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B1 VISA FOR BUSINESS VISITORS

The B-1 Business Visitors visa allows foreign nationals to enter and stay in the United States to work for a year. It is appropriate for companies that routinely require foreign employees to travel to the United States for multiple months, as well as individuals who often travel to the United States for work purposes. For example, a Sony employee from Sony’s Tokyo office who is required to travel to the United States for a few months to visit several partners and attend a business conference would be applying under a B-1 visa.

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LEGAL FEE

Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the above steps/services.

Our typical fee for a standard B-1 visa case is $3,500, not including, a governmental fee and third-party extensions.  We are happy to customize a proposal for you during a consultation and walk you through what a standard B-1 visa case looks like.  Please see below for more information. 

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CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW

Step 1: Strategy Session for B-1 Visa

This is the most crucial step for your entire B-1 Visa. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 2: Prepare and Submit B-1 Application to USCIS and Answer Potential Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)

Our attorneys will craft your B-1 arguments and complete all forms, organize supporting documents and assemble the crafted arguments into the proper application formats.

Step 3: Prepare Client for Interview in the US or at the Consulate

It all comes down to this. We help guide the client in his/her preparation for the interview with USCIS by simulating the interview and ensuring the client is well-versed in the application material.  Our services include a comprehensive strategy for answering inquiries posed, practice questions, thorough feedback, and other tools to help clients succeed during the interviews.

Step 4: Approval is Only the Beginning

Our services do not end when you receive your B-1 Approval — this is only the beginning.  To help accommodate this reality, our team will continue to provide guidance and support to you and your dependent family members post-approval with the following:

  • CBP – Airport Arrival
  • Dependent Visas/Work Permits
  • Reentry Permits
  • and more!
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Checklist of Required Evidence

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Additional Documents May be Required

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

  • The purpose of your trip,
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip, and/or
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip. 

Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.

Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.

Filing Fee

The updated filing fee for B-1 can be found here.

Type of Professional Activities eligible for B-1 Visa

Including, but not limited to:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in short-term training
  • Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa
  • Deadheading: certain air crewmen may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa

Eligibility for B-1 Visa

You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible for a B-1 visa:

  • The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature
  • You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time
  • You have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States
  • You have a residence outside the United States that you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties that will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit
  • You are otherwise admissible to the United States

Relevant Law

Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212

Section 402.2-5(C)(7) Foreign Affairs Manual and Handbook 9

(U) An alien seeking investment in the United States, including an investment that would qualify him or her for status as an E-2 nonimmigrant investor, is not ineligible for a B visa on that basis alone.  Similarly, an alien pursuing EB-5 immigrant visa may be issued a B visa to examine or monitor potential qualifying investments as long as the applicant otherwise establishes qualification for a B visa, including that they do not intend to enter the United States to pursue adjustment of status.  Applicants seeking investment, like all B-1/B-2 travelers, are precluded from performing productive labor or from actively participating in the management of the business while in the United States in B status.

Section 41.21 N2 Foreign Affairs Manual Handbook 9 – Residence Abroad

The term “residence” is defined in INA §101(a)(33) as the place of general abode. Per the FAM, the consular officer must assess whether a B-1 visa applicant has a residence in a foreign country in which the applicant does not intend to abandon. Mr. Shi’s place of general abode is unequivocally Beijing, China, and the supporting evidence clearly illustrates that he does not intend to abandon his possessions in China.

Section 41.31 N3 Foreign Affairs Manual Handbook 9 – Temporary Period of Stay

Pertaining to 9 FAM 41.31 N3.1, the period of time projected for the visit must be consistent with the stated purpose of the trip. The applicant must establish with reasonable certainty that departure from the United States will take place upon completion of the temporary visit. Per 9 Fam. 41.31 N3.4, the applicant must demonstrate permanent employment, meaningful business or financial connections, close family ties, or social or cultural associations, which will indicate a strong inducement to return to the country of origin.

Section 41.31 N2.3 Foreign Affairs Manual Handbook 9 – Mere Suspicion Not a Reason for Refusal

Pertaining to 9 FAM 41.31 N2.3, suspicion that an alien, after admission, may be swayed to remain in the United States is not a sufficient ground to refuse a visa as long as Mr. Shi’s intent is to return to a foreign residence.

