You may be eligible for a B-1 visa if you will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including, but not limited to:
- Consulting with business associates
- Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
- Settling an estate
- Negotiating a contract
- Participating in short-term training
- Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa
- Deadheading: certain air crewmen may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa
You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible for a B-1 visa:
- The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature
- You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time
- You have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States
- You have a residence outside the United States that you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties that will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit
- You are otherwise admissible to the United States
For information on applying for a B-1 visa, see the “Department of State” link.
Aliens seeking a B-1 visa from certain countries may be able to enter the United States without a visa. For information about exemptions from the visa requirements, see the Customs & Border Protection page.
If you are in the United States in another valid nonimmigrant status, you may be eligible to change to B-1 status. To change to B-1 status, file a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. For more information, see the Change my Nonimmigrant Status page.
|Initial Period of Stay||Extension of Stay|
|1 to 6 months; 6 months is the maximum||Up to 6 months; maximum total amount of time permitted in B-1 status on any one trip is generally 1 year.|
At the port of entry, an immigration official must authorize your admission to the United States, and, if you are eligible for admission, you may be admitted initially for the period necessary to carry out your business activities, up to a maximum period of 1 year. If you who wish to stay beyond the time indicated on the Form I-94 without departing from the United States, you must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and submit any required supporting documents to USCIS. For more information, see the Extend my Stay page.
Your spouse and children are not eligible for a dependent visa. Each of your dependents who will be accompanying or following to join you must apply separately for a B-2 visa and must follow the regulations for that visa.
Certain personal or domestic servants accompanying or following to join individuals in a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, or TN nonimmigrant classification, personal or domestic servants of U.S. citizens who have a permanent home or are stationed in a foreign country, as well as certain employees of foreign airlines, may be eligible for B-1 nonimmigrant status if their activities in the United States are in connection with their foreign employment. Such activities are not considered, for purposes of the B-1 classification, to be prohibited local “employment” or “labor for hire” within the United States.
While these B-1 nonimmigrants are not required to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS before engaging in their approved B-1 activities, they may still receive an EAD upon request by filing Form I-765. Note, however, that if such persons engage in activities outside their B-1 nonimmigrant status, such as working for another employer in the United States, they will be found to have violated their B-1 nonimmigrant status. They also may not remain in the United States for longer than the authorized period of stay in B-1 nonimmigrant status.
What are the requirements for extending my stay?
According to Path2usa, B1 and B2 visa holders can extend their stay if:
- You have a valid legitimate reason to request for visa extension, under the visa category.
- You were lawfully admitted into the United States with a non-immigrant visa
- Your non-immigrant US visa status remained valid
- You have not committed any crimes that make you ineligible for a visa
- You have not violated the conditions of your admission to the USA
- Your passport is valid and will remain valid for the duration of your stay.
- You have definite plans to leave the US at the end of the proposed visa extension period.
- Proper evidence for financial support is provided.
What documents do you need to complete for a US visa extension?
- Fill out and complete form I-539. You can do this online, by the mail, or in-person at a USCIS office
- If you file online, you’ll need to understand how to submit attachments of the document you’ll need
- File an application (letter) stating the reasons for requesting a visa extension
- Provide proof you can support yourself financially during the extension – such as bank account statements and employer statements
- Supply a copy of your return airline or shipping tickets
- Pay the filing fees ($370) and any biometric fee ($85). Generally, your spouse and children are included in these fees
- Provide a copy (not the original) of your I-94 for each applicant
Be sure to read the extension checklist and to follow the sample cover letter that the USCIS provides.
When should the visa extension request be field?
The USCIC recommends that you request an extension at least 45 days before your visa expiration date ends. Generally, USCIS must receive your completed application and fees by the day your authorized stay ends.
What happens after you file the extension request?
The USCIS will send you a receipt with a 13 digit case number. “The approximate processing time will be indicated on the receipt.” You may be given a biometrics appointment so you and anyone else on the application can be fingerprinted and photographed
If you file your extension request on time, you may be permitted to stay in the US for up to an additional 240 days depending on the reasons behind your request and other factors.
You can check the status of your request online through the receipt case number.
If the visa extension is approved, you will be given a replacement I-94 with the new expiration/departure date. You should make copies of this I-94 so you’ll have them for subsequent trips to the United States.
