What “Work” Activities Are

Acceptable on the B-1 Visa?

Businesspeople coming to the United States for short business activities often have questions about what activities are permissible while in the United States on a B-1 visa.  The following is a general overview of the B-1 visa and some of the activities it allows.  However, the following is not a complete list and if you are traveling to the United States on a B-1 visa and are concerned about your activities, please consult an immigration attorney to discuss the situation and receive specific legal advice.  The following is not specific legal advice.

What does a B-1 visa applicant need to prove?

A B-1 visa is a temporary visa and does not allow the recipient to stay in the United States indefinitely.  As such, the applicant must demonstrate  family, social and/or employment ties to a residence abroad.  An immigration official will not allow a B-1 visa holder into the United States if the official believes that the B-1 visa holder does not intend to leave the United States.  Additionally, a B-1 visa applicant must demonstrate that there is permission to enter another foreign country  at the end of the stay in the United States and must demonstrate adequate financial arrangements to carry out the purpose of the visit to the United States.

What activities are allowed on a B-1 visa?

The B-1 visa is explicitly for those entering the United States to engage in commercial transactions and not for those entering to be gainfully employed.  As such, the B-1 visa cannot be a substitute for the H-1b visa or the L-1 visa.

Some common uses of the B-1 visa include entering the United States to engage in:

- certain commercial transactions, including litigation, consulting with business associates and clients, and to negotiate contracts;

- certain Missionary and Pastoral activities;

- conventions, including religious, professional, educational, business, and scientific conventions.  In some instrances it is even possible to recieve an honorarium;

- professional athletic tournaments where professional athletes who will only receive tournament money;

- an executive seminar as a participant;

- a board meeting of a U.S. corporation; and

- research the possibility of creating an E-2 visa investment.

Further Information

The above activities are just a few examples of permissible B-1 visa activities.  If you are applying for a B-1 visa to come to New York City, or any other part of the United States, please contact Gafner Law Firm to determine your eligibility for the visa.