Generally, the travel appropriate for a business (B-1) visitor visa includes these examples of travel to;
This is not an all-inclusive list of allowable business related B-1 visitor visa activities. To learn more about allowable travel using a visitor B-1 visa, review our business visitor visa chart. Select visitor visa to learn more about the application requirements. If a visa applicant has specific questions about qualifications for a visa, contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where he/she will apply for the visa.
The Business Visa Center program assists businesses and organizations located in the United States by providing information about the application process for business visitor (B-1) visas.
No. Neither businesses nor applicants should send any materials to the BVC, unless you are specifically asked to do so. Application processing still takes place at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, and all applicants will need to complete the visa application, and bring supporting documentation with them to the interview.
The BVC does not change the steps in the visa process in any way. The BVC is an information portal for U.S. based businesses. U.S. Embassies overseas continue to have the responsibility under immigration law for the acceptance and processing of visa applications, and decisions about issuance of visas for foreign citizens to travel to the U.S.
As examples, a visa applicant must still apply (or if desired, reapply, if denied), at a U.S. Embassy overseas and follow the visa application procedures.
The BVC only assists U.S. based companies. U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide have programs to assist overseas companies. The Consular Section in the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the visa applicant will apply is in the best position to provide information about visa applications, processing, and issuance, as well as information on any business visa facilitation programs it may have. For business-specific questions that do not pertain to visas, we encourage companies located overseas to contact the Commercial Section in the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country. For Embassies and Consulates without a Department of Commerce representative, the commercial function is handled by the Economic Section. Select U.S. Embassy or Consulate to locate the appropriate Embassy or Consulate in your country and obtain contact information for the Consular Section and the Commercial Section.
If you are seeking to come to the U.S. for employment as a temporary worker in the U.S. (H, L, O, P, Q and R visas), your prospective employer must file a petition with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition must be approved by USCIS before you can apply for a visa. Select temporary workers to visit the USCIS website and learn more about requirements. For questions related to petition approval, you may contact USCIS at 1-800-375-5283.
For information about NAFTA workers (TN visa) and treaty traders/investors (E visas) select temporary worker visas. For visa-related questions, contact the U.S. Embassy in the country of application or contact the Public Inquiries office at Visa Services, Department of State at 202-663-1225.
As a general planning guideline, if a visa is needed, a foreign traveler should apply for his or her visa as soon as possible, and no later than 60 days before the travel date. If the conference is scientific in nature, or the applicant has a scientific background, the visa application should be made no later than 90 days in advance of the travel. Visa applicants will need to schedule an interview appointment as a first step in the visa process. Select visa wait times to see how long it will take to schedule an interview appointment at each U.S. Embassy and Consulate abroad. Since wait times vary by embassy and time of year, we strongly encourage travelers to review this information, as it is updated weekly. Please note: Additional planning time beyond the guidelines above is needed for visa applicants applying at some embassies, due to the time required to schedule an interview appointment. Additionally, the interview wait times do not include time for required security clearances or administrative processing, which take place after the interview and may extend beyond the general timeframe guidelines.
If the interview appointment date provided is not early enough for the visa applicant’s intended travel, applicants may contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to request an expedited appointment. The applicant should check the Embassy website for the "how to" procedures for requesting an expedited appointment. (Some embassies may use slightly different wording, such as how to request urgent or emergency travel, as examples.)
We recommend that all requests for expedited appointments note the date when the applicant actually needs to travel and provide
contact information (local telephone number) for the applicant. It should be noted that the decision by the embassy to expedite
an interview appointment is discretionary and depends on several factors, including the urgency of the travel and the U.S.
national interests involved. . Any expedite request should clearly explain why it is important (that is, explain what is at
stake) to expedite the case.
If after searching the website or contacting a post directly you are unable to find information on requesting an expedited appointment at the embassy, the BVC can work with the embassy or consulate to get the information to you.
For specific application requirements select visitor visa to learn more.
Yes, you will still need a visa to travel to the U.S. unless you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Travelers are advised that possession of the ABTC will not change visa requirements, your visa status, or the visa process for travel to the U.S. Review the Frequently Asked Questions for participants in APEC meetings in the United States.
You will still need to be interviewed, since U.S. law requires visa interviews in most cases and having the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travelers Card (ABTC) does not exempt travelers from this requirement. Holders of the ABTC will be eligible to participate in the U.S. Embassy or Consulate business facilitation programs, which offer expedited visa interview appointments. For instructions on how to request an expedited interview appointment visit the U.S. Embassy website where you will apply. Review the Frequently Asked Questions for participants in APEC meetings in the United States.
Full authority for issuance (and refusal) of visas lies with Consular Officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. The BVC has no authority to override these decisions. In some special circumstances, when the BVC is contacted, there may be new or additional information which is subsequently provided to the embassy for consideration upon the applicant’s reapplication. Generally, if there is ample time between the refusal and the business event in the U.S., the applicant is welcome to reapply if he or she can present new evidence to overcome the previous grounds of refusal.
The BVC cannot expedite or waive administrative processing. However, for business-related travelers, if there appears to be an unusual delay in normal processing beyond a month, or if the travel date is looming, in certain circumstances the BVC can work with the relevant offices regarding the status. Additionally, for inquiries about the status of a case pending, applicants or business representatives in the U.S. can contact the public line (202-663-1225) to speak with a Visa Specialist.
Yes, because VWP travel is for visitor visa purposes. For VWP business travelers, the BVC can assist with visa information. Learn more about the VWP requirements on our Visa Waiver Program webpage.
If you are a conference organizer or sponsor of a conference or event located in the U.S. and the conference will be held in the U.S., please contact the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, sending the following information:
Providing conference information and a participant list for large conferences does not waive or expedite any visa procedures. It is simply an internal communications tool with our U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide to let them know we have been contacted by the U.S. company, notifying us the conference or event is taking place in the U.S.
The Department of State’s Intranet Listing of Upcoming Conferences in the U.S. is for internal communication purposes only. This list is not available to the public and is strictly for State Department use.
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