If the visa extension request is denied, you’ll receive written notice of the denial. You will need to leave the US immediately.
Any additional tips?
Be sure your travel medical insurance is current and covers the extended stay.
Generally, you should be prepared to leave so you’re ready if the visa extension is denied. If the extension request is granted, you can follow through with your alternate plans.
I have a B1-B2 visa and I want to extend my stay, Should I apply for a Visa extension OR just go to Canada Or Mexico and re-enter, will I get a new I-94 with 6 months?
“B1 and B2 visas are usually issued for a term of 10 years. Each visit may last up to six months, although some categories of visitors may apply to extend their visit for an additional 6 months. During your visit to the U.S., you may visit Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean islands (not Cuba)for up to 30 days and re-enter the U.S. as long as you re-enter within the period noted on Form I – 94 which you received when you first entered.”
How long you can stay after applying for a visa extension?
“If USICS receive your application before your status expires (or, in exceptional cases, we excuse filing after your status expires due to circumstances beyond your control), and if you have not violated the terms of your status and meet the basic eligibility requirements, then you may continue your previously approved activities in the U.S.( including previously authorized work, for a period of up to 240 days), until we make a decision on your application or until the reason for your requested extension has been accomplished- whichever comes first.”
What if I file on time for a visa extension, but I leave America before USCIS makes a decision on my application?
“If you leave the US before a decision is made on your application to extend and you plan to return to the U.S. in the future, please keep a copy of your application plus the receipt notice to show to the Immigration Inspector on your return travel to the U.S. Otherwise, you may be denied entry for overstaying on your last visit.”
Call Herman Legal Group at 1 (800) 808-4013 or complete our contact form for answers to all your B-1 and B-2 extension requests and change of status requests.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the benefits of the visa validity extension?
U.S. and Chinese citizens who regularly travel back and forth between the U.S. and China will benefit from the longer validity by not having to apply and pay the application fee every year. Businesses in both countries, including the tourism industry, will benefit from increased travel, investment, and business development opportunities between the two countries. Longer visa validity will allow students and exchange visitors to return to their home countries during school and work holidays more easily.
Q: Will these changes in visa validity affect fees?
There will be no change in visa application fees. The basic visa fee of 160 USD includes appointment scheduling and passport delivery services. Visa information is available free both online at www.ustraveldocs.com and through the Call Center. Fees can be paid by debit card online, at any CITIC ATM, or in cash at a CITIC branch. Applicants can pick up their passports at any of 800 CITIC bank branches.
Q: Will these changes affect processing times?
We expect that these changes in visa validity will be very popular among Chinese travelers. The U.S. Mission in China is taking steps to handle a potential increase in visa workload and intends to keep visa processing times as short as they have been over the past several years.
Q: Will changes in visa validity have any effect on visa eligibility?
The same standards of eligibility for a U.S. visa will apply as before this extension in validity.
Q: Will applicants with previous visas still be eligible to apply for visa renewal via the Interview Waiver Program?
The Interview Waiver Program (IWP) remains a valuable tool to many visa holders who wish to renew visas. A great majority of current tourist, business visitor, student, and exchange visitor nonimmigrant visa holders will remain eligible for IWP processing. More information on IWP processing can be found at www.ustraveldocs.com.
Q: Will these changes in visa validity affect visa applications subject to administrative processing?
Changes in visa validity will not change the requirement that some applications will need additional administrative processing. As is true in all visa cases, when administrative processing is required, visa validity may vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
Q: Will the increased visa validity allow me to stay longer in the United States?
It is important to note that visa validity is NOT the same as the allowed duration of stay. A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port of entry where a Customs and Border Protection officer will grant admission to valid travelers. In doing so, the officer will inform the traveler of the permitted length of stay. The current change in visa validity does NOT change the permitted duration of stay for any visa class. Remaining in the United States beyond your allowed duration of stay can result in a violation of U.S. immigration laws and may cause you to be ineligible for travel to the United States in the future.
Q: When is the right time to apply for this longer-validity visa?
The up-to ten-year validity visa is not a temporary offer, but represents a long-term reciprocal commitment. While an applicant should generally apply well in advance of their anticipated travel date, an individual with a currently valid visa or with no current travel plan should not rush to apply.
Q: If the visa currently in my passport has one year validity, does it now have a longer validity?
