Business travelers who wish to enter the United States for more than 90 days need to obtain a B-1 visa (business visitor). The same requirement applies to persons who on the grounds of their nationality, for example, do not qualify for participation in the visa-free travel (visa waiver) program.
Traditional reasons for applying for a B-1 visa include the following: attending business meetings or meetings with customers or employees at a U.S. site and participation at scientific or professional conferences or trade shows. If you intend to open a branch office of your company in the United States or conduct sales negotiations, then these situations can also be covered by a B-1 visa.
In addition, the B-1 visa can be used under certain conditions to participate in short in-house trainings and continuing education opportunities. However, the exact terms and conditions should be checked in advance on an individual basis.
Companies that sell equipment or have production facilities in the U.S. can send their technicians to the U.S. to fulfill service orders (provide after-sales services) under certain conditions. For example, such workers are allowed to participate in installation work, conduct maintenance, and attend trainings led by U.S. personnel.
In addition, people who enter the U.S. on a private yacht, airplane or military aircraft and do not qualify for visa-free entry also require a B-1 visa.
The applicant maintains his or her permanent residence outside the U.S. and intends only to travel to the U.S. for a temporary stay. Proof of sufficient financial resources to allow stay in the U.S. also plays a considerable role in the examination of the application.
During the entire duration of their U.S. stay workers must remain employed outside of the U.S., preferably in the country of their principal residence. You may not receive any remuneration from a U.S. company or the U.S. branch office, and you must return to your original workplace after the completion of your stay.
Usually B-1 (business visitor) visas are granted for a period of 10 years (depending on nationality) and allow a maximum residence status in the United States of up to 180 days per entry (several times consecutively or at a time). Therefore, travelers who make frequent trips to the U.S. for business purposes do not have to constantly reapply for the visa.
Applicants must appear in person for an interview at one of the authorized U.S. consulates. In addition to the general application documents , applicants must submit documents pertaining to employment, the purpose of their entry, and other documents confirming their intention to return to their country of origin. The application is usually processed at the U.S. consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.
The most important information about this visa category can also be found here, briefly summarized and free to download in PDF format.