Business B1 visa

Why do people go to the United States? The commonest two answers are tourism or doing business. These two reasons so overwhelmingly outweigh all others that they are usually combined into a single B1/B2 visa that allows you to enter the US for either tourism or business

Business B1 Visa

How the Jains mixed business with pleasure in the with a Business B1 Visa

The Jains, as a family, loved making decisions. Naveen Jain, a businessman and technologist, loved math problems and puzzles and delighted in introducing them over dinner. This evening, he had a special one for his family.

“A certain man wants to go to the United States for a few months to negotiate a contract with that country’s leading manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels. His dilemma is — should he take his family with him or not?”

His children caught on immediately, and clamored, “Yes, yes, yes!!”

“How many children are we talking about?” he asked.

“Two!!” the two of them shouted.

“Is there a mother too?”

“Yes,” they cried, “we can’t go without mummy!”

“Anh-hanh,” he wagged a finger. “I never said it was our family. But now we have a new dilemma because the US has two visas, one for businessmen, called the Business B1 Visa and one for tourists, called the B-2 Visa. Which should the family apply for?”

“The father should apply for a B-1,” said the son.

“And we’ll apply for a B-2,” said the daughter.

“You mean you don’t want the father to be part of the fun?”

There was a silence around the table.

The father laughed out loud. “So you see the problem? If the father travels on a Business visa, he may not be able to have a good time with his family. But if he goes on a Tourist visa, he may not get his business work done. I think you kids need to go back to the Internet and get some better US immigration advice.”

So they did. And that was how they learned that the Business B1 Visa is heads and shoulders the single most popular visa of all the different US visa categories. In fact, since business and tourism were the two biggest reasons why people went to the US, the B-1 and B-2 visas were often combined into a single B-1/B-2 visa, usually with 10-year validity.

In 2019, the last pre-COVID year for which data is available, of the 8,742,068 visas issued that year, 5,297,439 were B1/B2 visas.

Applying for the B-1 visa is as straightforward as the B-2, except that a businessman would have to prove a good deal more than just an intention to return to his home country. For example, Naveen Jain would have to establish his business credentials and bona fides and show that he was a businessman in good standing with a history of sustained and profitable commerce.

The Hains’ visa dilemma had a simple solution and the children found it easily enough.

“We cracked it, papa,” the boy said at dinner a few days later. “If you have a B-1 Business visa, you’re allowed to do tourist things like having fun with your family!”

“Though people on a B-2 Tourist visa aren’t allowed to do Business B1 Visa things like business,” piped in the daughter.

And so the Jains went to the US for the first time that October, three of them on vacation, and the fourth mixing business with a little pleasure.

You can get more information on how to apply for the B-1 visa from the detailed, user-friendly visa guides you get when you buy one of our plans.

If you would like to consult a lawyer who specializes in US immigration and Business B1 Visa matters, click here to see some of your options, including how to access our exclusive list of professional immigration lawyers. If you have questions or would like clarifications, please send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours with an answer.