Asked Questions-Business Travel Visa
two visas available to individuals wanting to enter
the US temporarily. The travel visa for Business (B-1)
visitor visa (B-2).
to read the most frequently asked questions regarding
Business travel visas.
What is business
related (B-1) visitor visa travel?
the travel appropriate for a business (B-1) visitor
visa includes travel to:
- Consult with business associates;
- Attend a scientific, educational,
professional or business convention, or a conference
on specific dates;
- Settle an estate;
- Negotiate a contract;
- Participate in short-term
visitor visa to learn more about the application
requirements. This is not an all-inclusive list of
allowable business related B-1 travel visa activities.
If a travel visa applicant has specific questions
about qualifications for the travel visa, he or she
should contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney
specializing in consulate process and travel visas.
Visa Center program assists businesses and organizations
located in the United States by providing information
to U.S. companies about the application process for
visitor travel visas (B-1) for those seeking to travel
to the U.S. for business purposes.
How long has the
Business Visa Center been in operation?
of State announced the worldwide Business Visa Center
on July 15, 2005. We received an overwhelmingly positive
response from U.S. businesses about the predecessor
to the Business Visa Center, the U.S.-China Business
Should I send any
application materials to the Business Visa Center?
not. Neither businesses nor applicants should send
any materials to the Business Visa Center, 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 bring the
visa application, DS-156 and supporting documentation
with them to the interview.
How has the Business
Visa Center changed the way travel visas are processed?
Visa Center (BVC) has not changed 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 travel visa
applications, and decisions about issuance of travel
visas for foreign citizens to travel to the U.S. As
examples, a travel visa applicant must still apply
(or if desired, reapply, if denied), at a U.S. Embassy
overseas and follow the travel visa application procedures.
My company is located
overseas. Who can assist me?
and Consulates worldwide have programs to assist businesses.
The U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the travel visa
applicant will be applying is in the best position
to provide information about any program they may
have to assist businesses in their location, since
they handle travel visa applications, processing and
issuance. We encourage companies located overseas
to get in touch with the embassy or consulate through
the Commercial Section in their country.
I want to work
or be employed in the U.S. (H, L, O, P, or TN visa)
or need a treaty trader/investor (E) visa. Where can
I find information?
If you are
seeking to come to the U.S. for employment as a
temporary worker in the U.S. (H, L, O, P, and
Q visas), see our website for much helpful information.
You can also read information about
NAFTA Professional Jobs,
TN visas, and treaty
traders/investors (E visas). A travel visa would
not be helpful for you in that case.
related to petition approval, you may contact USCIS
at 1-800-375-5283. For visa-related questions, contact
the embassy in the country of application or contact
the Public Inquiries office at Visa Services, Department
of State at 202 663-1225.
I want to apply
for an immigrant visa to come to the U.S. to live
permanently. Where can I find information?
in order to be eligible to apply for an immigrant
visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S.
citizen relative(s) or by a prospective employer.
There is a two-step process to become a legal immigrant,
in the allowable immigrant categories provided by
immigration law. First, before you can apply for a
visa, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), USCIS
must approve an immigrant visa petition that your
relative in the U.S. or prospective employer has filed.
After the petition is approved by DHS USCIS, you will
complete the immigrant visa application and other
forms and be notified to go to the local U.S. Embassy
or Consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant
visa. Select our
adjustment of status page to learn more about
the consular process and the requirements to adjust
How early in advance
should business travelers apply?
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.
Our business travelers
were given interview appointment dates after the conference
or date they need to travel. What can I do to request
an earlier date?
If the interview
appointment date provided is not early enough for
the visa applicant’s intended travel, applicants
have the option of contacting 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.) It is strongly recommended 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. The embassy or consulate will review the
requests and grant expedited interview appointments
to applicants within the constraints of their workload.
Any expedite request should clearly explain why it
is important (that is, explain what is at stake) to
expedite the case.
searching the website or contacting a post directly
you are unable to find information on requesting an
expedited appointment at the embassy, the Business
Visa Center can work with the embassy or consulate
to get the information to you.
How do I apply
for a business, B-1 visitor visa?
application requirements select
visitor visa to learn more.
Some of our business
travelers were denied visas. What can we do?
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,
additional information may surface 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.
Our business travelers
have applied at the U.S. Embassy and the applications
are pending a security clearance. Can the BVC help
expedite the clearance process?
The BVC cannot
expedite or waive security clearance 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 a security clearance,
applicants or business representatives in the U.S.
can contact the public line (202-663-1225) to speak
with a Visa Specialist.
If our business
travelers qualify under VWP, can the BVC assist?
Yes. For Visa
Waiver Program business travelers, the Business Visa
Center can assist with visa information. Select
Visa Waiver Program to learn more about the VWP
I am a conference
or event organizer. How can I submit my event information?
If you are
a conference organizer or sponsor of a conference
or event located in the U.S. and the conference will
be held here in the U.S., please contact the email
address: [email protected], sending the following
- Date(s) when conference or
event is to be held;
- Title/name of conference or
- Brief description of the conference,
including purpose and sponsorship;
- Location of the conference
- Expected international attendance
(100 visa applicants minimum to post an event),
and the total number of expected attendees;
- Point of contact (at conference/event
organizer): Organization website (if available),
contact name, title, address, telephone number
and email address, in case the embassy has questions
about your announcement
What benefit is
there for my conference to be listed?
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 Consulate worldwide
to let them know we have been contacted by the U.S.
company, notifying the State Department the conference
or event is taking place in the U.S.
Can I receive a
copy of the master conference list?
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.