B1 Visa Requirements [The 4 You Need to Know]

B1 Visa Requirements [The 4 You Need to Know]


One of the most common visas to the United States is the B1 visitor visa. Today we will be discussing the B1 Visa Requirements. By the end of this post, you should have a clear understanding of what are the requirements to get a B1 visa.



1. What is the B1 Visa?


2. What are the B1 Visa Requirements?


3. Breakdown of Each of the 4 Main B1 Visa Requirements


  1. Is there a Valid Reason for the Visit to the United States?
    • Is the Purpose of the US Visit to Engage in Lawful Business Activities?
  2. Can you demonstrate non-immigrant intent?
    • Will you Maintain a Residence in a Foreign County? and
    • Do you not Intend to Abandon Your Foreign Residence?
  3. Will Your Visit to the US have a Specific Duration of Time?
  4. Do you have Sufficient Funds for the Expenses of your Visit?


4. Conclusion


What is the B1 Visa?


  • The B1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for foreign nationals to come to the United States to conduct business activities.


  • The B1 visa allows foreign nationals to visit the United States for short periods of time (usually for a period of six months).


  • The B1 visa does not allow you to work in the United States.


What are the B1 Visa Requirements?


There are 4 main requirements to get a B1 Visa:


1. You must have a valid reason for visiting the US


  • The purpose of your visit should be to engage in lawful business activities


2. You must be able to prove that you have non-immigrant intent.


  • You must maintain a residence in a foreign country that you do not intend to abandon; and


  • You must have strong ties to your foreign residence;


3. Your trip to the US must have a specific duration of time.


4. You must have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of your visit to the US.


Lets now go over what each of these requirements means.


Do You Have a Valid Reason for Visiting the United States?


The first thing that you have to prove, to get a B1 visa, is that you are coming to the United States for a valid purpose.


The purpose of the B1 visa is for foreign nationals to come to the US temporarily for “business.”


To qualify for a B1 visa, you must be able to show that the purpose of your visit to the US is to engage in lawful business activities.


Keep in mind: with a B1 visa, you are not permitted to engage in employment in the US.


The general idea of lawful business activities for a B1 visa is that you will be conducting activities for your profession, but these activities will not be local employment, hired labor, or hands-on work.


Employment, which is not allowed, is defined as “any service or labor performed in the United States by an individual… for wages or other remuneration.”


With a B1 visa, you should not be engaging in any “hands-on” work while you are in the United States.


So now that we know what is not permitted on a B1 visa, lets go over what is permitted.



The Department of State has identified the following activities as permissible activities while on a B1 visa:


  • Engage in commercial transactions;


  • Negotiate contract;


  • Consult with business associates;


  • Litigate;


  • Participate in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences, or seminars; or


  • Undertake independent research.


[See here for the exact regulations on permissible activities: 9FAM 402.2-5(B)]


Some Additional Information on Commercial Transactions


  • Commercial transactions are defined as any lawful activity performed to derive a profit including “the purchase, sale, marketing, distribution, advertisement, negotiation, procurement, transmission, or transportation of goods or services.” [OI 214.2]


  • An example of a commercial transaction that is admissible with a B1 visa is delivering a shipment of tuna from your foreign company abroad to the United States.


3 Questions to Ask Yourself Regarding Commercial Transactions:


Here’s a list of 3 questions you should ask yourself when thinking about whether the activities you plan to do while on a B1 visa are permitted.


The answer to each of these questions should be yes. If not, you are probably engaging in activities that are not allowed.


  1. Is your company’s principal place of business abroad?
  2. Are your activities in the US to benefit your foreign company?
  3. Will you not earn any income in the US?


Now that we’ve discussed the activities that are allowed on a B1 visa, let’s talk about the concept of non-immigrant intent.


Do You Have Non-Immigrant Intent and Can You Prove it?


Non-immigrant intent is one of the most important requirements to get a B1 visa.


To understand non-immigrant intent, you should first understand what immigrant intent is. Immigrant intent is when you intend to come to the United States and remain their permanently.


Non-immigrant intent is when you plan to return home when you are done with whatever activity you came to the United States to do. In other words, you do not intend to abandon your foreign residence.


As a B1 visa applicant, you are presumed to have immigrant-intent.


In order to get a B1 visa, you have to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent.


In order to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent, you must submit sufficient evidence proving your non-immigrant intent.


