The B-1 Visa is issued initially for six months to tourists visiting the US for travel or business purposes. Once the initial period of stay expires, the tourists can then file for B-1 extension visa for another six months. While applying for B-1 extension/B-2 Visa for family members, eligibility of the spouse and the children will be evaluated separately. The American consular office should be contacted by the applicant in case of any queries on visa application procedures and intelligibility. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate should be contacted first for status information if the petitioner for B-1 Visa extension has filed a case overseas. The U.S. Consulate and the Immigration authorities are authorized to grant or deny admission on a case by case basis and they also have the power to decide the period of extension for the B-2 Visa holder. However, being issued a visa does not guarantee an entry to the U.S. The immigration official is required to authorize the traveler’s admission to the US, once the Form I-94, Record of Arrival-Departure is stamped by the customs at the airport. Application to extend B-2 Visa status or for a B-1 extension, which is the Form I-539 should be submitted to the USCIS if the time exceeds beyond the dates listed on their Form I-94. However, USCIS has the authority to grant or deny the request for B-1 extension or to extend the B-2 visa.
B-1 Visa petitioner eligibility
B-1 visa petitioners should be able to establish as evidence the below list of requirements to be eligible for the B-1 visa:
- The sole purpose of their trip to the US is for business purpose or travel
- Their stay should be of a limited time period
- They should be able to produce the evidence of funds to cover their trip including travel, accommodation and living expenses. If they are not able to provide proof of sufficient funds, they should be able to prove that their employer will provide financial support.
- The petitioner should show evidence of their economic, family and social ties abroad, which can ensure their return back to their country. The alien should be able to produce proofs of their permanent residence abroad which they cannot abandon.
B-1 Visa petitioner business activities
The B-1/B-2 Visa extension petitioners can only engage in the business activities that are regarded as permissible by the U.S. immigration and customs. Below is a list of businesses that are considered legal and illegal for a foreign national visiting on the B-1 visa:
- The foreign national cannot be employed by the foreign press, radio, film or other media or broadcast outlet. They cannot be engaged in any form of labor, skilled or unskilled, neither can they enroll as a student.
- The foreign national cannot be engaged in any business or provide any services to a U.S. based employer.
- The law also presumes that the B-1 visa petitioner will be visiting the U.S temporarily to engage in business activities that are legitimate and professional in nature. The B-1 visa or B-2 visa holders are not eligible to receive salary or compensation from any U.S. employment source but they can be reimbursed for their travel expenses. B-1 visa holders are asked to abide by the laws for engaging in any commercial activity. The activities that are considered legitimate for them include employment which is not intended for gainful purposes like taking sales orders, purchasing inventory or supplies for an employer located abroad, negotiations of contracts, participation in educational or scientific conferences, events, business forums, seminars or conventions.