B-1 & B-2 Visa for Temporary Business Visitor

You may be eligible for a business B-1 visa if you will be participating 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
  • Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa
  • Deadheading: certain air crewmen may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa


Eligibility Criteria

You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible to obtain a B-1 visa:

  • The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature
  • You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time
  • You have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States
  • You have a residence outside the United States in which you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties which will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit
  • You are otherwise admissible to the United States


Special Instructions for business B-1/B-2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School

Is it permissible to enroll in school while in B-1/B-2 status?

  • No, it is not. The regulations, at 8 CFR 214.2(b)(7), specifically prohibit a course of study in the United States while in B-1 or B-2 status.
  • Before enrolling in a course of study, individuals who are in B-1 or B-2 status must first acquire F-1 (academic student) or M-1 (vocational student) status. Enrolling in a course of study while in B-1/B-2 status will result in a status violation. Individuals in B-1 or B-2 status, who have violated their nonimmigrant status by enrolling in a course of study, are not eligible to extend their B status or change to F-1 or M-1 status. These regulations provide no exceptions.


How can I obtain F-1 or M-1 status?

If you currently hold B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant status and would like to enroll in a course of study,you may apply to change to either F-1 or M-1 student status if:

  • You have not yet enrolled in classes;
  • Your current status has not expired; and
  • You have not worked in the United States without employment authorization.
  • To change your nonimmigrant status from B-1 or B-2 to F-1 or M-1, you must file a Form I-539
  • You must maintain your B-1 or B-2 status while your Form I-539 is pending. You will need to file a second Form I-539, with a separate fee, to request an extension of your B-1 or B-2 status if:
  • Your current status will expire more than 30 days before the initial F-1 or M-1 program start date. If your status will expire more than 30 days before your F-1 or M-1 program’s initial start date, you must file a second Form I-539 requesting to extend your B-1 or B-2 status.
  • Your F-1 or M-1 program start date is deferred to the following academic term or semester because a decision has not been made on your Form I-539 change of status application before your originally intended F-1 program start date. You must file a second Form I-539 in order to bridge the gap in time between when your current status expires and the 30 day period before your new F-1 program start date
  • If you enroll in a course of study before the application is approved, you will be ineligible to change your nonimmigrant status from B 1/B-2 to F-1 or M-1.

If You Are Not Eligible to Change Your Status

  • If you are not eligible to change your nonimmigrant status to F-1 or M-1 while in the United States, you may apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa at a U.S. consulate.


If you have any question regarding this visa petition, please call the office to set up a valuable consultation with our Immigration Lawyer.