B1 Visa Vis-a-Vis H-1B Visa to US

What is B1 Visa?

B1 visa, otherwise known as a business visitor visa is the ticket for business associates or persons traveling for scientific, educational, professional or business convention or conference, settle an estate, negotiate a contract or any other business related activities on the condition that no work or employment must be undertaken during the visit and no salary or income must be received from a US-based company except for allowances.

This visa gives the holder the right of stay for six months, extendible for another six months.

If the purpose of the trip is to seek a temporary work in US with salary paid by a US-based company, a different type of working visa is required. This working visa can only be applied for as long as there is a non-immigrant petition filed by the prospective US employer accompanied by an approved labor certification. One type of a working visa is the H-1B visa.

What is H-1B Visa?

This visa is needed by foreign workers in specialty occupations such as scientists, engineers, computer programmers or other workers whose expertise is so complex and specialized in their field.

This visa is initially valid for three years but can later be extended for another three years making the worker stay in US for up to six years. If the worker is still in the US after six years and holding an H-1B visa, application for permanent residence awaits the worker.

B1 Visa in Lieu of H-1B Visa

Schengen Visa

In certain cases, the United States Consular Officer issues a B1 visa in lieu of an H-1B visa even if the purpose of the visit in the US is to be engaged in a specialized occupation and therefore requires an H-1B visa. H-1B visa is used by the US company who wants an employee of an overseas affiliate, subsidiary, parent or sister company to be in US or a foreign company sends an employee to US to perform a specific project. To get a B1 in lieu of an H-1B visa, the requirements to be met are:

1. The employee must have the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree.

2. The work must be a specialty occupation.

3. The task is for a short duration only.

4. The employee will not receive any salary or compensation from a US source.

5. The employee must be a permanent employee of the foreign employer and will be paid only by the foreign employer.

However, application for B1 visa in lieu of H-1B requires a lot more requirements and stricter scrutiny compared with the normal B1 visa application.

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