Under U.S. Immigration Law the B Visa can be used by Business Visitors coming to the United States to engage in certain business activities. With certain exceptions, business visitors are not allowed to engage in productive labor, or work, without the proper work authorization. With increased scrutiny at U.S. ports of entry and pre-flight inspection points, we have seen many business visitors denied entry into the U.S. who have been traveling on B visas for years. The main reason for denied entry, the activities they are participating in require a work visa. In general, a B visa can be used for the following activities:
- Investors seeking to invest in the United States
- Conference, meeting, trade show, or business event attendee
- Exposition or trade show
- Lecturer or speaker receiving no income
- Researcher receiving no income from U.S. and whose work does not benefit a U.S. entity
- Sales/Selling – Must be taking orders, negotiating/signing contracts, for products produced outside the U.S.
- And other qualified activities.
If your activities do not fall under the above listed exceptions for the B visa, then you may need a work visa. In general, if you are receiving compensation to be in the United States or the following apply to your situation, you may need a work visa:
- Receive compensation from a U.S. source
- Receive compensation from a foreign source to provide services to a U.S. client
- Attending meetings with a U.S. client with whom you have contract to perform services
- Visiting client sites with whom you have a contract to perform services
- Perform services at a U.S. location for which you receive compensation
- And other activities that may require a work visa.
If you have been denied entry into the United States as a business visitor, you may need a work visa prior to returning. We are able to assess your situation and determine whether or not a work visa is required. Call our offices to speak with an experienced U.S. Immigration Lawyer.
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