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

H1-B for Speciality Occupation

Graduate level workers wanting to work in the US are able to apply for a H1-B visa for speciality occupations. This enables US companies to employ foreign skilled workers for in-demand jobs such as in IT, medicine, finance, engineering and numerous other speciality occupations that are highly valued in the US. H1-B visas are valid for three years, with extensions possible, providing that the terms are still valid, i.e. you are still working in the role.

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B-2 for pleasure or for medical treatment

The B-2 visa enables tourists to enter the US, where an ESTA is not applicable either because the applicant is not from one the Visa Waiver Program countries, or because their intended trip is for longer than the duration limit of the ESTA (90 days). The B2 visa is often referred to as the tourist visa USA and can also be used for travellers that are going to the US to receive medical treatment.

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Type Q Visa

The Q-1 visa is for foreign nationals taking part in a cultural exchange program in the US. This enables people to enter the US to provide practical training and sharing the history, culture and traditions of a country with the US. The main purpose is to educate people in the US regarding international cultures from around the world.

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