B1 Visitor Visa Process and Information | US Visas | IAS (2023)

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If you need to enter the U.S. temporarily for business purposes, you can apply for a B1 Business Visitor Visa. This nonimmigrant visa allows foreign citizens to take part in business activities they have in the United States for up to six months.

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    • What is a B1 Business Visitor Visa?
    • Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Program
    • B1 Visa Requirements
    • B1 Visa Application Process
    • Required B1 Visa Documents
    • EVUS Program for Chinese nationals
    • B1 Visa Extension
    • B1 Visa Fees
    • What is the difference between a B1 and B2 visa?
    • Frequently Asked Questions

    B1 Visitor Visa Process and Information | US Visas | IAS (1)

    What is a B1 Business Visitor Visa?

    A B1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign citizens to enter the United States temporarily for business purposes.

    Under this business visa, the visa holder may take part in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the US such as:

    • Consulting with business associates
    • Taking part in business trips such as attending a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
    • Settling an estate
    • Negotiating contracts
    • Attending business meetings or consultations

    It is important to note that a B1 Visa does not allow you to do the following:

    • Travel to America for the primary purpose of giving birth to obtain U.S. citizenship for their child
    • Study
    • Participate in paid performances or any other paid professional performance before a paying audience
    • Work on foreign press (journalists and media personnel will need to apply for an I visa)
    • Participate in long-term employment such as starting your company’s U.S. branch or managing a business

    If you wish to visit the U.S. for vacation, to visit family members, or even to receive medical treatment, you should apply for a B2 Visitor Visa. There are no limits on the number of B1 visitor visas that can be issued each year.


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    (Video) Tips for US Visa - Applying for a B-1 Visitor Visa to USA - GrayLaw TV

    Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Program

    Citizens of certain countries who are in the visa waiver program, do not need to apply for a U.S. Business visa. Instead, they can apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Those who choose to apply via the ESTA program will receive a business travel permit much faster without having to go to a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

    A B1 visa has a longer length of stay and is valid for six months, compared to travel permits acquired through the ESTA program which only last for 90 days. All those business travelers who do not qualify for the visa waiver program will need to apply for a B1 visa through a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

    What are the B1 Visa Requirements?

    The B1 visa requirements are relatively simple and not as strict as other U.S. visas and include the following:

    • The applicant’s purpose of entering the United States is temporary (for a limited period of time) and business-related
    • The applicant can submit evidence to show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves while traveling in the United States
    • The applicant can provide evidence of a residence outside the United States as well as other significant ties to their foreign country which they will return to once their authorized stay expires

    If the applicant can submit evidence that satisfies these eligibility requirements, they can then begin their B1 visa application in the country where they are a citizen or permanent resident. It should be noted that spouses and children of B 1 visa holders are not eligible for a dependent visa. Therefore, if you would like for your family to travel with you to the United States, they will need to apply for a B2 visa.

    B1 Visa Application Process

    If you decide that a B1 business visa is right for you, you will need to begin the visitor visa application at your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The application is fairly simple and includes the following steps:

    1. Complete Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application)
    2. Pay the visa fees
    3. Schedule your visa interview
    4. Gather together the required documents for your visa
    5. Attend the interview

    Form DS-160 is an online used for most nonimmigrant visas. This form will ask you about your background as well as the purpose of your visit to the U.S. After you have completed it online, you will be shown a confirmation page and number. It is important to print this page out and keep it safe as it will be needed later in the application process.

    After you have completed the DS-160 online form, you will need to schedule a visa interview at the nearest Embassy or Consulate in your home country. All applicants between the ages of 14-79 must attend.

    Make sure that the information that you submitted on the DS-160 form is up to date as you will be asked questions regarding your background and the purpose of the visit by a consular officer in your visa interview. If the information on the form does not match up with the information provided in the interview, your visa could be denied.

    In addition, make sure that you bring the necessary documents with you as you may need to submit them to the consular officer. If you are unclear about which documents are required then you may wish to seek advice from an immigration specialist to ensure you have the correct paperwork in place.