Existing visas will be valid only until the expiration date printed on the current visa. This extension does NOT increase the validity of visas already issued. To obtain a visa with extended validity, holders of valid or recently-expired visas will need to apply again. Please note that many visa applicants are eligible for the Interview Waiver Program under which an interview may not be required; more information on IWP processing can be found at www.ustraveldocs.com.
Q: Will U.S. citizens receive ten-year tourism and business visitor visas in China?
Because this is a reciprocal arrangement, the Chinese government is committed to issuing visas valid for up to the same duration.
Q: What happens if U.S. citizens aren’t issued ten-year tourist visas? Will anything change for Chinese nationals?
The arrangement is based on reciprocity. Chinese nationals will be afforded the same maximum validity for B-category visas as U.S. citizens are afforded when applying for an equivalent visa category.
Q: When will other classifications of visas have longer validity? Why don’t other classifications of visas have long validity?
The United States and China continue to discuss visa validity for other classes of visas. All such decisions are made on a reciprocal basis. At the same time, it is important to note that in FY2014, business, tourist, student, and exchange visitor visas represented 97 percent of all nonimmigrant visa applications processed in China for Chinese citizens.
Q: Will dependent family members of students and exchange visitors also be eligible for these increases in visa validity?
Yes, all qualified dependent family members of students and exchange visitors will be eligible for these same increases in visa validity.
Q: Can I apply for a ten-year visa if I am a Chinese national living in a country other than China?
Yes, maximum visa validity is determined by the reciprocity arrangement with the country that issued your passport and not the country in which you apply.
Find out how to check your visa status and how you can renew, extend or change a visa. If your visa or arrival/departure record is lost or stolen, find information on what steps to take for getting another one. Also, learn what you can do if your visa application is denied.
On This Page
- Check the Status of a Visa Application
- How to Change, Extend, or Renew a U.S. Visa
- Loss or Theft of a Visa or Arrival/Departure Record
Check the Status of a Visa Application
To check on the status of your U.S. Visa application:
Abroad: Contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate where you filed your application.
U.S. consular officers have decision-making authority regarding nonimmigrant visa applications. If the consular officer denies your application, ask them to explain why. While you are not eligible to reapply for a visa if the officer denies your application, you can apply for a waiver instead.
How to Change, Extend, or Renew a U.S. Visa
Find out how to change, extend, or renew your visa.
Visa Changes (Adjustments) and Extensions
You must renew your visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Only diplomatic visa holders and their dependents may renew them in the United States.
Loss or Theft of a Visa or Arrival/Departure Record
If you lost your visa or the Arrival/Departure Records (a Form I-94) to enter the U.S., the Bureau of Consular Affairs has guidance on reporting and re-issuance of travel documents:
- File a police report and get the number of the report and the officer’s name.
- Request replacement of a lost/stolen arrival/departure record (Form I-94).
- Report the lost/stolen visa or Form I-94 to your embassy.
- Report and apply for a replacement of your visa lost/stolen to the U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad.
Important Tip: Make a copy of your passport biographic page, U.S. visa and admission stamp or your I-94 admission number.
Do you have a question?
Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They’ll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.
B-1 and B-2 Visas are the basic visa types for visitors who wish to visit the U.S. for pleasure or business purposes. The initial maximal period or each visit is up to 6 months, but this period can be extended for up to an additional 6 months. This process has to be taken care of prior to the expiration of your current status.
PassRight offers 2 options for extending your B-1 or B-2 Visa
Why Extend Your B-1 and B-2 Visa With Us?
We focus on the personal statement, in which you explain the reason of your B-1/B-2 visa extension or change of status. We do visa extensions with care.
If you’re in the United States on a temporary non-immigrant visa and wish to extend you stay, be it for leisure, tourism, medical treatment or business purposes, let us help you. The extension can be issued for a maximum period of another 6 months. We have a lot of experience in completing the paperwork and we are familiar with all the required forms. We focus on your personal statement, in which you explain the reason for your request to extend your B-1 / B-2 visa or the change of the status. We pay attention to details and prepare visa extensions with care.
What is a B-1/B-2 Visa extension?
The process is usually given for 6 months. The extension can be made up to 1 day before the visa expires as long as you send the USCIS a Fedex package and make sure you save the receipt with the tracking number and date. If the extension is submitted before the due date, the person who does the B-2 visa extension is safe and is not overstaying his or her tourist visa.
