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B-1 Visa Information

Make your business trip to the U.S. very productive by learning more about the American culture and language.

The Business Visa (B-1) allows you to travel to the United States to conduct business or to learn more about your profession. As a business traveler in the U.S., you are permitted to enroll in training workshops or attend conferences that are related to your work. You can also register for a part-time business English course at the IELI if it does not interfere with your primary activities.


You should not apply for the B-1 if you plan to become a full-time student in an American college or English language school. It is a serious Immigration violation if you do so.

To apply for the B-1, you must:

  • Make sure the expiration date on your passport is valid for more than 5 months in the future.
  • Contact the American Embassy and request an appointment for the B-1.
  • Prepare for a possible interview with an embassy official about your visa request.
  • Show the embassy official proof that you can support yourself financially in the U.S.


If your B-1 application is approved, you will be permitted to travel to the U.S on a business visa. When you arrive at the airport, an Immigration officer will interview you again and ask you what you plan to do in the U.S. If you are doing research for your company or consulting work, make sure that you explain this clearly to the officer. This information will help him/her decide how much time you will need to complete your activities in the U.S. In general, if the Immigration officer is satisfied with your answers, he/she may approve your entry to the U.S. for up to 3 months.


During your business visit in the U.S., you may decide that you want to become a full-time student at the IELI. It is very difficult to change your B-1 visa to an F-1 (student status) visa in the U.S. However, you may still request permission from the Immigration Department if you have strong reasons. If you would like more information about changing visa status, we recommend that you come in to speak with the IELI International Student Advisor. You can also email your questions to

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