B-1 BUSINESS VISA & EXTENSIONS
In most cases a Foreign Nation who wishes to come to the USA must first obtain a visa. There are 2 types of visas: a non-immigrant visa for those who wish to enter the country on a temporary basis, or an immigrant visa for those coming to the USA for obtaining permanent residency. A visa allows a foreign national to travel to a port-of-entry in the USA, requesting permission of a US immigration inspector to enter the USA.
The ‘visitor visa’ is a non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals who wish to enter the USA temporarily for reasons that concern business (B-1), pleasure or medical treatment (B-2), or combination of both (B-1/B-2).
What is a B-1 Visa?
The visitor visa is a Non-immigrant visa for individuals desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1 Visa). A B1 visa is issued to business visitors who wish to enter the USA for a temporary period to engage in legitimate business activities, such as meetings, conferences, negotiating contracts and consultations. B1 visa holders may NOT work in the USA and may not be paid for a US source. Individuals who seek to work in the USA should apply for a separate work visa, such as an H-1B, TN or L-1 visa.
Who would need a B-1 visa?
Filing a B-1 Extension of Stay in the USA?
Filing a B-1 extension applies to foreign nationals who are physically in the USA and have received an I-94 arrival/departure card at the port of entry from a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer when entering the USA. The I-94 record/card is placed in your passport by the CBP officer and indicates the arrival date and location of port of entry into the USA. It will also include the date for when you are required to depart the USA. Visiting on a B-1 Visa will generally allow for a period of authorized stay in the USA for up to 6-months, with a chance of extension for an additional 6-months.
The applicant for a B-1 extension must establish that he/she is requesting the extension or a change of nonimmigrant status to a different visa classification, for a justified reason. If the applicant is a business visitor, then a letter from the host business describing why an extension or change of status is necessary. USCIS can take as long as 6-months to process this extension or change of status request, which means that in some cases, the application will be approved after the applicant has already departed the USA. Nonetheless, it is very important to file for an extension, if you plan to stay beyond the period initially authorized on the I-94 record, and in order to preserve your ability to travel to the USA in the future.
NOTE: The Form I-94 controls how long you may remain in the USA and the terms and conditions under which you may remain in the USA. If you have a lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed I-94 card, you may apply to replace the card before USCIS for a fee.
NOTE: The process of applying for a B1 visa involves careful preparation, and the need for an experienced legal staff at the Law office of Brian T. O’Neill, is essential to provide an error free application the first time. The process becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible at the US Consulate, to successfully obtain a B-1 visa if you have previously been denied a visa. ANY errors on the B-1 application process can permanently prevent you for eligibility to visit the USA to pursue a valid visa.
Call the Law office of Brian T. O’Neill at 617-722-4000 or contact us online. We will gladly answer your questions or schedule a consultation.