What work can I do on B1 (Temporary Business Visitor) visa?
*For International Entrepreneurs
The law specifically provides that if you are in the U.S. on a B1 visa, you can participate in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including, but not limited to:
- Consulting with business associates
- Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
- Settling an estate
- Negotiating a contract
- Participating in short-term training
- Participating in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars
More actions are allowed on B-1 visa, this is not a full list of activities.
As a startup founder, you will be meeting with potential business partners, consulting with mentors, meeting fellow entrepreneurs to learn about their experience, pitching your idea to investors, applying to incubators and investment funds, negotiating an office lease, and so on. Most of this will probably be allowed on a B-1 visa.
It is important to know that on a B1 visa (Temporary Business Visitor) you are not allowed to permanently or temporary work for a company, receive paychecks from the U.S. company and engage in day-to-day business activities which would align with regular employment.
Even if you are the owner of the company, you still need a specific visa to be able to be employed in that company, as it would also be the case if you tried to work for any other company in the U.S. We will discuss the most popular visas among foreign entrepreneurs in the following chapters of this book.
Please consult with an immigration attorney to determine whether a B1 visa is sufficient for you to exercise the activity you plan to perform, or whether you should switch to a different visa to be able to both run the company and also work for it.