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Business Visas for the United States

12th July 2010
By US Visa Lawyer in Immigration Law
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The following article discusses American business visas and similar travel documents used by foreign nationals to travel to the United States for business purposes.

Business travel to the United States can be a difficult endeavor for foreign nationals outside of the USA. This is due to the fact that officer of the American government tasked with adjudicating visa applications must scrutinize those applications in accordance with the provisions of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act as well as other relevant Federal law. Unfortunately for some, application of relevant law can sometimes result in an adverse finding against the individual seeking a United States business visa. The following is an analysis of common reasons for denying a business visa to the United States.

A US B1 visa is a non-immigrant visa. Therefore, in order to receive approval for a B1 visa application the applicant must overcome the presumption of immigrant intent enshrined in section 214(b) of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 214B requires a Consular Officer to deny a US visa application if they believe, based upon the facts, that the applicant will use the visa for undisclosed immigration. For example, this would occur if an individual applied for a business visa, obtained approval, traveled to the USA, and remained indefinitely. As the B1 visa is strictly for non-immigrant purposes a Consular Officer must analyze a business visa application so that they are satisfied that the applicant will not use the travel document for immigration purposes. This is the point at which the "strong ties" vs. "weak ties" analysis comes into play. Those seeking a non-immigrant visa such as a B-1 must show that they have "strong ties" to their home country, or another country outside of the United States, and "weak ties" to the US.

With this said, there are other business and employment visa categories notwithstanding the B1. For instance, an L-1 visa allows the visa holder to have "dual intent". This means that the visa holder can maintain a present intention to travel to the USA for temporary purposes, but also have a, possibly long term, intention to immigrate as well. An H1 visa is also a dual intent travel document. Regardless of the fact that section 214(b) does not apply to some other business visa categories, a Consular Officer must still adjudicate the merits of a visa application in order to be certain that the applicant is not inadmissible to the United States. Further, Officers must also be vigilant in guarding against applicants committing fraud and misrepresentation as the Consular Officer may be tasked with making legal conclusions based upon facts.


Ben Hart is an American lawyer, the Managing Director of Integrity Legal (Thailand) Co. Ltd., and the International Director of White & Hart Ltd. Contact them at 1-877-231-7533, +66 (0)2-266-3698, +44 203-002-3837, or See them on the web at: US Company Registration or US business visa .
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