    Required B1 Visa Documents

    In order to qualify for approval of a B1 visa, visa applicants will need to make sure that they have provided sufficient evidence to support their application. The documents you may include to support your application may include the following:

    • Form DS-160 confirmation page
    • A passport valid for at least 6 months after your intended stay
    • Application fee receipt
    • Details of your social media accounts (including the platforms used and your usernames)
    • The interview confirmation page (you will need this to enter the U.S. Embassy or Consulate)
    • A photo that complies with the US Visa photo requirements (you will need to upload a photo when you complete the DS-160 online form. If you can not upload it, then you will need to submit a photo at your interview)
    • A letter detailing the purpose of your trip
    • Financial or bank statements to prove you have enough funds to support yourself while traveling in the U.S.
    • Any supporting documents that show you have significant ties to your home country such as family, employment contracts, mortgage or lease agreements, etc.
    • Criminal records or letters from local authorities stating that you do not have prior convictions
    • Any documents relating to past U.S. visas (if applicable)
    • A letter from your employer detailing the purpose of the trip and your job position
    • Employment payslips from the last 3 months
    (Video) B1 Visa Requirements: The 4 You Should Know

    Last modified on March 3rd, 2023 at 10:20 am

    B1 Visitor Visa Process and Information | US Visas | IAS (3)

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            EVUS Program for Chinese nationals

            In an agreement between the United States and China to extend visa validity, Chinese citizens can be granted B1, B2, or B1/B2 visas in Chinese passports that have a validity period of up to 10 years. However, in order to maintain this validity, Chinese visa holders will be required to update their biographical and other information from their visa application on the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS).

            Updates will need to be done every 2 years or when a new passport is obtained. The EVUS website is now open to the public at www.evus.gov and is currently without an EVUS enrolment fee. For further information about the EVUS program, you can visit www.cbp.gov/EVUS where both the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Borders Protection will keep visa holders informed of any new changes to the system.

            It should be noted that visa validity is different from the duration of stay. For example, the visa may be valid for 10 years but only allows a maximum stay of 6 months at a time. The visa applicant’s intended duration of stay will be recorded by the Customs and Border Protection officer at the U.S. port of entry on the visitor’s I-94 Form.

            B1 Visa Extension

            The maximum initial period of stay for both the B1 and B2 Visa is six months. When arriving in the United States, you will initially be admitted only for the period necessary to perform services related to business.

            If you need more time to carry out these business-related duties, you may apply for a B1 visa extension. You must do this before your visa expires. You will need to submit an I-539 Form (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status).

            If the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves your supporting documents, you will be granted a B1 visa extension for up to a further six months. However, the total maximum allowable stay is one year in total.

            If you initially arrived in the U.S. under a B1 Visa, you can remain in the country for pleasure until your permit expires. It is important not to overstay your visa. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), failure to leave the United States before your visa expires will result in the individual being out of status. If you are without proper visa status for a significant amount of time, you may be ineligible for both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas in the future.

            Get in touch with our expert immigration attorneys to receive assistance on your visa application. Learn more

              B1 Visa Fees

              Before you attend your interview, you will need to pay the application fee which is $160. This is non-refundable and payment is due before your interview.

              If your B1 visa is approved, you may also need to pay an issuance fee depending on your nationality. For further information about the issuance fee, visit the travel.gov website.

              What is the difference between a B1 and B2 Visa?

              The B-1 visa and B-2 visa both fall into the visitor visa category which allows for temporary travel to the United States. The B1 Visa is primarily used for foreign citizens to come to the United States for business purposes. However, the B2 Visa which can be used for a variety of purposes such as visiting relatives or friends, tourism and vacations, enrolment in short study courses or receiving medical treatment.

              Related pages for your continued reading.

              Immigration Attorneys


              U.S. Visas


              U.S Citizenship


              British Citizenship


              Spouse Visa UK


              U.S. K1 Fiance Visa


              (Video) Tourist Visa to USA - Apply for Visitor Visa US - US Visa - B1/B2 Visa Step by Step - GrayLaw TV

              Frequently Asked Questions

              According to the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, all U.S. visas are mandated to have biometric information such as a photograph and digital fingerprint scans which will be taken at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate prior to entry into the United States.

