The B Visa Basics
Cindy Azoulay, Esq.
B-1 = Business Visitor
A "business" trip is aimed at:
Foreign commercial interests
Does not include gainful employment in the United States
B-2 = Tourist
Visit is temporary for business (not to study, perform
labor, or work for foreign employer);
Must hold residence in a foreign country and have no
intention of abandoning it;
Intent to leave the US at the end of your stay;
Financial support for yourself during stay in the US;
Permission to enter a foreign country at the end of your
Cover’s a wide range of business, corporate, and professional
activities including negotiations, conferences, and
Consult on products or technologies developed in Israel;
Meet with current or potential clients;
Advise and update professional counterparts.
There can be no payment of a salary in the U.S.
Only reimbursement for room and board.
Contract negotiations, meetings and consultations
with business associates.
Participation in company training.
Professional business conferences or seminars.
Visits to branch offices of one's company; and
Image is often as important as content. So dress nicely and
Provide to the point and concise answers. Do not add any thing
which is not relevant or not being asked.
Do not argue.
Do not ask unnecessary questions.
Arrive 15-20 minutes before your scheduled interview.
Dress professionally, as if you are going to work.
Greet the interviewer when you see him/her at the
Communicate clearly and in a comprehensive way.
Do not hesitate to politely ask to repeat or rephrase the
question, if you don't understand the question.
Keep your answers brief and to the point. Never argue
with the interviewer!
Why do you want to travel to the USA?
What company do you work for? How long have you worked
What do you do?
What is your annual income?
How many children do u have? And where are they?
Do you have any relatives in USA?
How long will you be staying in USA?
Will you work there?
Documents, visa when required, etc.
Period of Validity
The employee’s visa is one thing; the length of time s/he is authorized to
stay in the US is another.
The I-94 card, and not the visa, determines legal status while in the U.S.
To verify the information is correct, review your record at:
In certain cases a B-1 visa holder may want to carry
supporting documentation (such as a company letter), in
the event they are asked at the port of entry about the
purpose of their trip. It should be stressed that while in
B-1 status, the employee must continue to be paid by the
company in Israel. He/she may not receive
remuneration of any kind from a US source, and his/her
activities must be directed and overseen by his/her
supervisors in Israel.
November 29, 2009
To: Passport Control/Customs Officer
Israeli Company here
Worker’s name (DOB: July 31, 1956)
Dear Sir or Madam,
This letter is given as notification to the BCIS regarding the current United States visit by Mr. XX. Mr. XX is
employed in Israel by XXX Ltd., a broadcast business management company which helps multi-channel top
broadcasters to generate billions of dollars in revenue each year. Mr. XX serves our company as a Senior
At this time, Mr. XX is needed to attend several Steering Committee and Design Phase meetings
with our client Showtime Inc. at their office in New York City.
Thus, Mr. XX is traveling to the United States on his B-1 visa on our behalf, and XXX Ltd., will continue to pay
salary to him at all times, and will maintain control over the activities to be carried out by him. He will be
staying at the Mirabello Hotel, at 145 Washington Road, Jersey City, New Jersey.
Please note that in addition to the business meetings which he will be attending, Mr. XX will also be taking
some vacation time with his wife, in the United States. The total combined time of this trip is approximately
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Preparing for Questions at the Port of Entry
Date of return travel.
Confirmation of hotel reservations.
US contact official who is aware of the purpose of the
Specific details of the purposes of the trip, duties to be
performed, meetings to be attended. An itinerary
would be helpful.
Company letter outlining the purposes of the proposed
Indications of impermissible activities in the U.S. include:
Issuance of a business card by a U.S. company;
Use of a U.S. corporate email account;
Entry of one’s name on the company’s list of local U.S.
Receipt of a work unit (desk and computer) in the
offices of a local company;
Rental of purchase of a residential home;
Sale or rental of one’s home in Israel;
Forwarding of one’s personal belongings to the U.S.;
Registering children in school in the U.S.
Always Tell the Truth
Example: Q: Does your company have offices in the US?
A: Yes, the company has offices in the US, but I do not have an office
in the US.
Only Answer Questions You Are Asked
Example: Q: What have you come to the US to do?
A: I have come to the US to supervise, advise and demonstrate a
repair, service or installation for machinery.
**You may be asked to withdraw your application to enter the USA and
board a flight back. Accept this suggestion and advise your company
• Possession of a return ticket.
• Duration of the intended stay of the visitor.
• Purpose of proposed visit .
• Details about the location of the visit.
• Extent of previous travel in B-1 status.
• Any prior immigration violations which may
appear in the system.
A person who stays in the United States beyond the
period for which permission is granted on the I-94
electronic record is considered to be in “overstay”.
This could result in the person being subject to
lengthy bars from re-entry to the country and could
result in the person being put into removal
You should take care to answer briefly only those questions asked. There
is no need to offer any additional information.
You should never travel with a business card that indicates your name
and the name of the US company. Additionally your signature on your
email should not make reference to your companies branch in the US.
You should be aware that if there is concern that you may be working in
the US, the questioning will be extended. There is a possibility that the
CBP Officer will ask to review the contents of your wallet. Laptops may
also be examined, especially email accounts. It is important at all times to
tell the truth and remain consistent in your responses.
Report back to company management if you find that the level of
questioning at the port of entry was elevated or lengthened. In addition
advise if entry time was limited or were advised this was the last entry.
Cindy Azoulay, Esq.
12 Menachem Begin St., Floor 2
Ramat Gan, 52521 Israel
Phone: 972-3-6138202 Fax: 972-3-6137944
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