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Chapter 2 - B-1 Visas - Business Visitors
by Mark A. Ivener

  2. A foreign national who wishes to visit the United States for business reasons that is not involve receiving salary or payment of any kind in the U.S. may apply for a B-1 visa.

    You must state the specific purpose of your business visit. The following are some example of these business purposes:

    1. Employees of a foreign national employer (whose salaries are paid form abroad) who come to the U.S. to solicit sales, negotiate contract, or take orders from established customers for work that will be performed in foreign countries;
    2. An employee of a foreign nationals company or office of a U.S. company who comes to the U.S. to engage in consultations with U.S. business associates;
    3. Foreign national business people attending professional or business conferences or conventions, or executive seminars in the U.S.;
    4. Foreign national business employees or independent business people who come to the U.S. to undertake independent research, such as market or product research;
    5. Foreign national investors who come to the U.S. to set up their investment.
    6. Foreign national key employees who come to open or be employed in a U.S. office, subsidiary, or affiliate of the foreign national employer, provided said key employers will qualify for L-1 status once suitable physical premises have been obtained for the office.

  4. Business visitors wishing to gain temporary entry into the United States on a B-1 visa can apply either at any U.S. Consulate in a foreign country, or with the Immigration Officer at the U.S. port of entry on a Visa Waiver application. You must state your business purpose and submit a business purpose letter, if requested.

  6. Any B-1 visitor who receives a visa at a U.S. Consulate may be admitted for up to one year, and may be granted an extension of a temporary stay while in the United States in increments of not more than six months each. However, a B-1 visa received at INS on a Visa Waiver is for a maximum of three months with no extensions or change of nonimmigrant status allowed.

    About The Author

    Mark Ivener has been practicing law in Los Angeles for 30 years. He has lectured on U.S. immigration law for the World Trade Institute in New York, Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco. He has also lectured for the International Bar Association in Munich, Madrid, and New York. Mr. Ivener has participated in many immigration seminars for the Law Societies of British Columbia and Alberta and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

    He has authored the books, Handbook of Immigration Law, Volumes I and II [1980; 2nd edition, 1982; and 3rd edition, 1986; Online edition, 1999]; Doing Business in the U.S.A. Under Free Trade [1989; 2nd edition, 1990]; Get The Right Visa [1992; 2nd edition 1994]; A Complete Guide To Getting An American Visa (in Japanese) 1993; 2nd edition 1994; 3rd edition 1997]; and Have You Thought About Immigrating To The U.S.? (in Spanish) [1995]. He has also written many articles on immigration law which have appeared in the International Law Journal, the Canadian-American Bar Association Newsletter, Business and the Law and World Trade Trends.

    Mr. Ivener is a founding member of IMMLAW, The National Consortium of Immigration Law Firms. Also, Mr. Ivener is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

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