I. Definitions

  1. What is a Business Visa

The B-1 business visa is a nonimmigrant visa meant for those who would like to enter the U.S. for short-term business-related reasons without providing actual labor or receiving payment from a U.S. source.

Business visits typically last less than 90 days but technically can last up to one year, including an initial period of stay of six months and a six-month extension.

As a general rule, it is the activities to be performed, and not the duration of the trip or even the purposes of the trip, that indicate whether the B-1 is appropriate.      9FAM 41.31 N7.

  1. What is Considered Business Activities for B-1 Visa Purposes

Engaging in business contemplated for B-1 visa classification generally entails business activities other than the performance of skilled or unskilled labor. 9 FAM 41.31 n.7.a.

II. Current Policies, Rules and Regulations

  1. The foreign company/firm which the alien is representing must be regularly engaged in business;
  2. B-1 classification is not appropriate if it is realistic to believe that a U.S. worker might have been hired had the alien not been admitted to the United States;
  3. B-1 classification is not appropriate if the work product (either a tangible object or contracted services) will predominantly be created in the United States;
  4. The proprietary work product of the alien should belong to either the alien or the foreign firm, and not to the U.S. firm;
  5. The work on the product should not be controlled primarily by a U.S. entity;
  6. The alien’s salary or other remuneration should come from the foreign employer;
  7. The U.S. entity cannot be the primary beneficiary of the business visit;

III. Permissible Business Activities as defined in 9 FAM41.31 N7

  1. Attending or presenting at conferences, trade shows, or business events.
  2. Soliciting services or sales.
  3. Finalizing or negotiating contracts.
  4. Litigation.
  5. Settling an estate.
  6. Interviewing or hiring staff.
  7. Making Investments.
  8. Speaking or lecturing.
  9. Some short-term training.

IV. Prohibited Activities

  1. Engaging in any form of skilled (professional) or unskilled labor.
  2. Activities involving programming, coding, installing, and implementing.
  3. Any activity or work for which a local worker/employee could be hired to perform the job.