B-1 Visa Refusal & Re-Application
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B1 Visa Refusal and Reapplication
The B-1 visa is perhaps one of the most employed visas for business travelers needing to visit the United States for a specific purpose.
More precisely, the B-1 is for individuals visiting the United States for a temporary period for the purpose of participating in a professional business activity.
The maximum period of stay is six months, but the time granted is based upon the nature of the visit. Also, the B-1 may be extended for up to 6 months for a total of 12 months.
I should clarify that the B-1 is not a work visa. It has specific limitations as for limited business activities, as follows:
• Business meetings held in the US;
• Conventions or conferences with a scientific, educational, industry, or business convention held in the US;
• Court date to probate an estate;
• Execute a business contract;
• Short-term business training programs or courses;
• Transiting the US, generally business; or
• Aircrew that are deadheading in a US city.
In this article, we will discuss some of the various reasons for refusal of the B-1 and the process for reapplying.
Failure to Meet B-1 Visa Criteria
The main reason for denying the B-1 visa application is based upon failure to meet the eligibility criteria.
The following are the main requirements for the visa:
• Business Purpose - Demonstrate that you are coming the US for a business purpose. You will need to supply documentation about your itinerary and travel plans.
• Time Period - Identify and substantiate the limited time period that you will be in the US. The time period should not be longer (except including travel time) than is substantiated by the business purpose.
• Adequate Finances - Demonstrate that you have the finances necessary for the travel and return from the US. Traveling to the United States, living while here, and then returning can be expensive. You will need to demonstrate that you can cover all of these expenses.
• Foreign Ties - You must demonstrate that you have foreign ties that will necessarily pull you back to your home country. These normally include either or both social and economic ties.
⁃ Note: Having a family and personal assets back in the foreign country with a home to return to is perhaps the most important aspect of substantiation.
• Nature of Business in US - The most pointed limitation of the B-1 is the limitation on work carried out in the US. You cannot be engaged in skilled or unskilled labor, study as s student, or serve as a foreign films or media representative while in the country.
• No US Employer - Lastly, you cannot actually engage in work for a US employer. While you are able to carry out a business transaction, it cannot be work designated generally for an employee in the United States. The purpose is to not allow this type of visa to displace US workers. You will need to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The following types of B-1 business visitors require employment authorization:
⁃ A personal or domestic servant who is accompanying or following to join their employer who is a B-1 visa holder.
⁃ A domestic servant of a U.S. citizen accompanying or following to join his or her U.S. citizen employer who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, and who is temporarily visiting the United States.
There are several other criteria that will get you disqualified from the B-1 visa. These generally include the applicant have a criminal history, coming from a country with a travel ban, or being subject to exile from the US.
What is the Process for Reapplying for the B-1?
Unfortunately, if you B-1 visa application is denied, then you have no other option but to resubmit an application. The original application will still be available for review by the USCIS upon your reapplication.
You will need to identify the specific reason for the denial of the visa application. Then, you are going to need to provide some evidence or substantiation that overcomes the reason for denying the visa application in the first place.
More often than not, the visa application is denied for a failure to provide adequate documentation to satisfy the consulate officer of your purpose of travel and your intent to return back to your home country.
The application must be completed in the same manner as the original application, with the additions or changes necessary to overcome the reason for rejection.
Just like the original application process, the B-1 Visa re-application process generally proceeds as follows:
• Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) - You will generally submit the application form online. Note: You will need to provide supporting documents along with the application. This includes uploading a photo the meets the requirements.
• Interview - You must undertake an interview at a US consulate in your country of origin. You must bring a confirmation of the CS-160 with you. If you are younger than 14 and older than 79, an interview is generally not required.
• Application Fee - You will be required to pay the application fee each time you apply.
• Waiting Period - Then you will have to go through the waiting period. Luckily, the wait time is generally very short for B-1 visas. If additional processing is required, the waiting period will be extended up to 60 days.
• FingerPrinting - You will submit your fingerprints as part of the application and interview.
• Visa Issuance Fee - Once approved, you will pay a B-1 visa issuance fee.
If approved, an immigration officer in the United States must still review your visa before granting your access to the country.
The USCIS does not make any assurances regarding the issuance of visas in advance of travel. You should take this into consideration when planning your travel.
Documents to Substantiate the B-1 Request
To avoid a rejection for failure to substantiate any of the various requirements, make certain to prepare the following documents to take with you to the consulate interview.
• Passport - The biggest issue here is making certain that your passport is valid. Also check to make certain that it will continue to be valid for six months beyond your stay in the United States.
• Print and take a copy of the Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Application) confirmation page.
• Application fee payment receipt.
• Photo – While you likely had to submit a photo via the online application, it is not a bad idea to bring one with you. This will be useful if there is an error with the uploaded copy.
• Evidence of the Purpose of the Trip - This can be any documentation related specifically to your trip. It might include a conference schedule or business meeting details.
• Company Information - Bring information about your company that helps to substantiate the stated purpose of the trip. Bring brochures, business cards, website information, etc.
• Copy of your travel plans and itinerary - This should include information on how you plan to travel while in the US and where you intend to stay.
• Copy of your round-trip travel ticket (if you have obtained it). You may not purchase this until a later time, as the USCIS makes no assurances about granted applications. However, if you have made plans or booked travel ahead of time, then you should take this with you to the meeting.
• Proof of personal finances or employer support for the cost of the trip and return. This can be a statement of support from the employer. Alternatively, it can include bank statements, proof of employment, and proof of assets.
• Documentation establishing your home ties and other documents to support your intentions to return to your home country. This can include family, property, debt obligations, business operations, study enrollment, etc.
• Documentation of past US Visas you have been issued. This is relevant for substantiation of your stated business purpose and proof of your intent to return to your home country.
Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified.