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B-1 Business Visitors - Law Office of Lani Cao

B-1 Business Visitors

B-1 classification is for Business Visitors entering the U.S. temporarily to engage in business activities that do not constitute productive or gainful U.S. employment. As a B-1 Business Visitor, an individual is not allowed to be employed by an U.S. employer and cannot receive compensation or other remuneration for services (reimbursement of incidental expenses is permissible in limited circumstances). However, a Business Visitor is allowed to perform services at a U.S. employer site if the services are “a necessary incident to international trade or commerce” and/or pursuant to an international business relationship between the U.S. company and the foreign employer.

A Business Visitor must establish the following:

• Intent to enter the U.S. for a limited temporary period
• Sufficient financial resources to carry out the purpose of the visit without engaging in gainful U.S. employment
• Foreign residence abroad and substantial ties to foreign employer and home country

Permissible B-1 business activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Commercial transactions that do not involve gainful US employment
• Contract negotiation
• Installation, service, or repair of commercial or industrial equipment purchased from a company outside the US and/or training of US workers to perform such services.
• Consultation with business associates
• Litigation
• Participation in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences, or seminars
• Professional entertainers involved in cultural events; paid for and sponsored by a sending country, that will involve public appearance from non-paying audiences
• Investors seeking investments that may qualify them for immigrant or E-2 nonimmigrant status
• Independent research or professional artistic activity that do not involve income from a US source
• Foreign airline employees who meet E visa criteria but are not nationals of a treaty country or of the airline’s country of nationality
• Planning, constructing, dismantling, maintaining, or other employment by foreign employer in connection with exhibits at international fairs and exhibitions
• Certain religious and charitable activities
• Certain athletes who are: professional but intend to receive no salary or payment other than prize money; are individuals or members of a foreign-based team in an internationally recognized sporting activity whose principal place of business is in the foreign country where their salaries typically accrue and seek to enter the US in order to compete; are amateur individuals or members of a foreign-based team who seek to try out with US teams who will pay only their incidental expenses
• Domestic servants employed abroad of: U.S. citizens residing abroad who return or are assigned to the US on a temporary basis; Foreign nationals who have been accorded non-immigrant status for temporary activities in the US
• Volunteer activities may be permissible if rendered without expectation of compensation or privileges and if activities are actually distinguishable from that of a regular paid employee
• Training may be permissible if it does not involve hands-on training and receipt of compensation or other remuneration

Period of Stay

Initial period of stay may be granted from 1-6 months depending on the nature of the trip. Extensions may be granted for up to 6 months allowing for a maximum stay of 1 year.

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