If you intend to visit the United States on a temporary basis for business-related reasons, you will need a Business Visitor Visa. Determining what type of visa you will need can be a complicated process. You will need to explain to immigration officials the purpose of your intended travel and key details regarding your plans.
It is highly advised that you seek legal counsel if you are dealing with any complex immigration issue. The knowledgeable Austin immigration law lawyers at Peek & Toland have had years of experience helping clients with their problems regarding entry and/or visitation into this country. We can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the process and your options. Call (512) 474-4445 to schedule a consultation.
What is the Purpose of Your Travel?
B-1 visas are specifically designated for those who are visiting the United States on business. You will need a B-1 Business Visitor Visa for:
- Professional sporting activities: With a B-1 Visa, you can compete professionally in the United States if your sports team is based in a foreign country.
- Business ventures: You can visit the United States on a B-1 Visa to survey potential sites for a business, but you cannot remain in the country to manage the business.
- Meetings: You can travel to the United States with a business travel visa for a conference or meeting as long as you are not paid by a U.S-based company.
- Lectures and speeches: There are a number of specific laws that allow visitors to travel to the U.S. to give lectures or speeches.
- Research work: A B-1 Visa will allow you to travel to the United States to conduct independent research as long as you are not paid by a U.S. based source.
- Service engineer: Commercial and industrial engineers can use a business visa to install, service, or repair equipment sold by a non-U.S. company to a U.S. buyer.
- Training: A business visa will allow you to participate in a training program that does not provide employment.
Qualifying for the Visa
It is important that B-1 Visa applicants demonstrate that the purpose of the trip is to enter the United States for business, not immigration. They must show that they plan to remain in the country for a limited period. Applicants must show evidence of funds to cover all travel, accommodation, and living expenses. They must also prove that they have compelling social and economic ties in their home country. In addition, the applicant must provide evidence that shows he or she is not coming to the United States to provide services or engage in business activities that benefit a U.S. employer.
The Application Process
Whether you are traveling to the United States for business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2), the process of applying for a visa is similar. You will have to fill out an online non-immigrant visa application and bring it to your interview with immigration. In addition, you must upload a photo of yourself when you complete the online application. You will also have to attend an interview at any U.S. embassy or consulate, pay non-refundable visa application fees, and present your passport, application, and photo. During the interview, you will discuss the purpose of your trip, your intention to depart, and your ability to afford the trip.
It is never easy to deal with immigration issues. Even the smallest mistakes made during the application process can result in a series of complications. Not getting your visa can throw a wrench in your travel plans. It could also result in lost business opportunities and financial losses. It is important and necessary to seek out guidance before, during, and after the application and interview process. An experienced Austin B-1 Business Visa lawyer with Peek & Toland will be able to guide you through the process.