Attending a business meeting in the United States

If you must visit the United States for a business meeting, you may need to apply for a B1 visa first. The B1 visa, or B-1 business visitor visa for the United States, is a special type of visa specifically for business needs, such as a business meeting, conference, convention or contract signing. 

Someone who is visiting the United States for business reasons on a B1 business visitor visa is not allowed to work in the United States for an American employer. They must only be in the United States conducting permissible business-related activities for their own foreign employer. Proving that you will not be working in the United States is an important component of applying for a B1 business visitor visa, because if you cannot do so you will be denied one and not be allowed into the United States.

Applying for a B-1 Business Visitor Visa

There are two basic requirements you must meet when you apply for a B1 business visitor visa for the United States. These are:

Proving that you will only be engaging in acceptable B1 business visitor visa activities. You can do this by providing a letter from your employer describing your position and what you’ll be doing in the United States, as well as any invitations extended to you from colleagues in the United States that would describe your reasons for needing a visa.

2. Demonstrating that you have strong ties to Canada. This is to show that you aren’t going to overstay your visa and remain in the United States illegally once it expires. You must show that you have enough waiting for you in Canada that you’ll go back once your business is finished. Some examples of acceptable proof of ties to Canada includes bank records, information about immediate family in Canada and information about your property in Canada.

Keep in mind that you can apply for the B1 visa at the United States border or port of entry on your way to your meeting or conference, but there is also a risk that you will be denied. If you’re denied, you will definitely miss your meeting! Don’t be denied entry to the United States or denied a B1 business visitor visa because you didn’t have all the proper paperwork. This is completely avoidable, and you could prevent this from happening if you have your situation assessed by a licensed immigration lawyer.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.