When a foreign national decides s/he wants to travel to the U.S. for a short period of time for business-related purposes, they must either obtain a B-1 visitor visa or they must qualify to enter under the Visa Waiver Program. Some examples of what the U.S. Department of State considers “temporary business” includes:
- Attending a business meeting or consultation to consult with business associates, partners, etc.
- Attending a business convention or conference (i.e. a business, educational, or professional conference)
- Negotiating contracts or settle an estate
- Participating in short-term training
Anyone who is looking to enter the U.S. for any of the reasons listed above might consider applying for a B-1 visitor visa or find out if they qualify to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.
Eligibility Requirements for B-1 Visa vs. Eligibility Criteria for Visa Waiver Program
In order for a foreign national to be eligible for a B-1 visa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says they must meet the following requirements:
- The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business-related purposes only.
- Their trip is only for a limited period of time.
- They have sufficient funds to cover the costs associated with the trip and their stay in the U.S.
- They have a residence outside of the U.S. and do not intend on abandoning it.
- They are admissible to the U.S.
Important: Foreign nationals who received a B-1 visa who intend on traveling with a spouse and/or child need to be aware that their spouse and child are required to apply for a B-2 visa and are required to adhere to the regulations for that visa.
Visa Waiver Program
A foreign national who is looking to enter the U.S. for a short period of time for business-related purposes may not be required to apply for a B-1 visa is they qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says that citizens of certain countries that intend on traveling to the U.S. for stays of up to 90 days can do so without a visa so as long as they are approved to enter under the Visa Waiver Program. A list of the 38 countries that participate with the Visa Waiver Program can be viewed by clicking here.
Over the years, it has become particularly difficult for certain citizens of other countries to enter the U.S. Therefore, anyone who is looking to apply for a B-1 visa or enter under the Visa Waiver Program is encouraged to consult with an Atlanta, GA immigration lawyer first. The immigration attorneys at Kuck | Baxter Immigration can help applicants fill out and file their paperwork and assist with any issues that might arise.
Kuck | Baxter Immigration can be reached at:
365 Northridge Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30350