Immigration Lawyers LA (Los Angeles): Non Immigrant Visas: B-1 Visa

General Overview Of Business Visitor B-1 Visa

In general, B-1 visas are for business professionals for the purpose of conducting business related activities. This does not grant an employment permit and cannot be used to seek employment while in the United States. Business visitors under B1 visa may not be compensated by a U.S. entity for work performed during their visit. Any compensation for such work must be paid by a foreign entity. They may be reimbursed by the U.S. entity for incidental or out of pocket expenses. Some of the generic travel purposes a B1 visa may include:
  • Consult with business associates.
  • Attend conventions or conferences.
  • Settle estates.
  • Negotiate contracts.
  • Provide or receive training.
  • Give lectures or speak at business events.
  • Perform independant research.

Below is a partial list of key groupings for which a business professional may be permitted to enter the United States under a B-1 business visa:

Professional Athletes:

Athletes and team members who wish to enter the United States as members of a foreign based athletic team to compete with another sports team shall be admitted with B1 business visa. However, the salary of the team and its players must be earned in a foreign country and they cannot be paid by a U.S. based entity, except for prize money for participation in a tournament or sporting event. The team should be a member of an international sports league or the sporting activities involved must have an international dimension. Players or team members may try-out for a professional team, but they cannot remain in the U.S. playing on a U.S. team under this visa.

Business Venture & Investor Seeking Investment:

Business ventures or potential investors who wish to make an investment in businesses or properties based in the United States, may be granted a non-immigrant business visitor B1 visa if their purpose is to survey the potential business or property. However, they cannot remain in the United States to manage the business under this visa. For potential investors who seek to live in the United States and manage a business, the following types of visas might be more suitable:
  • L-1A Visa - International Managers
  • E-1 Visa - Treaty Traders
  • E-2 Visa - Treaty Investors
  • EB-5 Visa - Immigrant Investors

Conferences, Meetings, Trade Shows, Expositions, and Business Events:

Business professionals may travel to the United States under B-1 business visitors visa for research, education, or other business purposes. They may perform work that is directly connected to the business event, but they cannot receive salary from the U.S. based company.

Sales and Service Technicians:

Sales professionals may visit the United States under business vistors B-1 visa to take orders, and negotiate & sign contracts for products made outside the United States. Service technicians may visit the United States to install, service, or repair commercial or industrial equipment to a U.S. entity by a non-US company when specifically required by the purchase contract.
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