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Business

**Persons traveling for business reasons may receive expedited appointments. Please advise the Visa Information Service if you are traveling for these purposes.

Applicants traveling to the U.S. for business are eligible for B1 visas

Selling

An individual traveling to the United States to take part in an exhibition, set up an exhibition booth, display samples, sign contracts, and take orders for merchandise produced in and delivered from a foreign country, may be eligible for a B-1 visa. The holder of a B-1 visa may not sell or take orders for merchandise produced in the United States. If the proposed activities are not as described, a temporary work (H-2) visa will be required.

Voluntary Work

Individuals participating in a voluntary service program which benefits a U.S. local community, who establish that they are a member of, and have a commitment to, a particular recognized religious or nonprofit charitable organization, may be eligible for a B-1 visa if the work to be performed is traditionally done by volunteer charity workers; they will receive no salary or remuneration from a U.S. source, other than an allowance or other reimbursement for expenses incidental to their stay in the United State; and they will not engage in the selling of articles and/or the solicitation and acceptance of donations.

A voluntary service program is an organized project conducted by a recognized religious or nonprofit charitable organization to provide assistance to the poor or the needy, or to further a religious or charitable cause.

If your proposed activities as a voluntary worker are not exactly as described, you will require either an exchange visitor (J-1) or temporary worker (H-2B) visa.

Service Engineer

If the engineer(s) will install, service or repair commercial or industrial equipment or machinery sold by a foreign company to a buyer in the United States, and the purchase contract requires that foreign company provide such services, then the B-1 visa is appropriate. However, in such cases, the engineer(s) must possess the specialized knowledge essential to perform the services, receive no remuneration from a U.S. source, and the company must not receive any payment for these services in addition to that specified in the original contract of sale. If the proposed activities are not exactly as described, temporary work (H-2) visas will be required. Please note that the B-1 visa does not cover building or construction work, even if the purchase contract requires that the company provide such services. In such cases, the employees must always qualify for H-2 visas.

The B-1 visa is also appropriate for engineers traveling to the United States to train U.S. personnel in the installation, service or repair of commercial or industrial equipment or machinery as specified above. The individuals concerned must continue to be paid by a foreign company and the contract of sale must specifically require the seller to provide such services.

Business venture

The B-1 visa is the appropriate visa classification to travel to the United States to survey potential sites for a business and/or to lease premises. However, the holder of a B-1 visa may not remain in the United States to manage the business. An L-1 (intra-company transferee) visa is required. This would enable the holder to travel to the United States for a temporary period to open up and operate a branch, subsidiary or affiliate office of the business there. To qualify, the new U.S. operation is required to file a petition on the employee's behalf with the nearest office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States.

Telecommuters

Individuals temporarily resident in the United States who will be working from home as computer programmers for foreign based companies may be eligible for B-1 visas if all of the following are met:

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    • the individual is employed by a company outside of the United States;
    • will receive no remuneration from a U.S. source, other than expenses incidental to the stay;
    • is working in an occupation which requires the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty and the individual has that level of education.

If accompanying a spouse who is the beneficiary of a work or student visa, the individual may apply for both the derivative and B-1 visas. When applying for admission into the United States, you should advise the immigration official at the port of entry of your dual intent, that is to say, you are accompanying your spouse, but also intend to continue working for your Polish employer as a telecommuter.

Speaker/Lecturer

If you are traveling to the United States in connection with a speaking engagement you may travel on a B-1 visa provided there is no remuneration from a U.S. source, other than expenses incidental to the visit. Speakers/lecturers who will receive an honorarium in addition to incidental expenses may still be eligible for the B-1 visa provided all of the following are met:

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    • the activities will last no longer than nine days at a single institution;
    • the institution is a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization, or an institution of higher education, or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity.
    • such activities are conducted for the benefit of the institution or entity; and
    • the speaker/lecturer has not accepted such payment or expenses from five such institutions during the previous six month period.

If the proposed activities are not exactly as described, an exchange visitor (J-1) or temporary work (H-1) visa will be required.

Conferences/Conventions/Seminars

Participants in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences or seminars may travel to the United States on B-1 visas. The B-1 visa is also appropriate if presenting a paper at the conference, provided there is no remuneration from a U.S. source other than expenses incidental to the stay. Those who will receive an honorarium in addition to incidental expenses will only be eligible for the B-1 visa if all of the following are met:

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    • the activities will last no longer than nine days at a single institution;
    • the institution is a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization, or an institution of higher education, or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity.
    • such activities are conducted for the benefit of the institution or entity; and
    • the delegate has not accepted such payment or expenses from five such institutions during the previous six month period.

If the proposed activities are not exactly as described, an exchange visitor (J-1) or temporary work (H-1) visa will be required.

Note: The applications of those seeking visas to attend a scientific conference may be subject to additional administrative processing. Please apply well in advance of travel.

Researcher

An individual who will engage in independent research may be eligible for a B-1 visa provided there is no remuneration from a U.S. source and the results of the research will not benefit the American institution. Those who will receive payment from a U.S. source and/or the U.S. institution will benefit from the results of the research will require an exchange visitor (J-1) or temporary work (H-1) visa will be required.

Medical Elective

A medical student studying at a foreign medical school and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to take an "elective clerkship" at a U.S. medical school's hospital without remuneration from the hospital may be eligible for a B-1 visa. Note: The medical clerkship is only for medical students pursuing their normal third or fourth year internship in a U.S. medical school as part of a foreign medical school degree. (An "elective clerkship" affords practical experience and instructions in the various disciplines of medicine under the supervision and direction of faculty physicians at a U.S. medical school's hospital as an approved part of the alien's foreign medical school education. It does not apply to graduate medical training, which normally requires a J-visa).

If applying for a visa, a letter from the U.S. medical school outlining the nature and duration of the elective clerkship should accompany the application.
Students seeking training as physiotherapists, dentists, nurses or vets require either an exchange visitor (J-1) or trainee (H-3) visa.