If you are unable to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent, your B1 visa application will likely be denied based on INA Section 214(b) (failure to show that you are entitled to non-immigrant status).


Now that we’ve discussed non-immigrant intent, let’s go over how to prove that you have non-immigrant intent.


There are 2 basic things that you must show to overcome a presumption of immigrant intent:


  1. That you maintain a residence in a foreign country; and
  2. That you do not intend to abandon your foreign residence.


Do You Maintain a Residence in a Foreign Country?


Showing that you have a residence in a foreign company is the starting point to showing that you have non-immigrant intent.


Helpful information on your residence:


  • You can prove that you have a foreign residence by submitting evidence of a title to property, a rental agreement, lease, etc.


  • You do not have to be listed on the lease, title, rental agreement. Someone else’s household may still qualify as your residence.


  • Your residence does not need to be in your country of citizenship. You can have a residence in another country.


  • A lease of property is weaker evidence of a foreign residence than ownership of a property (especially very short leases).


  • If your name is not on the title or the rental agreement, you should also include evidence of your relationship to the person whose name is on the lease or title.

Do You Not Intend to Abandon Your Foreign Residence?


Now that you’ve shown that you have a foreign residence, you have to show that you do not intend to abandon your foreign residence.


The way to show that you do not intend to abandon your foreign residence is by showing strong ties to your foreign residence.


Do You Have Strong Ties to Your Foreign Residence?


Here, the goal is to show that you have commitments, responsibilities, family, professional obligations, etc. which tie you to your foreign residence.


Examples of Evidence to Show Ties to Your Foreign Residence:


  • Letter showing employment in your home country;


  • Lease/title of property;


  • Paperwork showing ownership of a business in your home country;


  • Bank account statements;


  • Utility bills;


  • Cell phone bill;


  • Gym membership;


  • Tax returns;


  • Marriage certificate to spouse living abroad;


  • Birth certificates of children living abroad;


  • Evidence showing you care for someone living abroad;


  • Etc.


Does Your Trip to the US have a Specific Duration of Time?


The third requirement has to do with the duration of time your trip is going to last.


You are required to show that you will be visiting the United States for a specific limited period of time. You must also show with “reasonable certainty” that you will be leaving the United States once you are finished with whatever you came to the United States to do. [9 FAM 402.2-2(B)]


This requirement also has to do with proving that you have non-immigrant intent.


If you do not sufficiently show that your visit to the United States has a limited duration, you will be unable to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent and your visa will likely be denied under INA Section 214(b) (failure to show that you are entitled to non-immigrant status).


How you prove that your trip will have specific duration of time depends on what you are coming to the United States to do.


For example: If you are coming to the US to give a lecture at a university, you should provide your invitation to speak at the university along with the schedule of the event, along with any other relevant documentation.


Do You Have Sufficient Funds to Cover the Expenses of Your Visit to the US?


This is the last of the 4 major B1 visa requirements.


To get a B1 visa, you must show that you are in possession of sufficient funds to cover the expenses of your trip to the US. You must prove that you have sufficient funds at the time of your B1 visa application.


As discussed above, with a B1 visa, you are not permitted to engage in employment in the United States.


This requirement ensures that you have the ability to remain in the US without working unlawfully.


Here are some permitted ways to demonstrate sufficient funds:


  • Bank statements evidencing sufficient funds;


  • Evidence of a salary from a foreign employer;


  • Evidence of a US company reimbursing your incurred expenses as a result of the US visit;


  • Evidence that a US friend or family member will cover some or all of the costs of your visit to the US.



At this point you should have a good understanding of the 4 main B1 visa requirements.

B1 Visa Requirements (Recap):


First, you must show that there’s a valid reason for your visit to the US. For a B1 visa, the reason for your visit to the US should be to engage in lawful business activities.


  • Remember, on a B1 visa, you are not permitted to engage in employment in the US.


  • Here are some of the activities you can do:
    • Engage in commercial transactions;
    • Negotiate contract;
    • Consult with business associates;
    • Litigate;
    • Participate in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences, or seminars; or
    • Undertake independent research.


Second, you must show that you maintain a residence in a foreign country that you do not intend to abandon.


Third, you must show that your visit to the US will have a specific duration of time.


And fourth, you must show that you have sufficient funds for the expenses of your visit to the US.


If you have any questions regarding any of the information covered, please feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com


I’m very responsive to emails and I would be happy to answer your questions.


