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Applying for a US Business Visa: What You Need To Know

May 11, 2021
Let's face it, if you're up on the corporate ladder and you want to rise up even more, you're bound to visit the US. The country is so central to many international and major businesses around the world that's borderline impossible that you won't have, at the very least, one business trip that will bring you to good ol' USA! So if you already know that you're going to have to travel here, it pays to get a headstart when applying for a visa here. To help you out, here's an overview of what you'll need to know and provide during your application.

Applying for a US Business Visa: What You Need To Know


Types of US Visas 

The first step is to know what type of US visa you'll need for your trip. If you don't know yet, the United States actually offers up many types of visas as they welcome several types of visitors. But if you're going there on business, it's better to apply for a B-1 type visa, which is the standard visiting visa. However, if you're from the UK, you might be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. This privilege allows you practically an automatic entry to the Us for up to 90 days in total. But still, you'll need to go through a process to get it too! 


Length of Stay in the US According to Your Visa Type

The length of your stay depends on your type of US visa. For the standard B-1 business visa, it's often just 1-6 months. Mostly, it depends on what you submit to the US embassy in your country as the duration of your stay here. For instance, if your business trip is only for one month, chances are the duration of your b-! visa will also be just one month. However, it's up to the embassy if they would grant you a longer stay if they see you fit for one. If you're visiting the country via the VWP, however, the longest you can stay in the US is strictly just 90 days. 

Applying for a US Business Visa: What You Need To Know


How to Extend Your Stay 

Of course, as with any other visa around the world, you can still extend your stay within the US if necessary. For that, you'll need to fill up the I-539 and get it approved. You're going to need to do this approximately 30 days before your original return date. Similarly to applying for the US business visa in the first place, this process can take weeks. And as already mentioned, if you're visiting the Us via the VWP, you can only stay here for up to three months. After that, you'll need to return to your country and apply for a different visa if you want to stay in the US for a longer period than that. 


Requirements for Application for US Visa

Now for your requirements. When applying for a US business visa you'll need to show them your passport, contact information, proof of employment, the itinerary of your stay here, and proof of your intended return to your home country. Great examples for such include your company ID or certificate of employment (proof of employment), a written invitation for your conference/meeting (itinerary of your stay here), and reservation form of your US accommodation (proof of your intended return to your home country). When traveling through the Visa Waiver Program, you'll also need Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) which is simply proof of your eligibility for the program. 

Applying for a US Business Visa: What You Need To Know


Process of Applying for a US Visa

Once you've got all your requirements together, it's time to start the process. It's better to inquire about it first through your country's US embassy or conduct research by visiting the US Immigration Office website. The process remains pretty standard through many countries: fill up the online application form and submit it to the embassy along with payment of the corresponding fees. Whilst there, you can schedule your interview. During the interview, make sure you answer each question honestly and confidently. Half of it is not crumbling to the pressure of the system, which has cost many people to be denied their visas despite their valid objectives for travel. 


How Much and Long does this Process Take?

Now, you may be wondering: how much and how long will this process take? On the first matter, the price of the fee often depends on your country's US embassy. Usually, the entire process costs more or less $200 USD. But for those traveling via the Visa Waiver Program, an ESTA application will only cost $14 USD. The higher price is traveling to either the Us embassy in London or the Belfast consulate for your interview. As for how long the process will take, it depends on how fast you get to schedule your interview upon submitting your requirements. But the assessment of your application and return of your passport often just takes about a week or so. 

Applying for a US Business Visa: What You Need To Know


If you think going on business trips is hard, wait till you have to apply for a US business visa! Though the application process is meticulous, it's worth every sweat, tear, and penny you spend on it. Visiting this country for business means you're on your way to the top!





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