How to Apply for B1 Visa – A Step-by-Step Guide to US Business Visa

How to Apply for B1 Visa – A Step-by-Step Guide to US Business Visa

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HomeVisa GuideHow to Apply for B1 Visa – A Step-by-Step Guide to US Business Visa

A US Business Visa, or B-1 Visa, is a temporary visa granted to citizens of foreign countries who wish to come to the United States for business purposes.

According to the US Department of State, a ‘business visa’ is limited to visitors who want to:

  • consult with business associates,
  • attend a scientific, educational, professional or business convention or conference,
  • settle an estate,
  • or negotiate a contract.


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

In order to qualify for a US Business Visa, the 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 of time;
  • 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 ensure their return home at the end of the visit.

What to Know About the B-1 Visa:

  • The Business (B-1) Visa is meant for business related purpose only. It is not intended for study or work.
  • Stay on a B-1 Visa is given at the port of entry in USA. Length of stay can be extended if you apply for a visa extension. Such extensions are 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 a business visa, although rules may vary from state to state.

All Business Visa applicants require to be interviewed by a US Consulate before being granted a Business Visa. All applicants must apply for B-1 Visa and set up an interview.

Below is the application and stamping process for applying for a USA Business Visa from India.


Get a Digital Photograph of Each Applicant

Digital images of the applicant are required for some visa categories, while photos are required for other visa categories. The acceptance of your digital image or photo is at the discretion of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.

The criteria for your photo or digital image are as follows:

  • In color with 24 pixels per bit and taken in the last 6 months
  • Dimensions to be within a range of minimum 600 pixels and a maximum of 1200 pixels
  • In JPEG format equal to or under 240 KBs
  • Should be taken before a plain white background, in full-face view
  • Maintain neutral expression and clothing
  • No head covering unless for religious purposes
  • Effective November 1, 2016, eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos
  • If taking it yourself, apart from the above, also ensure the image is square and sized with head between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35mm) or 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head

If you decide to scan an existing photograph, in addition to the above requirements, it should also be:

  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
  • Scanned at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)
  • Carry 2 physical copies printed on quality paper for the interview

See the complete photograph requirements for US business visa.

Please Note

Some embassies or consulates no longer require you to upload a digital photograph while filling out the DS-160 form. In such cases, the photograph will taken at the OFC (offsite facilitation center) or ASC (Application Service Center) along with fingerprinting at a Visa Application Center.


Complete Business Visa Application Form DS-160

Business visa application (Form DS-160) must be completed online. You can complete the application here.

After successfully completing the application, you will receive a confirmation with a 10-digit barcode. Print out a copy of this page and keep it for your records. This will be needed for setting up your visa interview appointment.


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.


Schedule a Visa Interview Appointment

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 a second appointment with the US Consulate or Embassy for a personal visa interview.

You can schedule your interview by using the website. 


Visitor 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. Previously, the fingerprints were taken during the personal interview. But under new regulations, you are required to provide your 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.

See complete details for Business Visa Fingerprinting Process.


Attend a 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.

Bring the following to your interview:

  • Your passport (and your old passports, if any)
  • Your photograph
  • The DS-160 application form confirmation page stamped at the VAC
  • Copy of your 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

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