B-1 Visa for the USA

When you are planning a business trip to the US then it is important that you research the type of visa that you require and apply for it in advance of your visit. For shorter business trips, it may be that an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) provides the adequate level of authorization. However, there is a limit on how long you can visit the US with ESTA, which is a maximum of 90 days for one trip.
The B1 visa is available for business travel that is between six months and one year in duration. The B1 visa allows foreign citizens to visit the US for a number of business purposes including attending meetings, meeting with their business associates, meetings regarding investments they are planning on making and to attend conferences.
This type of visa is typically well used by employees of global companies, where they have an office in the US that they may need to visit regularly or spend a long period of time at for training or other reasons.

Applying for a B1 visa

Make sure that you leave adequate time to apply and get your application processed, as any delay with your visa will stop you from travelling. It is recommended that the application is completed at least 60 days before intended travel, as an interview must be arranged with the US Embassy.
The first step is to complete the online DS-160 form for your B1 visa before you schedule an appointment at the Embassy. The DS-160 is a form that is part of the process of determining the applicant’s eligibility to obtain a visa. To complete this form you will need to have:
  • Your valid passport
  • Travel itinerary details
  • Dates of your last five visits to the US
  • Up to date CV

Embassy Interview

Once your DS-160 form is submitted the next step is to arrange the interview with a consular officer. The interview will involve going through a lot of questions such as occupation details,
financial details and why you want to travel to the US. Your answers and the background checks will determine whether the US government grant you a B1 visa.

Other Visas


H-2B for skilled and unskilled workers

Whilst the H-2A visa applies for temporary workers in the agricultural, the H-2B is for temporary workers that are not within the agriculture industry. These jobs are where employers have struggled to find US workers that are able to do the temporary work and must therefore employ foreign nationals to do the essential work. Only nationals of the countries that have been agreed by the DHS are eligible for a H-2B visa, see the full list of countries here.

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EB-5 Investor Program

The EB-5 is available for immigrant investors to become permanent citizens (Green Card holders) of the US. Eligibility requirements include that the visa applicant must invest a minimum of $500,000 to finance a US business to be considered for an EB-5.

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Transit C-1 Visa

The C-1 Transit visa is for foreign persons travelling in continuous transit through the US on the way to another country. C-1 visas are stipulated to be for ‘immediate and continuous’ transit through the US, which includes a layover in the US on the way to your final destination but there are no other privileges.

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