Ashoori Law is an immigration law firm focused on helping entrepreneurs and other business professionals get visas to the United States.


Share this post...

Based on 655 reviews
Vivek B.
I had excellent experience getting reply to my queries in very simple manner. It was great help to get the answers as part of free consultation without committing for further process until I got... satisfaction that I know what I am getting into. I highly recommend this firm for any one who are looking to get their open question resolved and work with highly professional team. In particular Ehsan from team has been extremely professional and patient giving all details and answering all my questions.read more
Mekayla B.
THE BEST!!It’s scary and intimidating to start the immigration process. But everyone at Ashoori Law has been a great help.They made the process so much smoother by always responding to all our... messages attentively and giving us peace of mind. If you’ve been struggling to find the right lawyer for your case, take this as your sign!read more
Alok G
I have user their services multiple times over the years. They are very responsive and helpful. They provide good answers to even subjective questions and correspondingly make good recommendations.... I am expecting and hoping they continue just like that.read more
Hussein A.
After long time of search , fortunately I reached to Ashoori Law .Mr Ehsan is patient and very professional, he gave me direct and clear answers for many questions regarding EB-5 visa. I am very... grateful to Ashoori Law team .read more
Miraal N.
Thank you Michael & team! The process for a TN visa was efficient, comprehensive and seamless. Highly recommend.
Farheen N.
I got really good experience with Ashoori Law. They are reliable, thrust worthy, professional & sincere with their clients.
mehreen “Maha” A.
Great experience highly recommended. They all are very helpfull on each and every step. I really trust them . Thanks Ashoori law
Saket C.
We are very pleased with the service and guidance provided by Michael and his team for re-entry permit applications for myself and family members. Ours was a bit tricky as we were planning to come... especially for this task. Michael's guidance on the timelines really helped us plan the trip and get the fingerprinting done.Michael and team were very responsive and thorough over email on all the queries that I asked throughout the process.I would highly recommend them.read more
Yala K.
I had a chance to work with Ashoori law in the context of my succesful E2 application. Both Andres Soto and Cristina Casabianca were super knowledgable, responsive, and a pleasure to work with. I... truly enjoy the experience and I am very thankful for their help & support! I highly recommend them.read more
Swordsmith F.
The team that was working on my case was amazing. I felt I could ask simple questions that I had in the process. Very personable people and at the same time professional. We had success in our visa... application!read more
Mahsa K.
We applied for EB1 Visa through Ashoori Law and we're very happy with both the result (as the case got accepted) and with the team throughout the process. They know what they're doing and there's no... need to keep running after them to get things done.Mr. Ashoori was also included in all the communications and emails, and even though he most probably does not have the time to read everything, but his presence and knowing that he is reachable and accessible was very heartwarming.Overall we were happy with everything throughout the process and we decided to continue with the firm for the final phase of our case which is related to providing documents to the embassy and preparing for the interview.read more
French Pilot U.
Thank you for your help guys. We got the green card in 15 months with no interview. You were always answering any questions we had, we definitely appreciated that.Savannah and Axel.
Nasrin N.
I have a great experience with Michael. He helped to get a re-entry permit for my mother. During the process Michael was extremely attentive and offered considerable amount of his time to help us. He... is absolutely professional and knowledgeable. My mother received her re-entry permit in less than 2 months in a situation that was not promising. The fee was reasonable and I strongly recommend Ashoori Law.read more
Tara M.
Working with Koby in the early stages of the process has been a surprising delight. It's a complicated and overwhelming process and I had a ton of questions. Koby was warm and personable, clear and... knowledgeable, responsive and professional. His obvious competence and resources combined with his ability to explain the process and my options gave me confidence in the entire firm.read more
Henok A.
I started working with them when I petition for my son. Starting from the first day I found it very easy to get through anyone you wanna talk to as well as follow-ups when you have any questions.... They do what needs to be done on time and if you have any questions, they are happy to answer your phone or email any day of the week. We are at the finish line as I’m writing this review and I have nothing but many thanks to all who help me through this process. You guys are the best knowledgeable and efficient immigration lawyers I could ever ask for.read more
Kanwarbir Singh M.
Highly recommend law firm.Thanks to Ashoori Law firm.I have used their service for my E2 visa as well as E2 change of status as i needed both of them.I just got my E2 change of status... approved.Great service by the Michael Ashoori and his team. Very professional ,easy going and helpful. If you are looking for one, this is the place. I will be using their service for my E2 visa also and later on with future applications also.read more
