B-1 Temporary Business Visitor

The United States has welcomed approximately 75 million non-immigrant visitors in the past years. People visit the U.S. for numerous reasons from sightseeing to exploring business ventures. Some business ventures require a longer stay in the U.S. than the typical tourist visit but less time than required for long-term employment. In these circumstances, a non-immigrant traveler might file a Temporary Business Visitor Visa.

This visa serves a different purpose to the non-immigrant visitor than an employment-based visa does. An employment-based visa covers employment for a long-term job in the United States, whereas a B-1 visa covers temporary business trips to the U.S.

Attorney for B-1 Visas in The Woodlands, TX

Having a business takes commitment and vision. When a company wants to expand on that success beyond the borders of Texas or even the United States, being in compliance with federal law is imperative. It is important, that when your company wants to hire employees from other countries that it files the correct forms and obtains the requisite authorization to hire international employees.

Not only is attorney Luis F. Hess an experienced immigration attorney, but he also counsels businesses in a myriad of other matters, including contract drafting and negotiation, drafting contracts with other businesses and with a company's employees. If you or someone you know is attempting to enter the United States for a professional purpose or temporary business venture but does not plan to stay long-term, contact an experienced immigration attorney to learn more about how to apply for a B-1 visa.

Our office assists non-immigrant business travelers in multiple types of initial immigration practical matters before travel, including filing a temporary non-immigrant visa. With an office located in Shenandoah, TX, just north of The Woodlands, Luis F. Hess takes cases throughout Montgomery County and Harris County. He represents clients in Conroe, Shenandoah, The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, and the surrounding areas.

Call Luis F. Hess, PLLC at (281) 205-8540.


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Overview of B-1 Visas in Conroe, Texas


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What Are The U.S. Business Visa Requirements?

A person who visits the United States to engage in activities of an educational, professional, or commercial nature may be eligible for a temporary business visa. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), business of a commercial or professional nature can include:

  • transiting through the United States;
  • consulting with business associates;
  • settling an estate;
  • deadheading;
  • negotiating a contract;
  • participating in short-term training; or
  • traveling for a scientific, educational, business conference or convention with specific dates, or for professional purposes.

Considering that most business ventures have a set time frame, it is essential to apply for them as soon as possible. Generally, a business traveler should apply for a visa no later than 60 days before he or she intends to travel to the U.S.


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Eligibility for a Temporary Business Visa

Individuals traveling from certain countries may be able to conduct business in the United States without obtaining a visa if he or she is eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). All other applicants must be able to show the following requirements in order to be eligible for a business visa:

  • the purpose of the trip is for business of a legitimate nature;
  • the traveler must have adequate funds to cover the expenses of his or her trip and stay;
  • the trip is for a designated limited period of time;
  • the traveler has a residence outside of the United States that he or she has no intention of abandoning, as well as other ties that will ensure that the traveler will leave the U.S. at the end of his or her visit; and
  • that the traveler is otherwise eligible to enter the U.S.

Individuals who are already in the U.S. on a different visa may also be eligible to change their visa status to B-1 eligibility by filing a with the USCIS.


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Exemptions from Business Visa Requirements

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security permits individuals from certain countries to travel to the United States to conduct business for up to 90 days without having to endure the hassle of applying for a B-1 Visa.

The U.S. State Department, with the Department of Homeland Security, instituted the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which permits citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. for business or tourism without a visa.

To be eligible for the VWP program, the traveler must have an e-passport. Upon entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers still determine a traveler’s admissibility based on biographic information and answers to the VWP eligibility questions.

The 38 countries that are eligible for the VWP program include:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • The Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom

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Why Use a Temporary Visa?

One of the most difficult questions for business travelers to answer is, which visa should I apply for. Individuals often have a difficult time figuring out which visa that he or she should apply for, or a number of other non-immigrant visas that allow visitors to engage in similar activities.

In the United States, the law provides for distinctions between each visa designation. It is important to understand which visa to apply for to ensure valid visa status. The B-1 visa is more appropriate for short-term work, usually done between businesses via a contract. The L-1A or L-1B visas are for applicants who have worked overseas for at least one year and must have a subsidiary branch or office in the U.S.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visas, again, have different requirements. These visas require the business to first be registered before the individual employees may travel.

Thus, it is imperative that a traveler fully understands the needs and expectations of his or her business trip, to the extent that they can be planned, as early as possible. Moreover, having an experienced immigration attorney can help to ensure that the traveler files the correct visa documentation.


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Additional Resources

B-1 Temporary Business Visa – Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website for more information on the requirements to obtain a business visa in the U.S., including the eligibility criteria, information on how long a business visa lasts, and the various exemptions for obtaining a visa for business. An alien is eligible for a B–1 visa if he has a residence in a foreign country and comes to the United States temporarily for business under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(B).

U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website to learn more about this law enforcement organization that is charged protecting U.S. borders and keeping out terrorists and weapons. The website provides information, including updates, on the countries eligible for business visa exemption in the United States.


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Find a Lawyer for a B-1 Visa Application in Texas

If you or someone you know is traveling to the United States on a business trip, then contact an immigration attorney with an office in Shenandoah, just north of The Woodlands. Luis F. Hess represents clients throughout Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, and Houston, TX.

Luis F. Hess is an experienced legal professional dedicated to aiding individuals who want to enter the U.S. safely and securely. He helps clients throughout Montgomery County and North Harris County, TX, as they apply for an employment-based business visa.

Call Luis F. Hess, PLLC at (281) 205-8540 now for more information about our services related to immigration law in the State of Texas.


This article was last updated on Friday, January 26, 2018.

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