United States of America
The below provides a high level summary of immigration requirements for the United States. Whether a traveler may enter as a business visitor or requires a work permit depends on the traveler's nationality, duration of stay and activities in the country.
- Observation of a business or other professional or vocational activity that does not involve hands-on activity.
- Merchants taking orders for goods manufactured abroad
- Negotiating contracts
Generally, business visitors must:
- Possess a valid passport or travel document
- Establish the specific purpose of the visit
- Demonstrate intent to depart the U.S. at a fixed time
Maximum Period Stay
B-1/B-2 Visitor Visas are often issued for multiple entries at the consulate’s discretion. Validity periods can extend for up to 10 years, depending on nationality. It is important to note that the B-1/B-2 visa validity does not authorize the visitor’s duration of stay. The I-94 entry stamped granted at the time of entry authorizes the allowable duration of stay. Generally, a business visitor may be admitted in to the U.S. for a period of six months or less. The B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa admission period may be extended for an additional six months in country at the discretion of the U.S. immigration authorities. Foreign nationals entering the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program are generally authorized to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days. Extensions of stay beyond 90 days are generally not possible under the Visa Waiver Program.
Work Permit Types
There are several work permit categories in the United States including H-1B, L-1, O-1, TN, E-3, and H-1B1. Each category corresponds to specific circumstances and carries different criteria and requirements.
Maximum Period Stay
Maximum periods of stay vary depending on the work permit. Maximum initial periods of stay range from one year to three years. Renewals are available for all categories, and some (e.g., the O-1, TN and E-3) may be renewed indefinitely, provided certain conditions are met.