Chris H
Exceptional Service and Successful E2 Visa Acquisition - Highly Recommend Ashoori Law!As a Singaporean citizen engaged in the retail and wholesale of electric bicycles in the United States, finding... the right legal team to handle my E2 visa application was crucial. Choosing Ashoori Law was one of my best decisions.From the initial consultation to the successful acquisition of the E2 visa, I was impressed by the professionalism and attention to detail demonstrated by Ashoori Law. They not only provided comprehensive guidance for the preparation of documents but also offered specialized training for the interview process. This boosted my confidence during the interview with the visa officer, allowing me to effectively present my business plan and qualifications.A highlight of their service was their ability to secure not just my individual E2 visa but also ensure that my family obtained their visas smoothly. Throughout the process, the team at Ashoori Law was responsive and thorough in their explanations, making the entire experience stress-free and straightforward.I am deeply grateful for everything the Ashoori Law team has done for my family and me. For other business professionals seeking E2 visas, I strongly recommend Ashoori Law. They are not just proficient legal advisors but also reliable partners in this challenging journey.read more
Vianne A. A.
I had an excellent experience with Michael Ashoori Law for my L-1A visa application. Their team especially from Brollesy Law LLC was incredibly knowledgeable, responsive, and attentive to detail.... They guided me seamlessly through the process, ensuring a successful application. Highly recommend Ashoori Law for their professionalism and expertise in immigration law.read more
A nice and responsive team working with us on our case. Its been a pleasure working with the team and receiving optimal guidance where needed.
Professional, always there for questions, very competent
Harold H.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Michael Ashoori Law Firm for my E2 Visa renewal, and I am beyond satisfied with their service. As a French national, navigating the complexities of... immigration law can be daunting, but the professionalism and expertise of this team made the process seamless.From the beginning, the team demonstrated exceptional knowledge and a keen understanding of my specific needs. The interview at the embassy, which can often be a stressful experience, went smoothly, thanks in large part to their thorough preparation and guidance.I would like to extend my special thanks to Sergio A., Mariam M., and Michael P. for their dedicated assistance throughout the process. Their attention to detail, prompt responses, and genuine care for my case were truly commendable.I wholeheartedly recommend Michael Ashoori Law Firm to anyone in need of immigration legal services. Their commitment to their clients is evident in every interaction, and their results speak for themselves.read more
Donnie R.
The entire team at Ashoori law has done a fantastic job of securing our E2 status here in USA . Every step of the process was very transparent and professional. They have treated us like family at... the same time and have helped us secure an opportunity to live the American dream . Special thanks to Michael , Ehsan , Rebecca , Patricia and others who have worked on our case .If you are looking for a law firm to attend to all your immigration needs , no matter what your situation is , look no more . Rest assured Michael Ashoori law have your best interests at heart . It’s a one stop shop , they handle everything for you 💯 %read more
Maninder K.
Excellent service
Jesse S.
I've been in touch with Kim Rivero, and I just have to say that he has been incredibly helpful and communicative, even going so far as to get on a call on off hours due to our time difference. He's... gone above and beyond and I really appreciate it.read more
Kamlesh C.
Exceptional Immigration Services from Ashoori Law - A Comprehensive ReviewI recently had the privilege of working with Ashoori Law for the immigration process, specifically for the L1A New Office... Visa, as the Founder and CEO of an IT company in India. I am Kamlesh, and I cannot express my gratitude enough for the outstanding support and professional assistance provided by Ashoori Law throughout the entire journey.Initial Consultation:From the beginning, the team at Ashoori Law, including Rohit and Michael, demonstrated an exceptional level of expertise and commitment. They patiently addressed all our initial questions, concerns, and doubts about eligibility, providing valuable insights into the L1A visa process for establishing a new office in the United States.Documentation and Business Plan Preparation:One of the standout aspects of Ashoori Law's services was their meticulous attention to detail in preparing the necessary documentation and crafting a compelling business plan. Patricia, a key member of their team, demonstrated a high level of professionalism and expertise in creating a comprehensive business plan that undoubtedly played a crucial role in the success of our visa application.L1A Filing and Processing:The team, led by Cristina, our immigration attorney, seamlessly guided us through the entire L1A filing process. Cristina's prompt responses to our inquiries and her thorough understanding of the documentation and processes involved instilled confidence in us. Remarkably, we received approval for the L1A visa within an impressively short period of 15 days, a testament to Ashoori Law's efficiency and competence.Ongoing Support:Even after the successful approval of the L1A visa, Ashoori Law continues to be an invaluable resource for us. We are looking forward to further discussions regarding the visa processes for my wife and children, confident that the same level of professionalism and dedication will be extended.Conclusion:In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend Ashoori Law for anyone navigating the complex landscape of immigration processes. The team's depth of knowledge, attention to detail, and commitment to client success set them apart. The positive outcome of our L1A visa application is a testament to the expertise and professionalism of Ashoori Law, making them the go-to choice for immigration services.read more
