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Step-by-Step Guide to US Business Visa

USA Business Visa (B1 Visa) is for business purpose. People who want to visit USA for certain kinds of "business" related travel can apply for Business visa.

The general definition of "business" under immigration law is limited to :

  • The term "business" is limited to the negotiation of business contracts.
  • Consultation with business associates, litigation.
  • Participation in scientific, educational, professional or business meetings, conventions, conferences or seminars and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature.
Note: Citizens of certain countries may not require Business Visa, if the trip is less than 90 days. This is known as the visa waiver program.

Qualifying for Business B1 visa?

Business visa applicant must demonstrate that :

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business;
  • That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
  • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States;
  • Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and
  • That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

What you ought to know about B-1 visa:

  • Business visa (B-1) is meant for business purpose only. You can not involved in study or work on b1 visa.
  • Stay on B1 is given at the port of entry in USA. Length of stay can be extended , you must apply a visa extension application. extension is subject to approval .
  • You may not be liable to pay any taxes on your business allowances if any.
  • You may drive, rent an apartment and open a bank account on business visa. (Rules may vary state to state).

All business visa applicants require to be interviewed by a US Consulate, before being granted the business visa. All applicant must apply for B1 visa and setup a personal interview for B1 visa.

Following is the business visa application and business visa stamping process for applying for a USA business visa from India.

Visa Interview
Step 1.
Photograph
Step 2.
Application
Step 3.
Visa Fee
Step 4.
Appointment
Step 5.
Fingerprinting
Step 6.
Interview


Step 1. Get a digital photograph of each applicant

A digital photograph is required for while applying for a US business visa. The photograph must meet certain criteria. A good photographer or studio can get this picture if you mention photograph needed for US business visa purpose.

The digital photograph must meet the following requirements:

  • The digital photograph must be a square.
  • Minimum dimensions must be 600 pixels by 600 pixels.
  • Maximum dimensions must be 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels.
  • Image must be in color (24 bits per pixel).
  • Image must be in the JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg file extension).
  • File size of the image must be less than or equal to 240 kilobytes.

See the complete photograph requirements for US business visa.


Step 2. Complete business visa application form DS160

Business visa application (Form DS160) must be completed online, over the internet. You can complete the application here.

After successfully completing the application, you will receive a confirmation with a 10-digit barcode. Take a printout of this page. This will be needed for setting up your visa interview appointment.

See details on how to fill business visa application form DS160.

Step 3. Pay the business visa application fee

The fee can be paid either electronically as a bank transfer or in cash at designated CitiBank or Axis bank branches throughout the India. In order to ensure the proper amount is paid and activated in a timely manner, first create a profile at US visa Service website and choose the Schedule Appointment option. On the payment confirmation screen you will be presented with payment options and further details of how to initiate payment. The fee is good for a year from the date of payment. You must take an appointment within a year for your visa interview.

Read complete details about US business visa fee.

Step 4. Take appointment for visa interview

After you pay the fees, you will have to schedule 2 appointments as part of the visitor visa process. The two-part appointment process consists of an appointment with one of the five Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to give Biometrics information that includes fingerprinting and photograph , and second an appointment with the Consulate or Embassy for a personal visa interview.

Take online visa appointment at official website for US visa appointment.(www.ustraveldocs.com/in).

See complete details of talking an US Business Visa Interview Appointment.

Step 5. US Visa Fingerprinting at Visa Application Center (VAC)

After taking appointment with the consulate or embassy for personal interview, schedule the fingerprinting appointment at least a day or two before the interview at the consulate. Earlier, the fingerprints were taken during the personal interview. But under the new rules you are required to give the Biometrics information at the VAC appointment. This measure has been introduced to reduce congestion at the US consular facilities and to speed up the applicant processing. Schedule the visa interview appointment at the Consulate or Embassy prior to the VAC appointment.

See complete details for Business Visa Fingerprinting Process.

Step 6. Go for visa interview at designated US consulate

On the day and time of your appointment for interview, go to the consulate where your interview is scheduled. Carry all mandatory and supporting documents and originals.

Carry the following to your interview:

  • Your passport (and your old passports if any)
  • Your photograph
  • The DS160 application form confirmation page stamped at the VAC .
  • Copy of visa application fee receipts.
  • visa interview appointment letter.
  • Petition-based visa applicants (H, L, F, J, M, R visas) should also bring petition-related documents.
  • Supporting documents, based on what kind of visa you are applying for.

See complete details of the business visa interview process.

Applicants applying for business visa, working for a shipping company or airline, need to submit a company letter in original.

Applicants applying for the visa in order to travel with their employer as a domestic worker must submit a copy of the contract between them and the employer, as well as a copt of the employer's visa and passport.

Applicants joining their husband or parent on board a ship need a letter from the shipping company and the principal's visa copy.

Visa renewal applicants must submit a copy of the previous expired US visa stamped on their passport.

           Next page: 1. Get a Photograph

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