What you need to know about the B-1/B-2 visa extension
The most crucial part of the work when submitting the B-2 visa extension is to prove that you have been a tourist in the United States for the past few months while on the visa. To obtain evidence for B-2 visa extension, you have to find the documents connected with your traveling. The statement must describe what you did in detail, including where you slept – hotels, hostels or Airbnb receipts or confirmations-as well as car rental receipts, bus or plane tickets, or any other related information.
Period of stay on this visa in the United States is 1-6 months, 6 months is the maximum. The extension period is up to 6 months; maximum total amount of time permitted in B-1 status on any one trip is generally 1 year.
If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on the I-94 Form, you must file a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status along with the relevant supporting documents, to USCIS.
Period of stay is the same as in case of B-1 visa – 6 months is the maximum. If you wish to extend your stay (for up to 6 months), without departing from the United States, you are required to submit a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status along with the relevant supporting documents.
To know more about B-2 Visa extension, please refer to our blog post about the topic.
Want to start the process with our easy to use DIY solution? Simply go to this link and get started right away!
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B-1 Business Visa Application Guide Package
B-1 Business Visa is a non-immigrant visa for temporary visitors to the U.S. who are coming for business purposes. An immigrant visa is for permanent residency in the U.S. A business visa which is also generally referred to as a visitor visa is valid for a few months or up to a year depending on whether the applicant is granted a single-entry or multiple-entry visa.
The B-1 business visa is for persons entering the U.S. temporarily for business activities like meetings, conferences, consultations and negotiations. They cannot work while they are in the U.S. nor can they be paid by a source in the U.S. People intending to work in the U.S. need to go in for work visas like H-1, H-2, L-1 or other visas. People entering the U.S. for pleasure, tourism or medical treatment need a B-2 Tourist Visa.
The B-1 visa category does not have a corresponding dependent visa category. Dependents accompanying B-1 visa holders will have to qualify on their own basis for a B visa. There are limited instances when a B-1 visa can be used in lieu of an H-1B visa. This is applicable only when the beneficiary is entering the U.S. as an employee of a foreign entity to offer services in the U.S. This person has to be paid by the foreign employer and is allowed to receive only expense allowances or other reimbursement from a U.S. entity for expenses incurred during his/her temporary stay in the U.S.
Getting a B-1 business visa involves careful preparation of an error free application. The application maybe approved immediately, but it could be a few days or weeks before the visa is received. The visa gives you permission to appear at a Port of Entry. Here a CBP official will determine the duration of your stay in the U.S. and the date will be stamped on your I-94 card which will be placed in your passport. You must leave the U.S. on or before that date.
Coming to the U.S. for business? Get your temporary visitor visa in a few easy steps!
Entering the United States can be a complex issue. In this package we will break down the complexities and explain the procedures. Find the Government forms, requirements and step-by-step instructions that you need to complete your B -1 Business Visitor Visa Application. Start today! Order your kit now!
In this package you will find:
- A complete set of forms that you will need to fill out to get your B -1 Business Visitor Visa Application.
- Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations, for you to perfectly understand what is requested in every single line of the forms.
- How to Establish your Ethnic Background.
- B-1 Business Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa: Descriptions, Visas and the Law.
- Qualifications & Eligibility Requirements: Visa Waiver Pilot Program, Countries not Eligible for a Tourist Visa, Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas, Visa Ineligibility Waiver.
- Step-by-Step Procedures: Filing, Fees, Completing Application Forms, Affidavit of Support – Form and Samples.
- Supporting Documents: Sample Letter of Invitation for B -1 Business Visitor Visa Application.
- Filing Instructions: Applying for a Visa at the US Consulate and at the Border Post. Border Crossing Card and Border Biometric Program. Laser Visas.
- Consular Interview to Get your B -1 Business Visitor Visa Application.
- Dealing with Denials: Resubmitting Applications with Additional Documentation.
- US Port of Entry.
- Special Circumstances and Visa Revalidation.
- Extending Stay/Changing Visa.
- Visa Replacements for Lost/Damaged Visas.
- Checklist for Filing B -1 Business Visitor Visa Application.
- Required Documentation.
