Reid & Gaudett Law Group, LLP  The Law Office of Andrea R. Reid

Office:  1.413.737.1200

The Law Office of Andrea R. Reid
Immigration Law - B Visas
Find below the links to all of the area of Immigration Law that Attorney Reid offers...
B Visas Citizenship and Naturalization
H Visas Deportation and Removal
L Visas Family
R Visas Employment
U Visas Non-Immigrant Visas

B-1: Visitors
B-1 in Lieu of H-1
There are cases where aliens who qualify for H-1 visas are more appropriately classified as B-1 visa applicants. In such a case, the applicant must not receive any salary or other remuneration from a U.S. source other than an expense allowance or other reimbursement for expenses incidental to the alien’s temporary stay. It is essential that the remuneration or source of income for services performed in the United States continue to be provided by the business entity located abroad, and that the alien meets the following criteria:

(1) Where a U.S. business has a separate business enterprise abroad, the salary paid by such foreign entity shall not be considered as coming from a U.S. source.

(2) In order for an employer to be considered a “foreign firm,” the entity must have an office abroad and its payroll must be disbursed abroad. To qualify for a B-1 visa, the employee must customarily be employed by the foreign firm, the employing entity must pay the employee’s salary, and the source of the employee’s salary must be abroad.

Incidental Expenses or Remuneration: A nonimmigrant in B-1 status may not receive a salary from a U.S. source in connection with his or her activities in the U.S. They may provide the alien though with an allowance or reimbursement for expenses incidental to the temporary stay.  Incidental expenses may not exceed the actual reasonable expenses the alien will incur in traveling to and from the event, together with living expenses the alien reasonably can be expected to incur for meals, lodging, laundry, and other basic services.

Honorarium Payment: A B-1 non-immigrant may accept an honorarium payment and incidental payment for expenses in usual academic activities such as lecturing and guest teaching if: (1) the activity lasts no longer than 9 days at any institution; (2) payment is offered by an institution or organization; (3) the honorarium is for services conducted for the benefit of the institution or entity; and (4) the alien has not accepted such payment or expenses from more than five institutions or organizations over the last six months.

Entertainers: Except in certain cases, the B status is not appropriate for a member of the entertainment profession who seeks to enter the U.S. temporarily to perform services as they will be accorded a P classification. They be classified as B-1 though if he or she: (1) is coming to the U.S. to participate only in a cultural program sponsored by the sending country; (2) will be performing before a nonpaying audience; and (3) all expenses will be paid by the member’s government. A professional entertainer can also obtain B-1 classification if he or she is coming to the U.S. to participate in a competition for which there is no remuneration other than a prize and expenses.

Still Photographers: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) permits still photographers to enter the United States with B-1 visas for the purpose of taking photographs, provided that they receive no income from a U.S. source.

Musicians: An alien musician may be issued a B-1 visa, provided: (1) The musician is coming to the U.S. to use recording facilities for recording purposes only; 2) The recording will be distributed and sold only outside the U.S; and (3) No public performances will be given.

Medical Doctor: A medical doctor otherwise classifiable as H-1, whose purpose in the U.S. is to observe medical practices and consult with other doctors on the latest techniques, provided no remuneration is received from a U.S. source and no patient care is involved, can enter through a B-1 instead of an H status.

Artists: An artist coming to the U.S. to paint, sculpt, etc. who is not under contract with a U.S. employer and who does not intend to regularly sell such art-work in the U.S. may come in a B-1 visa in lieu of H-1.

Using a B-1 Visitor Visa for Pleasure

An alien is classifiable as a nonimmigrant visitor for business (B-1) if the consular officer is satisfied that: (1) the alien intends to leave the US at the end of the temporary stay, (2) the alien has permission to enter a foreign country at the end of the temporary stay; and (3) adequate financial arrangement have been made to enable the alien to carry out the purpose of the visit to and departure from the U.S.

The term business refers to conventions, conferences, consultations and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature. The aliens should be traveling to the United States to: (1) engage in commercial transactions, which do not involve gainful employment in the United States, (2) negotiate contracts; (3) consult with business associates; (4) litigate; (5) participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars; or (6) undertake independent research. Foreign Nationals coming to the U.S. for the purpose of pursuing employment which does not qualify them from A, C, D, E, G, H, I, J, L, O, P, Q or NATO status must be classified as immigrants. Exception is given to aliens who meet the criteria of several categories including these two.

