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B1 Business Travel Visa - Immigration Lawyer New York
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B1 Business Travel Visa


B1 Business Travel Visa / B2 Tourist Visa


The B1 or B2 visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa for foreign citizens desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B1, Business Travel Visa) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B2, Tourist Visa). Persons planning to travel to the US for a different purpose such as students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists, etc., must apply for a different visa in the appropriate category. Travelers from certain eligible countries may also be able to visit the US without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program (See below for a list of visa waiver countries).



Applying for Visitor Visa


Applicants for B1 business or B2 tourist visa have the burden of showing that they qualify for such visa. The presumption is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for B1 or B2 visas must convince the consular officer the temporary nature of their trip by demonstrating that:

1. The purpose of their trip is to enter the US for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;

2. That they plan to remain for a specific, temporary period of time; and

3. That they have a residence outside the US, as well as, other strong economic, financial, and family ties to their home country, which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.


Applicants for B1 business or B2 tourist visa should generally apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any US consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of residence.


Applicants for the B1 or B2 visa must pay a nonrefundable US$100 application fee, plus any reciprocity fee applicable to the applicant's country and submit:

1. Form DS156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, completed and signed;

2. A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six (6) months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States. If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application;

3. One photograph, 2 inches square (50x50 mm) for each applicant, showing full face, without head covering, against a light background;

4. All male nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 16 and 45, regardless of nationality and regardless of where they apply, must complete and submit a Form DS157, Supplement Visa Application in addition to the DS156. Some American embassies and consulates also require female and other male applicants to complete the Form DS157. Applicants from state sponsors of terrorism age 16 and over, irrespective of gender, without exception are required to complete the DS157. Seven countries are now designated as state sponsors of terrorism, including North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, and Libya.


IMPORTANT: Please note that each American Embassy and Consulate has different visa application procedures and requirements. You should contact the consulate or our office at for information regarding the local rules.



Other Support Documents


Applicants must present evidence, which shows the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the United States, and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip. It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence should take since applicants' circumstances vary greatly.


Persons traveling to the US on business can present a letter from the US company indicating the purpose of the trip, the applicant's intended length of stay and the company's intent to pay travel expenses.


Persons traveling to the US as tourist may use letters from relatives or friends in the US whom the applicant plans to visit or present documents showing participation in a planned tour.


Persons traveling to the US for medical treatment should have a statement from a doctor or institution concerning proposed medical treatment.


Those applicants who do not have sufficient funds to support themselves while in the US must present convincing evidence that an interested person will provide financial support. Visitors are not permitted to accept employment during their stay in the US. Depending on individual circumstances, applicants may provide other evidence substantiating the trip's purpose and specifying the nature of binding obligations, such as family ties or employment, which would compel their return to their country.



Additional Information


A person whose passport contains a previously issued visitor visa may qualify for special expedited procedures available at most US embassies or consulates for issuance of a new B1 or B2 visa.


Unless previously canceled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid US B1 or B2 visa in an expired passport, he or she may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.


Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States.


If the consular officer should find it necessary to deny the issuance of a visitor visa, the applicant may apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not obliged to reconsider such cases.



Arrival in the United States


Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. At the Port of Entry (POE), an Immigration Inspector must authorize the traveler's admission to the US. The inspector has authority to deny admission. Also, the inspector will determine how long the person is permitted to stay in the United States. If admitted, the inspector will issue the traveler a Form I-94, Record of Arrival/Departure, which notes the length of stay permitted. Those visitors who wish to stay beyond the time indicated on their Form I-94 must apply for an extension of stay with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. The decision to grant or deny a request for extension of stay is made solely by the USCIS.



Visa Waiver Program


Travelers coming to the US for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the US without a visa. Currently, 28 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, including Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.


Visitors entering on the Visa Waiver Program cannot work or study while in the US and cannot stay longer than 90 days or change their status to another category.


To consult an immigration lawyer regarding the B1 or B2 Visitors Visa, please call us at (212) 947-7534 or e-mail us at . An attorney in our office would be happy to assist you.