People who travel for educational, scientific, business conferences or conventions, to negotiate a contract, settle an estate or any other business may travel with a B1 visa, also called a business visitor visa. They travel under this visa under the condition that no employment or work must be undertaken during their stay in the country. Also, they must not receive any income or salary, with the exception of allowances, from any US-based company.
With this type of visa, the visitor may stay in the country for six months. The visa can also be extended for six more months.
If temporary work in the US is the primary purpose of the trip and the salary will be paid by a United States based company, then this requires a different kind of working visa. If a non-immigrant petition is filed by a US prospective employer and an approved labor certification accompanies it, then this visa can be approved. The H-1B visa is one kind of a working visa.
The H-1B Visa
Foreign workers who specialize in such occupations as engineers, scientists, computer programmers or others who have specialized and complex expertise in their field need this type of visa.
The H-1B visa is normally good for three years and an extension can be granted for three more years, allowing a worker to stay in the United States a total of up to six years. If the visa holder is still in the country at the end of six years and still holds an H-1B visa, he or she can apply for permanent residence.
B1 Visa Instead of H-1B Visa
The US Consular Office can issue a B1 visa instead of an H0-1B even though the purpose for visiting the United States is to engage in specialized work, which would normally require an H-1B visa. Usually the H-1B visa is given by the company who has an overseas sister or parent company or an affiliate and wants an employee to come to the US for their special expertise. This may also apply to Canadian coporate immigration. Certain requirements must be met in order to be awarded a B1 visa instead of an H-1B visa.