Members of Religious and Charitable Events: These members must have no plans to take permanent appointment with a church and must be supported by offerings contributed at each evangelical meeting. Also included are religious workers doing missionary work if such work does not involve the selling of articles or solicitation and acceptance of donations, and receives no salary/remuneration except expenses.
Professional Athletes: Professional athletes such as golfers and auto racers, who receive no salary or payment other than prize money for his or her participation in a tournament or sporting event. Athletes or team members who seek to enter the United States as members of a foreign based team in order to compete with another sports team shall be admitted provided: (1) The foreign athlete and the foreign sports team have their principal place of business or activity in the foreign country; (2) The income of the
foreign based team and the salary of its players are principally accrued in a foreign country; and (3) The foreign based sports team is a member of an international sports league or the sporting activities involved have an international dimension.

B-2: Visitors
Visitors (B-2)

In simple terms, immigration may be summarized as:
• Immigrants - non-US nationals wishing to remain permanently in the US.
• Non-immigrants - non-US nationals wishing to remain in the US for a period of time, for stated specific

There are various types of statuses for each of these categories, depending on the circumstances and intentions of the non-US national.

The most commonly used visa for initial entry to the US by a non-US national is the B-2 visa.  This is frequently referred to as the "visitor for pleasure." There is also a B-1 visa which accommodates those who wish to travel to the US to conduct business (but may not engage in hands-on employment) temporarily. The B-2 visa is classified as a non-immigrant status, which is defined as:

"an alien ... ... having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning and who is visiting the United States temporarily for business or temporarily for pleasure."

This visa accommodates the non-US national who wants to travel to the US as a tourist (visitor for pleasure), and intends to conduct "legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature."

Who Needs a B-2 Visa?
A non-US national wishing to come to the US as a visitor for pleasure for less than 90 days, whose country participates in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, does not need to apply for a B-2 visa. Countries participating in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program are:

United Kingdom (including England, Scotland, Wales, North Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man); Andorra; Austria ; Australia; Belgium; Brunei; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Monaco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Portugal; San Marino; Singapore; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland

However, if a person from one of these countries intends to visit the US for more than 90 days, he or she will need to apply for a B-2 visa.

Advantages of the B-2 Visa
• You may apply for an extension of time, if you would like to travel more extensively, visit more people, or
  seek medical treatment.
• You may also apply for a change of status. If you decide to take up employment, and have found a job
  where the employer is willing to sponsor you, you may apply for a work permit. You may not work until
  this permit is issued.
• If you wish to study in the US after entry, you may apply for a change of status to a student visa.
  If this is your initial intention for coming to the US, you must state this intention when applying initially
  for the B-2 visa from the US Consulate. This is required to be noted on your visa, and will avoid problems
  in changing your status.
• You may engage in "incidental" study without changing status. However, some US schools have been
  reluctant in accepting students who are on a B-2 visa.

Disadvantages of the B-2 Visa
• No employment permitted under any circumstances.
• You are unable to apply for a Social Security Number. Other Uses of the B-2 Visa
  *These apply as long as you can prove non-immigrant intent
• The spouse and/ or children (including adopted children) of a United States citizen may enter the US on a
  B-2 visa for a limited period of time, as outlined above. The same applies to an elderly parent of a United
  States citizen.
• An applicant seeking naturalization under Active Duty Service in the Armed Forces may enter on a B-2
• Dependents of alien members of the Armed Forces who are eligible for naturalization may enter on a B-2
• A traveler coming on an emergency visit who did not have time to get proper entry documents
  (this is very   rarely granted), may enter on a B-2 visa.
• Dependents of Crewmen (on D Visa), may enter on a B-2 visa.
• Amateur entertainers, athletes, those involved in performing shows, contests or other events, may enter
  on a B-2 visa.
• Parents of a minor (under 21) non-immigrant student may enter on a B-2 visa.
• FiancÚ of a United States citizen or a fiancÚ of anyone on a non-immigrant visa bearing the status of
  * F (student)
  * H (alien with a work permit)
  * J (student allowed to work)
  * L (alien who is an intra-company transferee)
  * M (non-academic student) may enter the US on a B-2 visa.

The above are admitted according to the above criteria outlined in obtaining a B-2 visa



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You should consult us or another attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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