B1 Visitor visa

What am I allowed to do as a Canadian business visitor?

What am I allowed to do as a Canadian business visitor?

Canadian citizens are visa-exempt and generally do not require visas to enter the United States, for a visit, tourism, or temporary business purposes. Canadian business visitors are granted a stay in the US for up to six (6) months at the time of entry as long as they comply with the limits of stay as a business visitor. The following basic criteria must be met to enter the US as a business visitor:

  • Limited duration of time to stay in the United States.
  • Intent to depart the United States.
  • Maintenance of a foreign residence.
  • Adequate financial arrangements.
  • Participating in legitimate business activities.
  • The activity must preclude productive employment in the United States (Activity for a US-based company or its affiliate can be considered employment).

The following are considered legitimate activities as a business visitor:

  • The US entity does not accrue any benefit from the proposed activity.
  • The nonimmigrant’s salary is received abroad from a company with no US affiliates.
  • The nonimmigrant is coming to the United States to solicit sales, negotiate contracts, or take orders from established customers for work that will be performed outside the United States.
  • The nonimmigrant is a purchasing agent for a foreign employer coming to the United States to procure goods, components, or raw materials for use outside the United States.
  • The nonimmigrant is an employee of a foreign company coming to the United States with regard to service or sales contracts already undertaken by their company.
  • The nonimmigrant is coming to supervise or train others in construction work.
  • The nonimmigrant is an employee of a foreign-based company or office of a US company coming to the United States to engage in consultations with US business associates.
  • The nonimmigrant is coming to the United States in conjunction with litigation.
  • The nonimmigrant is coming to attend a professional or business conference, convention, or executive seminar.
  • The nonimmigrant is an employee or independent businessperson coming to the United States to undertake independent research such as market or product research, not directly connected with sales or service contracts or the solicitation of business.
  • The nonimmigrant is a professional coming to arrange employment in this country (Interview for a job).
  • A foreign investor coming to the United States to take steps to set up their investment.
  • Coming to open or be employed in a US office, subsidiary, or affiliate of the foreign employer in order to qualify for an L-1 visa.

Activities that generally fall outside the scope of the B-1 visitor visa:

  • A nonimmigrant professional that would qualify for an H-1B visa but is employed abroad.
  • A nonimmigrant member of a religious or charitable organization.
  • A nonimmigrant coming to the United States to undertake an established training program that would qualify him/her for an H-3 visa.
  • A business executive, a member of a board of directors of a US company, or the employee of a company with a US affiliate.
  • A personal or domestic servant coming to the United States with a US citizen or nonimmigrant employer

Additional points to consider

  • An individual on a visitor visa (B1/B2) is not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.
  • There is no guarantee you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
  • A valid US visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

See the attached flyer for more information: B Visa Flyer