The B-1 visa allows an individual to enter the U.S. for limited business purposes without requiring a work permit. NOTE: Canadian citizens do not require a B-1 visa stamp to enter the U.S. as Canadian citizens are considered “visa exempt.” A Canadian may enter the U.S. as a B-1 visitor using a passport or NEXUS card and presenting himself or herself for inspection and admission.
It is always important to fully understand what you can and cannot do in the U.S. as a Business Visitor and when it is time to pursue a work permit. It is extremely beneficial to understand when and where you cross that line into work permit territory. This not only gives you the ability to explain to an officer how you fall into the business visitor category to protect yourself but it also gives you a realistic list of benchmarks you know you need to accomplish before you can file for a work permit or status of any kind.
Unfortunately, USCIS limits the numbers of H-1Bs issued each fiscal year to 65,000 for bachelor degreed professionals and an additional 20,000 for individuals who hold a U.S. master’s degree or higher. The limitation is known as the “H-1B Cap.” USCIS allows employers to file H-1Bs during the first 5 business days in April. It then conducts a random lottery to select which cases it will review and adjudicate.
B-1 Business Visitors are usually admitted to the U.S. for 6 months at a time. The length of stay may be shortened due at the discretion of the CBP Officer due to factors such as number of previous entries to the U.S. or the length of the anticipated activity/event.