Travel Visas

International visitors are welcomed in the USA as they are very beneficial to this country’s economy, cultural standing and prestige, educational development and many other aspects of life. As a general rule U.S. Government maintains open door policy regardless of the political party in power. At the same time, and especially so after the tragedy of September the 11th, 2001, national security has become paramount making striking the balance between the open door policy and national security into a constant daily struggle for this country, its Government and People.

B1 Visas - Unauthorized Employment v. Permissible Business Practices

Both the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and federal regulations are univocal in prohibiting businesses operating in the United States from employing foreign nationals who lack an employment authorization (limited or open market) to work in the United States. The prohibition is based on the public policy of protecting the local workforce. However, businesses may associate with foreign nationals on B1 visas to conduct certain types of limited business activities in the United States, provided that they do not rise to employment for B1 business visitors.

B1 Visas for Medical Clerkships and Observing Business/Vocational Activities

In general, an individual may not use a B1 visitor for business visa to engage in a clerkship in the United States. However, there are two exceptions to this rule. One exception is for engaging in a medical clerkship within certain parameters, and the second exception is for observing business or other professional or vocational activities within certain parameters. In this article, we will examine both of these exceptions for engaging in clerkships on B1 status.

B1 Status: Employment Incidental to Business Activities

The B1 visitor for business category is a travel visa for business visitors to the United States. Accordingly, it does not authorize an individual for employment. However, the Department of State (DOS) Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) authorizes the issuance of B1 visas in certain limited cases where a business visitor may engage in employment incidental to business activities. In this article, we will detail those scenarios.

B1 Status: Certain Business Activities Classifiable as B1

The B1 nonimmigrant visitor category allows for certain business visitors to visit the United States. The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS’s) Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) outlines the specific situations in which B1 status may be appropriate. In this article, we will examine situations in which B1 status may be granted for cases that may also be classifiable as A, E, H, F, L, or M.

B1 Status: Aliens Normally Classifiable as H1 or H3

The B1 nonimmigrant visa classification exists for certain visitors travelling to the United States for business. Situations in which a B1 visa is appropriate are outlined in the Department of State’s (DOS’s) Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). In this article, we will use the FAM to examine situations in which an alien normally classifiable as an H1 or H3 nonimmigrant may instead be eligible for a B1 visa.

B1 Status: Artists and Entertainers

The B1 nonimmigrant visa category allows for business visitors to travel to the United States to engage in limited business activities as specified in the regulations and in the Department of State’s (DOS’s) Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). In this article, we will explain the specific circumstances in which a B1 visa may be available for entertainers and artists.

Permissible Activities While on B2 Status

The B-2 (B2) visa is for temporary visitors for pleasure. There are limited activities that a B2 temporary visitor for pleasure may engage in lawfully. Employment and full-time education are categorically prohibited while on B2 status. In this article, we will assess statutes, regulations, agency guidance, and administrative decisions to explain what are permissible activities while on B2 status.

USCIS FAQ on Change of Status from B Visitor to F1/M1 Student

On April 5, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a document titled “Special Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School.” The document, posted in question and answer format, addresses several questions of interest to B1 and B2 visitors who want to study in the United States. In this article, we will examine the questions and answers provided by the USCIS.

Extension of Visa Waiver Program Stay in the U.S.

For those who are eligible, the Visa Waiver Program allows a stay in the United States for up to 90 days. Leaving prior to the 90 days has no detrimental effect on future travels to the United States. However if you overstay your allowed 90 days on the Visa Waiver Program, you may have a difficult time being allowed to re-enter the United States. In some instances, you may even have accrued unlawful presence and may be barred from entering the U.S. for a certain period of time.

Identification Documents Accepted For Domestic Flights

Unlike international air travel, which requires a valid national passport and permission to enter the country of destination in order to board a plane, when traveled domestically in the USA, passengers are allowed to rely on a variety of identification documents to pass the TSA security check points and be permitted to board a plane. Adult passengers (individuals of 18 years of age and older) are required to present valid identification documents at the airport checkpoint in order to be permitted to path through the security and board a plane.

Transit (C) Visa

A transit visa (C Visa) is a nonimmigrant visa issued to foreigners that will be traveling through the United States or have a very short term stay. It is important to note that a person who is granted a transit visa may not change his or her status to another nonimmigrant classification and in some cases cannot adjust status at all in the United States.

C2 Transit Visa for Authorized Travel to the United Nations

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes the C2 nonimmigrant visa classification for aliens authorized to travel to the United Nations. In this article, we will examine who is eligible for C2 classification, the application process and rules for C2 classification, and special consideration for nonimmigrants classifiable as C2 who may also be classifiable as B1, B2, or I.

INA Sec. 214

(a) (1) The admission to the United States of any alien as a nonimmigrant shall be for such time and under such conditions as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe, including when he deems necessary the giving of a bond with sufficient surety in such sum and containing such conditions as the Attorney General shall prescribe, to insure that at the expiration of such time or upon failure to maintain the status under which he was admitted, or to maintain any status subsequently acquired under section 248 , such alien will depart from the United States.

Retrieving a Form I-94

It is possible to obtain the most recent I-94 admission record from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection online. Most recent arrivals will not receive a physical Form I-94. This article will explain the uses of the Form I-94 and the process for retrieving a Form I-94 online.

When Self-Employment as an "Investor-Manager" Does Not Constitute "Unauthorized Employment"

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for stiff penalties for those who engage in unauthorized employment. For example, section 245(c) of the INA bars an individual who engaged in or is in engaging in unauthorized employment from being granted adjustment of immigration status. There are limited exceptions from this bar for certain employment-based adjustment of status applicants. An interesting question arises with regard to whether work by a non-immigrant visitor as an “investor-manager” constitutes “unauthorized employment.” In some cases, for purpose of the bar to adjustment of status in section 245(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or for deportability for unauthorized employment, the answer may be no. In this article, we will examine two very important decisions addressing this question. We will examine the facts and procedural history of these cases, the analyses and decisions of the Board and the Ninth Circuit, and the effect of the precedents set by these decisions on non-immigrant investor-managers in the United States.