B1 Visas – Business
The B1 Visa is for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business. Aliens should be classified B1 visitors for business, if otherwise eligible, if they are traveling to the United States to participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars, to negotiate contracts, to consult with business associates. The issuance of a B1 visa is not intended for the purpose of obtaining and engaging in employment while in the United States. No salary or remuneration can be paid from a U.S. source.
There are specific cases that fall within the category of B1 visas. Please check the drop down menu below to see if the purpose of your trip is among the mentioned cases.
Application procedures for B1 visas
- Complete the DS-160 online application available at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ and print the confirmation page (to bring to the interview)
- Create an account on this website: https://usvisa-info.com;
- Pay the non-refundable MRV fee online;
- Schedule an interview appointment with a consular office.
- Attend your interview appointment and bring all pertinent documentation:
- Confirmation page of form DS-160
- Valid passport
- One passport size photo for each visa applicant, including infants (see the “Photo Requirements” webpage)
- Satisfactory documentation proving the purpose and duration of the trip.
- Documentation that demonstrates social, economic, and family ties to Italy. Such documents might include: original residence permit for foreigners, certificate of residence, family status, marriage certificate, contract of sale or lease of property, employment contract, last pay slips, tax returns, bank statement, etc…
- If approved, the visa is issued within two or three working days, and the passport is forwarded to DHL. After a maximum of another three working days, the passport will be available for collection at the DHL location selected during the online registration process (on average about five working days after the interview). If you select the home delivery option, delivery will take a few business days longer.
- Once your passport is at the DHL location, you will receive an e-mail by DHL with instructions on how to pick it up.
- If the visa is denied, your passport will be returned to you at the conclusion of the interview, along with a letter explaining the reasons for the visa refusal.
A B1 visa may be granted to personal or domestic employees who accompany or follow to join a U.S. citizen employer, or a foreign employer who is seeking admission into, or is already in, the United States under the Visa Waiver Program or with a non-immigrant visa (B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q).
To accompany the employer in the US, it is necessary to provide, in addition to the documentation required for all B visas, a work contract stipulated between the two parties, written in English and containing the following information:
- Description of Duties: The contract must describe the work to be performed (e.g., housekeeping, gardening, child care), and must include a statement that the domestic employee shall work only for the employer who signed the contract and will not accept any other employment while working for the employer.
- Hours of Work: The contract must state the time of the normal working hours and the number of hours per week. It is generally expected that domestic workers will be required to work 35-40 hours per week. The contract must indicate the number of paid holidays, sick days, and vacation days the domestic employee will be provided.
- Minimum Wage: The contract must state the hourly wage to be paid to the domestic employee. The employee will be compensated at the state or Federal minimum or prevailing wage, whichever is greater. This information is available on the Web on the Department of Labor’s Online Wage Library & Data Center (http://www.flcdatacenter.com/). Form of payment should be specified as well.
- Overtime Work: The contract must state that any hours worked in excess of the normal number of hours worked per week are considered overtime hours, and that hours in which the employee is “on call” count as work hours. It also must state that such work must be paid as required by U.S. local laws.
- An agreement by the employer:
- to abide by all Federal, state, and local laws in the United States.
- not to withhold the passport, employment contract, or other personal property of the employee.
- not to require the employee to remain on the premises after working hours without compensation.
- to provide the employee with transportation to and from the United States, and to the employer’s onward assignment, or to the employee’s country of normal residence at the termination of the assignment.
After-sales Service Contract
A B1 visa may be granted to specialized workers going to the United States to install, service, or repair commercial or industrial equipment or machinery purchased from a company outside the United States, or to train U.S. workers to perform such services. In such cases, the contract of sale must specifically require the seller to provide such services or training and the visa applicant must possess specialized knowledge essential to the seller’s contractual obligation to perform the services or training, and must receive no remuneration from a U.S. source.
Besides the documents required for all B1 visa applicants, the following must be presented:
- Contract between the seller and the company receiving the services.
- Work contract between the applicant and his employer.
- Letter of employment written on letterhead from the company selling the services, showing the personal data of the applicant, the specific duties and the intended length of stay.
Private Yacht Crewmembers
Crewmembers of a private yacht, who are able to establish that they have a residence abroad which they do not intend to abandon, regardless of the nationality of the private yacht, can apply for a B1 visa.
In this case you must submit the work contract and the employment letter written on letterhead (original) from the commander/owner of the private yacht, showing the personal data of the applicant, the specific duties and the intended length of stay.
Participants in Voluntary Service Programs
A B1 visa may be granted to aliens participating in a voluntary service program benefiting U.S. local communities, who establish that they are members of, and have a commitment to, a particular recognized religious or nonprofit charitable organization, officially recognized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The program may not involve the selling of articles and/or the solicitation and acceptance of donations. No salary or remuneration should be paid from a U.S. source, other than an allowance or other reimbursement for expenses incidental to the volunteers’ stay in the United States.
Besides the documents required for all B1 visa applicants, you must present a letter on letterhead from the sponsoring organization including the following:
- Volunteer’s name and date and place of birth;
- Volunteer’s foreign permanent residence address;
- Name and address of initial destination in the United States; and
- Volunteer’s anticipated duration of assignment.
Participants in International Competitions
An alien may be issued a B1 visa if going to the United States to participate in a competition for which there is no remuneration other than a prize (monetary or otherwise) and expenses. A U.S. source may provide the alien with an expense allowance or reimbursement for expenses incidental to the temporary stay. Incidental expenses may not exceed the actual reasonable expenses the alien will incur in traveling to and from the event, together with living expenses the alien reasonably can be expected to incur for meals, lodging, and other basic services.