Section 41.31 N3.3 – Evaluating Cases

Pertaining to 9 Fam 41.31 N3.3, the consular officer should not focus solely on the length of the stay. 

Section 41.31 N5 – Importance in Facilitating International Travel Pertaining to 9 Fam 41.31 N5, the consular officer should give particular attention to applicants traveling to the United States to attend conferences, conventions, or meeting on specific dates. 

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    SAMPLE & TEMPLATES

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    Attorney Brief:  [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the B-1 petition.

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    Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the B-1 petition.

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    Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.

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    Forms: Here is a list of the forms that are needed by USCIS

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    Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.

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    USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate how much the filing fee will be.

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    USCIS Mailing Address: This address is where it is mailed to USCIS.

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    USCIS Processing Timetable: This will help you figure out how long it will take to process.

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    ASC Field Offices: Listed are the addresses of the field offices for the bio-metrics.

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    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    What is the maximum total amount of time permitted in B-1 status?

    At the port of entry, an immigration official must authorize your admission to the United States, and, if you are eligible for admission, you may be admitted initially for the period necessary to carry out your business activities, up to a maximum period of 1 year. If you who wish to stay beyond the time indicated on the Form I-94 without departing from the United States, you must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and submit any required supporting documents to USCIS. 

    Will my family be eligible for the B-1 Visa?

    Your spouse and children are not eligible for a dependent visa. Each of your dependents who will be accompanying or following to join you must apply separately for a B-2 visa and must follow the regulations for that visa.

    What activities require employment authorization document?

    The following types of B-1 business visitors require employment authorization:

    • A personal or domestic servant who is accompanying or following to join an employer who seeks admission into, or is already in, the United States in a  B, E, F, H, I, J, L, or TN nonimmigrant classification.
    • A domestic servant of a U.S. citizen accompanying or following to join their U.S. citizen employer who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, and who is temporarily visiting the United States.
    • An employee of a foreign airline engaged in international transportation of passengers freight, whose position with the foreign airline would otherwise entitle the employee to treaty trader nonimmigrant classification (E-1) and who is precluded from such classification solely because the employee is not a national of the country of the airline’s nationality or because there is no treaty of commerce and navigation in effect between the United States and the country of the airline’s nationality.

    Note:  If you are applying for a B-1 visa or admission as a B-1 business visitor as a personal or domestic servant described above, you must demonstrate the following:

    • You have a residence abroad in which you have no intention of abandoning
    • You have at least 1 year of experience as a personal or domestic servant
    • You have been employed abroad by your employer for at least 1 year prior to the employer’s admission into the United States or if you have been employed abroad by the employer for less than 1 year, the employer must show that while abroad, he or she has regularly employed a domestic servant in the same capacity as that intended for your employment

    Before starting your employment in any of the above three activities, you will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. For more information on filing the Form I-765, see the Work Authorization page.

      How long is the B-1 Visa Processing Time?

      The processing times for the US visitor visas are not exact. It can take a couple of weeks or a few months for your visa to be processed. This depends on the workload of the US Embassy and other factors that they take into consideration. After the processing time is complete, you will be notified about whether you got the visa or not.

      Can I get a Green Card with a B-1 visa?

      To qualify for getting the B1 visa, you must prove that you will return to your home country. This means that you cannot have plans to stay in the US permanently. Because you have to prove this and state it during your interview, it is then very difficult to get a Green Card while on a B1 visa.In order to be able to get permanent residence with a B1 visa, you must either:

      • Have family in the US and apply to join them
      • Marry a US citizen with a valid marriage and then apply for permanent residence
      • Find a job in the US where the employer is willing to sponsor your visa such as the H-1B visa, and then apply for the Green Card

      However, since the B1 visa is a business visitor visa, if you find a job in the US you will be unable to work for the company in your home country. This means that you will have to go through complicated procedures to change your status and prove that you did not intend to find a job in the US, but that an unexpected opportunity came your way.

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      SCHEDULE A SESSION

      Call or email us to set up your 1-hour consultation. Easily pay the $250 consultation fee over the phone or through our email link. If you would like to have a quick chat with our team before setting up the consultation, feel free to use the calendar on the right to book your 10 minute call.

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