Youjin L.
I highly recommend Ashoori Law for your U.S. immigration needs. The team is exceptionally knowledgeable and professional. Rohit Srinivasa was incredibly easy to work with and went above and beyond... what was necessary to help me navigate through the complicated immigration policies.read more
Rick Q.
Ashoori Law was very helpful and professional in guiding us through the difficult and complex EPERM process with the Department of Labor and the USCIS for our I-140.
Iain M.
Working with Ashoori Law was a pleasure. Nice people who know what to do and very willing to help and explain.
Gk B
Michael and his team went beyond to assist us with our first step in the E2 VISA process. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Ashoori Law in the future. Michael’s YouTube short video’s are super... informative and relevant to anyone seeking wisdom regarding the immigration options to the USGreat work Michael!read more
Marjz D.
Excellent customer service, best of the best, Michael Ashoori and all the team are honest, straightforward, and very professional, they all always ready to answer questions I had and were always very... helpful, I am happy to recommend them to anyone I know who needs representation. Thank you so muchread more
Stefania G.
I received my E2, however the process was not for the faint of heart. I had Rebecca as my attorney and through out the year communication was a struggle. At the end it was a lot better. When I did... have issues I would call Michael and have answers immediately. I would recommend Ashoori Law again and again. Just try to work on communicating with the clients and getting a response back within a timely fashion.read more
Amina H.
If you want the most knowledgeable, professional, and effective lawyers chose Ashoori Law! Hands down the best and brightest. I truly recommend Ashoori Law to all.
Khalid A.
Ashoore Law Immigration Office is familiar with all the required procedures and provides excellent service easily, without complexity, and at resanable prices.
Chandrasekar M
The Ashoori Law Firm is the top immigration lawyers in the United States! Mr.Jeser Romero, the lawyer, is very intelligent honest, and accommodating, as well as clearly explains the problem and the... solution to you. If you're having any questions, you may easily contact him, and he will personally attend to your situation. Jeser Romero is your attorney if you desire excellent results. He will battle for you and be by your side every step of the way. 🙂 !!!! Thank you and "Keep rocking"read more
Absolutely awesome experience
Anthony P.
I would like to say thank you to Ashoori Law and more so to Milena Manukyan who was my point of contact @AshooriLaw firm. I really appreciated the follow ups and updates that they shared.The level... of professionalism exhibited by the team was beyond what i expected. I would definitely recommend you to anyone with a immigration issue. Thank you againread more
Khalid A.
ASHOORI Law firm is a professional firm with great team.My wife and I recommend this firm for all immigration needsVery truthful and helpful
Anita V.
Ashoori Law has made my husband’s American dream became reality exactly in 5 months time. I found Ashoori Law on Tiktok. I liked how informative Michael’s videos were so I knew his law firm would be... the one for us. From the moment we approached them till the unbelievable last email that informed us that my husband’s green card arrived at their firm, has been a very smooth ride. Very responsive to any questions we had, they worked as efficiently as we did on our paperwork. We highly recommend Ashoori Law with all your immigration needs. We are very thankful for their expertise.read more
Ammar A.
I highly recommend Ashoori Law for all your immigration needs. Their team recently helped me obtain a work permit for one of my employees, and the entire process was smooth and stress-free. Their... professionalism, knowledge, and attention to detail were exceptional. They were always available to answer my questions and concerns, and they kept me informed every step of the way. I highly recommend Ashoori Law to anyone in need of immigration assistance. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication!read more
Giorgi I.
Ashoori Law provided an exceptional service from start to finish for my approved E2 visa application. I am very satisfied with them, and I definitely recommend this Ashoori Law.
saeid Z.
I had an appointment with Mr Mehri, he answered all of my questions patiently and professionally. I am fully satisfied with their service and strongly recommend them.
Next Reviews
Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

President of Ashoori Law

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped thousands of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.