              The processing time for a B-1 visa will depend on the workload and backlogs of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to which you are applying. It could take anywhere from a couple of weeks or months for you to receive a decision on whether or not your application was approved.

              B1 visa holders are permitted to stay in the U.S. for up to 6 months without an extension.

              Our team understands the importance of every business and is here to help you with the legal jargon when applying for a B1 Visa.

              With our service, your dedicated immigration lawyer will:

              • Review your reasons for wanting to visit and check they meet the B1 Visa requirements
              • Prepare a strong portfolio of evidence to prove your willingness to return to your home country
              • Liaise with the USCIS to support your application
              • File and submit your Form DS-160

              Call us on +1 844 290 6312. today to speak with one of our professional advisers to learn more about your B1 Visa application.

              You may be required to attend an interview to be granted a B1 visa. The interview could take place at a US embassy or consulate.

              (Video) Apply for Tourist Visa to USA / America | B1/B2 Tourist Visa to the USA: A Beginner's Guide (Part 2)

              Family members or dependents could travel to the US using a B2 Visa – which is a nonimmigrant short-term visa for tourist and visiting family.


              What is the process for B1 visa? ›

              • Fill out the DS-160 form.
              • Pay the B1 visa application fees.
              • Make an appointment for your visa interview.
              • Prepare the papers for your B1 visa application.
              • Participate in the interview.

              How long does it take to get B1 visa USA? ›

              Duration of Stay and Processing Time for a B-1 Visa

              In general, B-1 visa processing time is about three months (90 days) for USCIS to process work permit applications but has been taking longer recently-often 4.5-5 months (135-150 days) to process.

              What documents are required for a B1 US visa? ›

              Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the date and time of your visa interview. You must bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken within the last six months and your current and all old passports. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.

              What is the list of documents for B1 B2 visa? ›

              Generally, the only documents needed for a B1/B2 visa interview are your current passport and your DS-160 interview appointment confirmation page. It is often helpful to bring expired passports which show your prior travel history.

              Why B1 visas are getting rejected? ›

              Failure to Meet B-1 Visa Criteria

              The main reason for denying the B-1 visa application is based upon failure to meet the eligibility criteria. The following are the main requirements for the visa: Business Purpose - Demonstrate that you are coming the US for a business purpose.

              How quickly can I get a B1 B2 visa? ›

              If a visa application is approved during a visa interview, the average processing time is 7-10 working days.

              Is US B1 visa easy to get? ›

              Nonetheless, the US B1/B2 visa offers one of the simplest options for visiting the United States for business or tourism purposes. The B1/B2 Visa is an important requirement for many travelers wishing to enter the U.S. Luckily, everyone is eligible to apply for it in the easiest way possible using iVisa.

              How much bank balance is required for US B1 visa? ›

              The amount of bank balance you should have for applying to the US tourist visa depends on the duration. If it is a 15-day trip, you must have $ 5,000-10,000 in your bank. Is travel insurance compulsory for the US travel visa? No, travel insurance is not compulsory for the US travel visa.

              How much does a US B1 visa cost? ›

              The application fee for the most common nonimmigrant visa types is US$160. This includes tourist, business, student, and exchange visas.

              Can I get B1 visa without interview? ›

              Please note applicants are only required to schedule their in-person or interview waiver appointment within the 365-day period. There is no requirement the interview or VAC appointment must occur during the 365-day period.

              Does B1 visa need invitation letter? ›

              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.

              What is the procedure to apply B1 B2 visa? ›

              How to Apply for B2 Visa ?
              1. Complete the online application. You have to fill the DS-160 form. ...
              2. Pay the visa fee. Print a copy of the payment confirmation page.
              3. Schedule the visa appointment. To do so, you have to login on the visa page and click on Schedule Appointment, which is present on the left menu of the dashboard.

              How to pass B1 B2 visa interview? ›

              1. Why would you want to go to the USA?
              2. Why have you chosen this time period? ...
              3. How long will you stay in the USA? ...
              4. Is there a place for you to remain in the United States? ...
              5. How much do you believe your trip is going to cost?
              Feb 28, 2019

              How much does it cost to apply for a B1 B2 visa? ›

              What Does a Tourist Visa Cost You? TheUS Tourist visa fee (B1/B2) costs USD $160.00. This amount is dependent on the nationality and can be paid at the time of the interview or during the application process. The application fee receipt is required for the interview.

