Do I Need a Work Visa for business meetings in Austin?

You likely do not require a United States work permit or work visa for a business meeting in the city of Austin, Texas, even if you are a foreign national such as a Canadian citizen. However, you may need to obtain a business visitor visa, which is a special type of visa that is suitable for things like business meetings, conventions and conferences. 

This business visa is quite different from a work visa, as you are not allowed to work in the United States or earn an income from a United States employer while on a business visa. To do so, you’d need a work permit.

Am I eligible for a business visitor visa?

The business visitor visa for the United States is called the B1 visa. If you are attending meetings with associates, going to conferences, visiting a convention, engaging in training, looking to buy property in the United States or doing other things on behalf of a foreign employer outside of the United States, you may qualify.

It can be difficult to get a B1 business visitor visa because immigration officials can make it tough for you if they suspect you are entering the United States to work or that you will not leave the United States after your meeting.

In any case, when you apply for a business visitor visa for the United States you must show that:

1. You are fully employed by a foreign company and you must come to the United States to do business on their behalf.
2. That you only will be involved in activities that are allowed on a B1 business visa.
3. Exactly what you will be doing while in the United States as evidenced by a copy of your itinerary from entrance to exit.
4. That you have very strong ties to your native country, such as family, property, work and finances there that will encourage you to leave the United States and return home before your visa expires.

It can be tricky to determine whether you require a business visa or a work permit when you need to visit the United States for work reasons. You must also ensure that you can meet all of the requirements, or you risk being turned away and missing your meeting! Our immigration law firm can assist you in obtaining a business visitor visa for the United States.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.