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Temporary Business Visitors: B-1 Visas & The Visa Waiver Program

What is a Temporary Business Visitor visa?

Temporary Business Visitor status allows foreign business travelers to engage in business activities related to their foreign employment while inside the U.S. for a short period of time, typically ninety (90) days.

temporary business visa 1


To qualify for temporary business visitor status, acceptable forms of business activities include: negotiating contracts, engaging in litigation, short-term training, conferences, and consulting with clients and/or business associates. In addition, the B-1 visa holder must still be employed and paid by their foreign employer while conducting business activities in the U.S.


  • Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”): This program allows nationals from 35 participating countries to travel to the U.S. for business (or tourism) for stays of ninety (90) days or less without having to obtain a visa. The current list of countries included can be found here: Visitors under VWP must have valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”) prior to travel, and once in the U.S., the foreign national would be enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-Visit program. The period of stay under VWP cannot be extended or changed while inside the U.S.
  • B-1: If a foreign national is from a country not participating in the Visa Waiver Program, a B-1 temporary business visitor visa will be required from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. A B-1 visa holder’s initial period of stay is one (1) to six (6) months and may be extended up to six (6) months. The maximum amount of time permitted for any one trip to the U.S. is typically one (1) year. Unlike the VWP, a B-1 visa holder may extend or change nonimmigrant status while inside the U.S. with an application to USCIS.


Throughout our years, in addition to advising foreign business travelers on the VWP, we have effectively assisted many foreign business travelers obtain their B-1 visa from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. In addition, we have numerous successful extensions and change of status while inside the U.S.