              Can I get a Social Security number with a B1 B2 visa? ›

              B-1 Visitor for Business is a visa classification that can be used by international visitors making a short visit to UC Davis. B-1 visitors are not eligible for employment in the United States and are not eligible to apply for a Social Security Number.

              What are the questions asked in US B1 visa interview? ›

              What are the B1 B2 Visa Interview Questions?
              • What is the purpose of your visit to the US? ...
              • Have you been to the US before? ...
              • Do you have relatives or friends currently in the US? ...
              • Details on your friends / relatives in the US. ...
              • Where will you be residing in the United States?

              What type of questions are asked in US B1 visa interview? ›

              General B1 visa interview questions

              Why do you want to travel to the US now? How long do you plan to stay in the US? Will you be planning to extend your stay in the US? What will you be doing while in the US?

              Who is eligible for B1 visa? ›

              To be eligible for a B1 visa or B2 visa, the applicant must prove that the travel is temporary and they have the ability to self-fund all costs of the trip. Additionally, they must prove that they have no intent of remaining in the United States beyond their stay and abandoning a residence outside of the United States.

              Is US Embassy giving B1 visa? ›

              We have now resumed routine B1/B2 processing, however due to high demand, we are experiencing extended wait times across all visa categories.

              How many months of bank statements do I need for US visa? ›

              You are required to show at least 3-9 months of bank statements to get hold of a US student visa.

              Can a U.S. citizen sponsor a friend for a tourist visa? ›

              Can a U.S. citizen sponsor a non-family member for immigration? Unfortunately, no, you can't petition for a foreign national's visa or green card if they aren't a family member.

              Is return ticket mandatory for US visitor visa? ›

              Do I also need a return ticket? If you hold a B2 tourist visa, you are not required to hold a return ticket; you may enter the U.S. on a one way ticket. However, if you do not have a round trip ticket you may have more difficulty in proving the temporary nature of your stay.

              What is the benefit of B1 visa? ›

              While it may take over 8 weeks to process a business or tourist visa for the United States, the U.S. B1/B2 Visa has major benefits. First, your U.S. business & tourist visa remains valid for up to 10 years after issued, and you can spend up to 180 days Per Entry in the United States once there.

              What is the difference between a B1 visa and a B1 B2 visa? ›

              Where a standard B1 visa may restrict where the holder can travel based on the approved business purposes, a B1/B2 visa will allow the holder to travel anywhere within the United States during their approved stay in the country.

              How many times can you enter the US on a B1 B2 visa? ›

              You may travel to the U.S. as many times as you like during the period of validity of the visa. There is no restriction on the number of times you may visit.

              Is it hard to get a B1 visa USA? ›

              Nonetheless, the US B1/B2 visa offers one of the simplest options for visiting the United States for business or tourism purposes. The B1/B2 Visa is an important requirement for many travelers wishing to enter the U.S. Luckily, everyone is eligible to apply for it in the easiest way possible using iVisa.

              How much does B1 visa cost? ›

              B1 Visa Cost

              The application fee for the B1 visa is $160, which is non-refundable and non-transferable.

              Why was my b1 B2 visa denied? ›

              The most common reasons behind visa application denials are as follows: Incomplete Application or Supporting Documentation. Visa Qualifications and Immigrant Intent. Public Charge.

              What is B1 visa good for? ›

              Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

              Can I apply for green card if I have B1 visa? ›

              Can I transfer to a Green Card? Under a nonimmigrant visa, including the B-1 visa, you will only be permitted to stay in the United States for a time-limited period. As such, you will not generally be permitted to apply for a Green Card as a B-1 visa holder.

              How to sponsor a B1 visa? ›

              Process to sponsor a visitor for a B-1 visa

              1. Issue an invitation letter to the visitor. 2. The visitor will use that letter to apply for a visa at the US embassy/consulate and present to the immigration officer when entering the US.


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