As the United States has a globally interconnected economy, it is fairly common for international entrepreneurs and potential investors to visit the country for a short period to conduct various business activities. However, the pandemic has completely changed that. While many companies still want to expand their business in the US, the pandemic has made it very difficult for company executives to visit the US.
What Are the General Inspections and Admission Recommendations for Business Visitors?
As a business visitor, you will be questioned by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, much like all other travelers coming to the US. The CBP will ask you certain questions to determine whether you clear all the admissibility requirements. If you are boarding the flight to the US from Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen States, United Kingdom, or South Africa, then you must have a National Interest Exception due to a presidential proclamation issued by President Joe Biden on January 25, 2021. To avoid this, you can travel to the US via a third country by spending 14 days in a different location before coming to the US. You might also be exempt from this requirement if you meet certain exceptions.
The US has currently suspended nonessential travel through the land border from Canada and Mexico. When traveling to the US, make sure that you have all the required documents and you can articulate the purpose of your trip to the CBP official when questioned.
You will be required to get a Covid-19 test no more than 3 days before traveling to the US. You must present the negative Covid-19 test result before boarding the flight. Once you arrive in the US, it is best to find out the state or territorial travel restrictions and Covid-19 related requirements.
What Visa Program is Available for Business Visitors?
Business visitors can come to the US as nonimmigrant visitors through the B visa program. B visas are not for visitors who are traveling to the US to engage in productive employment. For that, you require an employment-based visa.
The B-1 Visitor Visa is reserved for visitors traveling to the US for business purposes. This involves engaging in activities such as attending business meetings or seminars or conducting business on the behalf of an overseas employer.