for the word “temporary.” Bona fide nonimmigrant intent is shown through providing the consulate officer with the following:

  1. Evidence that you maintain a foreign residence
  2. Intent to leave the US
  3. Permission to enter a foreign country at end of trip
  4. Adequate financial arrangements to travel to, sojourn in, and depart from the US

Generally, consulates scrutinize B-1 cases differently depending on whether you have a large, recognizable employer, or a small, perhaps self-owned business. I will discuss the different approaches for presenting evidence vis-a-vis whether you are conducting business on behalf of a large or small business.

Large Well-Known Employers

The B-1 business visa can be obtained by showing the consulate officer a letter from the large well known company stating the reason for the business trip, setting forth a legitimate business activity. The letter must also include the specifics of the trip, including the required period of stay in the U.S., confirmation of travel arrangements and accommodations, an itinerary, and other documentation appropriate to the business activity being conducted. Finally, the letter must include an affirmation that the business employee’s travel expenses and means of support during the trip will be covered by the employer.

For example, if a business trip is meant to finalize negotiations on a sales contract in the U.S., include letters from the other party establishing the meeting dates for the negotiations and submit your hotel accommodations itinerary and plane ticket information. If this is done, the consulate officer will certainly find bona-fide nonimmigrant intent.

Small Businesses or Self-Employed Business Owners

Smaller companies must make a more detailed showing of the above-mentioned “bona fide nonimmigrant” intent factors. Financial arrangements must be adequate to defray expenses. This is shown by providing the officer with a round trip ticket or hotel accommodations. You must also have specific and realistic plans. This is shown by submitting travel plans and hotel accommodations, a detailed itinerary to demonstrate purpose of trip. If you are coming to the United States for training, you must submit the training schedule. The time period must be consistent with the stated purpose of the trip. In other words, if you are telling the consulate officer you are coming here for a two-week contract negotiation, you should not seek six months of B-1 visa time in the U.S. You must match the period with stated purpose. Finally, you must show permanent employment or business connections with the home country to ensure his return home.

Please see Part 1 for Preliminary B-1 Issues

Part 1 of this series provides the legal framework on the B-1 “Business Visa.” Please refer to the Part 1 here.

How to Contact Us

Contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates should you have any questions or require assistance with your B-1 “Business Visa” process. We have successfully resolved complex issues in the visa process because we work hard for our clients. Contact one of our competent attorneys at 1-877-479-4USA (4872).

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