B1 Business Visa for the US

B-1 Visa for US Business

If you are entering the United States for business purposes, you may require a  B-1 Visa. The B-1 Visa is a very fast and relatively simple means of visiting the United States for business purposes. Canadians usually are not issued formal B-1 Visas but rather receive a stamp on their passport admitting them on B-1 Status.

While the B-1 Visa process is relatively easy, problems arise when immigration officers suspect that you are entering the US to work rather than to just visit for business purposes. In such a case, you could be refused admission to the US and be asked to first obtain a US Work Visa. The line between legitimate B-1 Business actives and work are often blurred.

It is therefore essential that if you are entering the US for business purposes, your case is well documented to avoid possible refusals. Our law firm has handled thousands of B-1 Visa cases. If you intend to come to the US for business, contact us for assistance with your travel plans to the US. We have the experience to know what to bring to the US border for inspection.

What can you do on a B-1 Visa in the US?

The following is considered as legitimate B-1 Visa activities for which a US work permit is not required:

  • Attend business meetings
  • Consult with associates
  • Attend business conferences and conventions
  • Negotiate contracts
  • Investigate business opportunities
  • Purchase property in the U.S

Pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), people with B-1 status may perform the following activities:

  • Attend business meetings
  • Consult with associates
  • Attend business conferences and conventions
  • Negotiate contracts
  • Investigate business opportunities
  • Purchase property in the U.S
  • Research and design, including technical, scientific, and statistical research.
  • Growth, manufacturing, and production, including harvest owners supervising harvesting crews and purchasing and production management personnel conducting commercial transactions.
  • Marketing, including market researchers and analysts and trade fair and promotional personnel attending trade conventions.
  • Sales, including sales representatives and agents taking orders and negotiating contracts for goods or services, but not delivering goods or providing services; buyers purchasing for an enterprise located in Canada.
  • Distribution, including transportation operators delivering to, or loading and transporting from Canada or the United States, with no intermediate loading or delivery within the United States; customs brokers performing brokerage duties associated with the export of goods.
  • After-sales service, including installers, repair and maintenance personnel, and supervisors possessing specialized knowledge essential to the seller’s contractual obligation, performing services or training workers to perform such services pursuant to a warranty or other service contract incidental to the sale of commercial or industrial equipment or machinery, including computer software purchased from an enterprise located outside the country, during the life of the warranty or service agreement.

Do I need a B-1 Visa or a US Work Visa?

The answer is not that clear. Basically, activities, which “engage the U.S. labor market” are not permitted, that is, you are not supposed to engage in productive activities, which are normally performed by US workers. In practical terms if you are being paid for services directly by a US employer, chances are you will need a US Work Permit. However, there are exceptions.

Contact our law firm for an assessment to determine if you need a US Work Permit or can enter the US just on a B-1.

B-1 status is always temporary

It is important to note that like the TN Visa and L-1 Visa, a B-1 Visa status is for a temporary period and the applicant is required to leave the United Status when the B-1 activity is completed.

How do you obtain a B-1 Visa?

Canadian Citizens may obtain a B-1 Visa at a U.S/Canadian port of entry. B-1 applicants may be advised to present the following documentation in support of their B-1 case:

  • Evidence of ties to Canada such as bank records
  • Evidence of close family relatives
  • Property deeds and any other documentation that shows that the applicant will return to Canada before or upon the expiry of B-1 status.
  • Documents showing that the applicant will be engaging in permissible B-1 activities.

Contact Niren & Associates, Immigration Lawyers for Canadians wishing to visit the US for business.