US Visa B1 is a non-immigrant visa mainly for the purpose of short business-related trips. It can include a variety of business-related purposes like attending conferences; educational and professional, settling estates, attending seminars and business meetings and so on; but not for the purpose of starting or conducting business.
Ideally, the business visa should be applied 60 days prior to the visit. If the visa applicant comes from a science background, the business application should be made 90 days prior to the date of arrival in the US.
One should keep in mind that ‘Business Executive Program’, which entitled certain well established Indian companies to send many of their employees on a business visa, has been stopped. No annual quotas are present for a business visa. In most cases, a joint B1/B2 visa is given. B2 helps one to visit friends and family in the US, and to participate in tourism activities.
Documents Required for B1 Visa
All original documents are to be carried (which will be returned), apart from the application fee, after the interview process has been conducted.
The Documents to be carried include:
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- The US Visa application form DS-160 confirmation page, which has to be stamped at the Visa Application Center
- Fee receipt of the Visa Application
- The appointment letter of the visa interview
- Previous old passport
- An individual passport should be present with all the applicants with a validity date 6 months beyond the number of days the applicant will be staying for
Supporting Documents to be carried include:
The basic criterion for business interview is to show a strong and valid purpose of visit. To strengthen one’s case a few documents are a must:
- If he/she is being sponsored by his/her company then the person should be able to furnish the consulate with a letter from his employer requesting for his/her visa. It should also include the length of the trip, that the employer is ready to bear all his primary expenses, which would include food, stay and medical facilities.
- If one is the owner of the business, the one should bring documents like bank statements, tax returns and so on to show that he is eligible to support his own trip.
- Carrying the business card is important to strengthen the purpose of the visit.
- In case the applicant needs to attend any professional, educational or commercial meetings, he needs to show letters of invitation or brochure or any printed or online media having reference to the event.
Other Requirements to Take Note of
Applicants of the visa must submit a complete DS-160 form , post which he/she needs to:
- Print the page with the bar code
- Schedule an appointment for the visa
- Pay the application fee
The maximum duration of stay in the B1 visa is 6 months. One can contact the US embassy in their home country to start the process either in person or online.