- Frequently Asked Questions & Answers Regarding B -1 Business Visitor Visa Application.
- Document Translations.
- Contact Information for Government Agencies and American Consulates and Embassies.
- Updates Regarding B -1 Business Visitor Visa Application.
My wife and I are Indian citizens with valid USA B2 visas. We came to visit our children on December 8, 2019. Our authorised stay ends on June 8, 2020. We have planned to return on June 3, 2020. We have valid return tickets.
Now, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we are not sure if we will be able to fly as planned.
So, we are considering applying for an extension of stay by applying for an I-539 visa extension. When is the best time to apply? I mean, should we apply now, or wait for some more time to pass to see if the lockdown is relaxed and we can fly as planned?
Another problem is that my Indian passport expires on July 21, 2020.
Can anyone suggest the best course of action for us please?
2 Answers 2
I would recommend you file for an extension as soon as you are sure you are not likely to be able to leave on time. All things considered, this will probably be early May.
Here is the current situation:
- India has suspended all commercial flights in and out of the country through 3 May 2020. By 4 May at the latest, there should be a new announcement, and you should know if the suspension remains in place or has been lifted. If the suspension gets extended into June, your flight will almost certainly be cancelled.
- In normal circumstances, your I-539 extension of stay must be filed and receipt acknowledged by USCIS before your I-94 authorized stay ends. Given the coronavirus, they are giving some flexibility for late submissions, but it’s still a good idea to file early. It is currently taking several months to process these applications. You can remain in the US until your application is processed and you receive the decision, but if it is refused you must leave immediately.
- Repatriation flights are still flying, in both directions. You can contact the Indian embassy to find out if a repatriation flight is available and what the requirements are.
With regard to your passport:
- The Indian embassy in Washington has suspended passport services except for emergencies. Because it is more difficult to renew an Indian passport outside India after it has expired, you should contact the embassy as soon as possible regarding a possible passport renewal. Don’t follow the normal passport instructions on the website unless instructed by the embassy as that process has been suspended.
- You can use the existing passport to return to India all the way up to 23:59 on its expiry date. But if you are not able to get a new passport and you are stuck in the US after your passport expiration, the embassy can still issue an emergency travel document to allow your return to India after flights eventually resume.
Many individuals who come to the United States on a visitor visa would like to extend their visa. They can apply for an extension of stay in the U.S. The extension may or may not be granted, depending upon the reason for the extension and whether the USCIS is convinced that the applicant does intend to return to his/her home country after their temporary stay in the U.S.
Suitable Time to Apply
Please note that you should not apply for an extension of stay within 3 months of coming to the USA; otherwise, USCIS may conclude that even before entering the USA, you were planning to extend the visa, which might be contradictory to what you might have said at the consulate or at the port of entry.
You should apply at least 45 days before your authorized stay (as per the passport stamp or the date on your Form I-94) expires.
The duration for which the person can stay depends upon the expiration date of the I-94, and NOT on the expiration date of the visa stamp. The date on the visa stamp is irrelevant.
No Easy Alternatives
You cannot go to neighboring countries (Canada, Mexico) either by air or road, come back to get a new I-94, and therefore avoid the lengthy process of applying for an extension. A new I-94 will NOT be given. You cannot even go to neighboring islands, such as the Bahamas, and come back to get new a I-94. You will have to actually travel outside of North America and come back.
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Approval or Denial
As long as you apply for an extension before the I-94 expires, you will be considered in status (present legally) until you receive the decision from USCIS or for 240 days, whichever comes first. If your extension is approved, you can be present in the U.S. until the new I-94 date.
However, if your extension is denied, you will be considered out of status immediately, and your visa stamp will be void. You must leave the U.S. immediately as there is no grace period. In that case, your stay beyond the I-94 expiration date will be considered an “unlawful presence” for the purposes of inadmissibility.
Extension Duration and Consequences
Usually, an extension will be given for the duration you ask and give justification for. However, the maximum duration for an extension you can ask for is 6 months. Also, you cannot apply for a visitor visa extension as many times as you want. The maximum you can stay on a B1/B2 visa is 1 year.
As long as you stay in the U.S. legally and do not violate any terms of the visa that you are on, you will not get into any trouble while applying for a green card just because you applied for a visa extension.
If you are late filing for an extension, and your authorized stay has already expired, you must prove that: