Visitor & Student Visa

B-1 Visitor Visa For Business

A number of legitimate activities have been enumerated by the State Department for Business Visitors to be able to apply for a temporary US Visa and work in the USA.

  • The activities of employees of a foreign employer seeking a visa to the USA to solicit sales, negotiate contracts, or take orders from established clients for work that will be performed outside the US.
  • The activities of a purchasing agent for a foreign employer coming to the US to procure goods, components, or raw materials for use outside the US
  • The activities of employees of a foreign company coming to the US with regard to service or sales contracts already undertaken by their company.
  • The activities of an employee of a foreign based company or office of a US company coming to the US to engage in consultations with US business associates.
  • The activities of foreign business people coming to the US in conjunction with litigation.
  • The activities of foreign business people attending professional or business conferences or conventions, or executive seminars.
  • The activities of business employees or independent business people coming to the US to undertake independent research, such as market or product research, not directly connected with sales or service contracts or the solicitation of business.
  • The activities of foreign investors coming to the US to take steps to set up their investment.
  • Foreign nationals coming to open or be employed in a US office subsidiary, or affiliate of the foreign employer, provided the foreign national will qualify for L-1 status once suitable premises have been obtained for the office.

While the list is informative, please keep in mind several basic rules governing the B-1 visitor visa:

  • The B-1 visa holder cannot engage in productive work in the US, including salaried work for an employer and services for hire on an independent basis.
  • The B-1 business activity should be associated with international trade or commerce.
  • The principal benefit of the activity accrues to the businessperson or corporate entity abroad.
  • If the B-1 visa holder is to be paid from a salary from a U.S. source, there is very little chance that he or she qualifies for B-1 status. Whether leaving a professional on the foreign payroll of a company when he or she will be engaged in long-term, but still temporary, productive employment benefiting the US employer is a permissible use of the B-1 category remains unclear. The plain language of the State Department instructions seems to permit this use of the B-1. However, the use of the B-1 category is probably limited to circumstances in which the foreign national’s activities in the United States can be shown to accrue to the benefit of the employer abroad and his or her presence in the United States furthers the international trade or commerce of the foreign employer.

Supporting documentation establishing nonimmigrant intent

Evidence of a residence abroad: Maintenance of a residence is an essential element of proof of nonimmigrant intent. The B-1 applicant must obtain at least one of the following documents:

  • Copy of a deed showing ownership in property in home country
  • Lease agreement bearing his or her name
  • Other evidence establishing permanent residence in home country
  • Evidence of foreign bank accounts
  • Copy of each page of passport

Evidence of Family Relationships. Evidence of family in his or her home country demonstrates nonimmigrant intent.

  • Marriage certificate (if married and if spouse will remain abroad)
  • Birth certificate of any children remaining abroad
  • List of family members currently residing in home country
  • List of family members currently in the US

Evidence of current employment in home country. Such evidence would include:

  • Letter from employer
  • Paycheck stubs

Evidence of on-going activities in home country demonstrating a commitment to return, such as:

  • Membership in community clubs
  • Membership in religious organizations
  • Continuing educational pursuits

Supporting documentation establishing legitimate business activity

Support letter- The visa packet should include a letter prepared by the sponsoring company or individual detailing the purpose of the B-1 applicant’s trip to the United States.

Documents showing firm travel plans- The visa packet should include an itinerary and lodging arrangements

B-2 Visitor Visa For Pleasure

The B-2 Visitor Visa for Pleasure is appropriate for foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period of time to visit friends, family, and tourist sites for pleasure. The B-2 visa is also appropriate in certain cases involving an entry into the U.S. for the purpose of obtaining medical treatment.

The key to obtaining this visa to USA is the persuasiveness of the documents showing the trip to the United States is in fact temporary, and that the foreign national has the intent to return to his or her home country. While US Embassy procedures will vary from country to country, the following list provides guidance on how to assemble a request for a Visitor for Pleasure visa to the US.

Evidence of a residence abroad: Maintenance of a residence is an essential element of proof of nonimmigrant intent. The B-2 applicant must obtain at least one of the following documents:

  • Copy of a deed showing ownership in property in home country
  • Lease agreement bearing his or her name
  • Other evidence establishing permanent residence in home country
  • Evidence of foreign bank accounts
  • Copy of each page of passport

Evidence of Family Relationships: Evidence of family in his or her home country demonstrates nonimmigrant intent. The following information demonstrates nonimmigrant intent:

  • Marriage certificate (if married and if spouse will remain abroad)
  • Birth certificate of any children remaining abroad
  • Family members currently residing in home country

Evidence of current employment in home country: Such evidence would include Foreign employer

Evidence of on-going activities in home country demonstrating a commitment to return, such as:

  1. Membership in community clubs
  2. Membership in religious organizations
  3. Continuing educational pursuits

Evidence of financial arrangements: You should be able to show the ability to bring sufficient funds with you to the United States to cover the purpose of the trip. If you appear only marginally able to pay for the trip, you will have to have an affidavit from your US host stating the willingness to cover all of your expenses.

Evidence of specificity of trip: You should be able to show travel arrangements that are as specific as possible: Confirmed hotel reservations (or invitation letter of host); car rental; internal travel arrangements, such as domestic flights or tour packages.

Student Visa (F-1 Visa & M Visa)

The US immigration laws provide two categories of student study in the US. The “F-1” visa to the US is reserved for nonimmigrant’s wishing to pursue academic studies and/or language training programs. The “M” visa to the US is reserved for those wishing to pursue nonacademic or vocational studies.

Basic Requirements :

  • The student must be enrolled in an “academic” educational program – Enrollment in a college, university, seminary, conservatory, or language raining program qualifies as “academic.”
  • The school must be approved by the US Immigration and Naturalization Services (USCIS) – In order to obtain visa to US as a student, the foreign national must first be admitted to a school approved by the Attorney General to issue certificates of eligibility (SEVIS I-20) to foreign students. The BCIS requires that a school not issue a form I-20 unless a student has made written application to the school for admission, and has been accepted in the school.
  • The student must be enrolled as a full-time student – As a general rule, if a student is enrolled to take the usual number of courses needed to complete the requirements for a degree in the usual time, he or she is enrolled in a “full course of study.”
  • The student must be proficient in English, unless enrolled in an English language program – The school must be assured of the student’s proficiency in English. Thus, the student usually needs to take an English language examination as part of the application process.
  • The student must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study – The student also needs to present financial data demonstrating his or her ability to meet academic and living expenses for at least the first twelve-month period of the student’s education.
  • The student must maintain a residence abroad.

For your convenience we have provided links to the US Immigration and Naturalization Services (USCIS) website so that you may read more on obtaining an academic student visa to the USA. Click here!

F-1 Student Visas

Click above for more information about the F-1 Student Visa.

Applying for an F-1 Student Visa

Click above for the F-1 Student Visa application process.