business visa usa

Business Visa USA - Definitive Guide

The ever-increasing potential for opportunities attracts a lot of businessmen around the globe to the USA. However, due to the strict immigration laws, most nationalities require a Business Visa for USA, also known as the US B1 Visa to perform business in the country. For more information on this, keep reading this B1 business visa application guide.

What is business Visa for USA?

us business visa

To enter and perform business-related activities in the United States of America, you will need a special permit known as the B1 Visa. This allows for activities such as business meetings, conferences, client meetings, inquiries and so on.  However, for citizens from one of the countries that have a VWP (Visa Waiver Program), they do not need a visa to enter the country. They will be permitted to stay in America for a duration of maximum 90 days. However, since India does not come under this, it is mandatory to get a US Business visa for Indian Citizens travelling to the US. The permit is issued in the form of a stamp in the passport, and the US Business Visa validity ranges from 6 months to 10 years depending on the decision of the consular officer. However, the time for which you can stay in the country in one entry depends on the US Business Visa duration permitted as per the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials at your port of entry into the country.  

How to apply for US Business Visa?

The application for the US Business Visa from India is a tedious process and requires careful planning. Therefore before reading the process on how to get business visa for USA from India, it is necessary to ensure that you are eligible for the permit and that it is the ideal type of visa for your visit. You can then proceed to the following steps - 

  1. Make sure that you have all the business visa USA documents required.
  2. Visit the US Department of State Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website, and fill in your details in the DS-160 form. Make a note of the DS-160 form barcode as you will need it for the rest of the procedure.
  3. You should then proceed to pay the application fees. Make a note of the receipt number.
  4. Log on to your account and proceed to book your appointments. You will have to book 2 appointments. The first one is for the biometric submission at one of the five VACs, and the second one is for your interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. The B1 Visa interview questions will be based on your application, purpose, duration, etc. 
  5. On the day of your first appointment, visit your VAC along with a passport, appointment confirmation page, and a DS-160 confirmation page. You will be subjected to a fingerprint scan, and a digital photo will be taken.
  6. For your visa interview, you will have to visit the embassy or consulate along with a valid passport, appointment confirmation page, and the VAC stamped DS-160 page. 

Your B1 visa validity will vary on your interview at the embassy. You will have to convince them that you are planning to stay in the country only for a specific temporary period and that you have the funds required for this.

Note:- The visa interview is not required for people who have had their Business Visa for USA expire in the last 12 months and are visiting the country with the same type of visa. However, in special cases, you may be required to attend to biometrics and give an interview.

The American business visa application form has to be filled correctly. The documents that are submitted have to be valid and legitimate. Any errors in the application can cause a delay in your visa processing. Alternately, fake or invalid documents can get your application rejected. A visa denial is an important issue and can deem you ineligible for other visas.

Eligibility for US Business Visa

To be able to apply for a permit, you will have to meet the B1 visa requirements as mentioned below - 

  • You must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel.
  • You must be able to prove to the consular officer that your purpose of the visit is to perform business-related activities such as negotiating contracts, trade fairs, conferences, etc
  • You should have sufficient funds to support your stay.
  • Proof that you have a residence in India or other binding ties that will ensure that your return to India.

Documents required for US Business Visa

The documents required for US business visa are as follows - 

  • Original Passport
  • 2 Photos 
  • Covering letter from the Indian company
  • Invitation letter or Proof of conference/meeting
  • Proof of sufficient funds - Bank Statements, Tax records
  • Proof of employment - 
    •  If employed 
      • Employment contract copy or Employee ID card copy
      • Letter from employer stating sanction of leave for the travel period
      • NOC (No objection certificate) from the company
    • If self-employed
      • A copy of the business license
      • Copy in the commerce register or as a partner in a company
    • If student
      • Letter granting leave for the travel period, or NOC 
      • Proof of admission
    • If retired
      • Pension statement of the latest 6 months
      • Copy of Retirement letter/relieving letter
      • Travel itinerary
      • Proof of return - to ensure that you will return to India after your study such as rental agreements, proof of bank accounts in India, affidavit from your parents, etc. 

Photo specification

us business visa photo specifications

  • Dimensions:  50mm X 50mm
  • Colour: Coloured
  • Recently taken
  • Background: plain white
  • Must have 70% face coverage
  • Facial expression: neutral
  • Eyes directed towards the camera and wide open 
  • Glasses: allowed for medical reasons only
  • Uniforms are not permitted
  • Headgears: allowed only for religious reasons
  • Facial hair is permitted.

US Business Visa processing time

The Business Visa for USA is normally processed within 7-10 working days. However, these are almost certain to vary based on any additional procedures required, the validity of the permit, volume of applications at the specific embassy or consulate, and so on. Apart from this, you will have to take into account the high wait time for scheduling an interview. It is therefore advised to apply as early as possible, but not more than 3 months.

US Business Visa fees

The total cost depends on several aspects such as biometric fees, service charges, etc. The fees also can be changed by the embassy or consulate without any prior notice, and therefore is the applicant’s responsibility to check the fees before applying. 

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Normal 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Urgent 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Urgent 6 months 10 years 13440.0
Multiple entry Urgent 6 months 10 years 13440.0

After submission

Once you have submitted your application, your B1 visa will arrive as per the processing time. During this, you can check your US Business Visa status. This can be done in multiple ways. One method is to visit the CEAC website and use the interview location, and DS-160 form number to view it. Or, you can email at ‘’ with your passport number.

When you have the visa

On successful approval of your permit, you will have to be aware of the following points before and during your travel in the United States.

  • Before travelling, assure that you carry all the necessary travel documents, along with your visa.
  • The CBP officials at the port of entry decide the duration you can stay in the US on one entry.
  • Be aware of your visa validity and duration.
  • The permit does not guarantee you entry into the country. The US CBP officials at the port of entry have the authority to permit or deny you entry.
  • While you are on a Business Visa for USA, you cannot take up a work or employment position.
  • You should follow US laws while you are in the country.
  • A US B1 Visa is valid till the visa expiry date. Even if the passport has expired in this time, you can enter the country using a new passport and valid visa in the old passport.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much funds in the bank do I need for a US business visa?

There is no specific numerical value to the number of funds required. As per the requirements, you are expected to possess enough funds to cover your everyday expenses. This includes accommodation, food, travel, and so on. While showing the bank statements, it is necessary to show that the transactions are steady and that you have enough funds for every day of your entire stay period.

How Can I Extend My US Business Visa?

Yes, you can extend the US business permit. To do this, you must make an application to the USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) before your current visa expires. However, the chances of your extension being granted depend upon several factors such as the purpose of stay, immigration status, finances, and so on. You will also have to submit the documents that you have submitted for the original visa. If your application is rejected, you must leave the country before expiry. 

After Expiring My US Business Visa How Long Can I Stay?

After expiring your business permit, you cannot stay back any longer in the country. You must leave the country before the expiry. Staying back in the country after this permitted period is considered as an offence and can get you deported and in cases where there is a long period of stay after the expiry, you may even be banned from applying for a visa again. However, you may stay back in the country in the case where you have applied for an extension and it has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control.

What is the Medical Test for US Business Visa?

Being a short term permit, and having a maximum stay duration of fewer than 6 months, there are no mandatory medical test requirements necessary. However, it is suggested that you get a medical checkup done before travelling to the US for your own personal safety.

Can I convert My US Business Visa into Tourist Visa?

You may be permitted to convert one category of the US permit to another.  However, you do not need an additional tourist permit. On a business permit, you are allowed to tour the country. The business B1 visa is issued as a B1/B2 visa, thereby making it a single permit for both tourist and business.


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