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U.S. Business Visitor and Tourist Visas

United States Business Visitors

Entering the United States is documented in one of two ways - as an Immigrant or as a Non-immigrant. A Non-immigrant is someone who will enter the U.S. on a temporary basis - whether for tourism, business, temporary work or study purposes. Once people enter the U.S. as Non-immigrants, they are restricted to the activity or reason for which they were allowed entry. Contact us today for more information at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

U.S. Visitors for Business: B-1 Visa Applications

Those who are planning to visit the U.S. in order to participate in business activities of a commercial or professional nature may be eligible for a B-1 Business Visitor visa. The following activities may prompt the issuance of a B-1 visa (but this list is not exhaustive):

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
  • Settling of 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

The U.S. State Department also identifies athletes, lecturers and speakers, researchers, sales professionals, service engineers and anyone in training as a candidate for a B-1 visa as well. Naturally, you must be able to demonstrate eligibility to qualify for this type of visa, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.CIS), requires that you:

  • Offer evidence of the purpose of the trip (showing it to be legitimate)
  • Make it clear that you plan to remain only for a temporary period
  • Demonstrate that you have the funds necessary to pay for your stay and return home
  • Offer evidence that you have a home outside of the U.S. that you fully intend to return to.

Not all people traveling for work or business will qualify for the B-1 visa, and it may be that you are better suited for the temporary work visa instead. It is important to clarify the right path as soon as possible to ensure you get your visa quickly and easily.

U.S. Visitors for Pleasure: B-2 Visa Applications

There are different kinds of visas, but those who are traveling to the U.S. purely for pleasure will need to acquire a B-2 visa. NOTE: Citizens of some countries may travel to the U.S. for tourism, while in transit, or for business (up to 90 days) without a visa. There are 38 countries to which this applies, including Canada, the UK, and others. Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

Described as a tourist visa, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to obtain a B-2 visa, and they include:

  • The reason for travel is for tourism, vacation, family/friend visit, medical care, participation in a social or organizational event, participation in an amateur event (sporting, musical, theatrical, etc.) but not for pay, or enrollment in a course of study (not for credit)
  • The stay is for a limited and specific period of time
  • The applicant must have a place of residence outside of the United States that is a binding tie to which they will return
  • The applicant must be admissible to the United States and be able to return to their country at the end of the visit
  • The applicant has the financial means to pay for the visit and departure back home at the end of the stay

Naturally, your word about such matters is not adequate evidence, and you will likely be interviewed at your country's U.S. Embassy or Consulate and will need to provide proof that you meet the criteria listed above.

Application

Like all other visas, you will have to apply for the B-2 visa from outside of the U.S. This is done through an embassy or consulate, though you can often submit the application online. Canadians can make their applications at the port of entry into the U.S.

Final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued."

That is why it is so important that you ensure you meet all of the requirements for the B-2 visa. Though the officer at the embassy will determine if you qualify, based on your application, the facts presented and your interview, you may want to consult with a lawyer ahead of time to avoid costly or difficult delays.

Not all people traveling for pleasure meet the criteria for a B-2 visa, and it may be that you are better suited for another type of visa. It is important to clarify the right path as soon as possible to ensure you get your visa quickly and easily.

Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

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Ackah Business Immigration Law is one of Waste Management’s primary counsel for Canadian immigration matters. Evelyn Ackah and her knowledgeable staff are skilled and trusted advisors to the Company. Ackah Business Immigration Law understands the importance of our business in Canada and provides quality work at a cost that is reasonable and significantly less than the big firms. I highly recommend Evelyn and the team at Ackah Business Immigration Law.

– LaTonya Warner, Senior Paralegal - Labour & Employment

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