by Nathan Zachary
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You can start and own a US company without a visa, and without even coming to the Business Visa for US Managing an LLC from outside the US is allowed, but may be not be permitted within the US without a valid work visa. Being a director, as well as a shareholder, of a US corporation is allowed without any kind of visa, but being an officer and performing your duties within the US is generally not allowed. Working for your corporation or LLC within the US without a valid work visa is not allowed.

If you are planning to come to the US to start a business, you will need to have one of the various types of US business visas. Without a visa, you can be the owner or manager of a Visitor Visa for USA company, but you cannot legally work before. If you do work for your own company without the proper visa, you can be deported without right of return, and your company can be fined for hiring an illegal alien.


B1Short term business visa Not allowed to sign contracts or perform work for  hireTemporary, up to 6 monthsCan negotiate but cannot sign contracts
B2Short term Tourist visaTemporary, up to 6 monthsCan negotiate but cannot sign contract
E-1Treaty trader visa. Good for setting up a business that will trade with the visa-holder’s home country. Must be with a country with an appropriate treaty with the USTemporary, can be renewed until business is no longer in operationIs only valid as long as there is a business. Children  under 21 cannot work, and lose their status once they turn 21
E-2Treaty investor visa. Allows a citizen of a treaty country to come to the US to start a businessTemporary, can be renewed until business is no longer in operationIs only valid as long as there is a business. Children  under 21 cannot work, and lose their status once they turn 21
EB-5Investor Green Card program. Requires an investment of $500k to $1MM, must hire at least 10 US residents within 2 years and survive more than 5 yearsLeads to permanent residence after probation period
L-1Intercompany transfer visa. Allows holder to transfer from foreign company to a US company subject to restrictionsOne year, with up to 3 extensionsEmployee must have worked for foreign, related company for more than one year in the last 3 years
H-1BSpecialized labor visaThree year, extendableAnnual quota restricts number of visas available. Cannot be used for self-employment.
O-1Extraordinary Ability visaUp to three years, extendableMust be able to document extraordinary ability
TNNAFTA temporary work visaUp to three years, extendableCannot be used for self-employment

The B1 Visa is used by visitors for a wide variety of business activities. It is used by businesspersons and executives visiting the US for purposes such as:

  • Conducting negotiations
  • For sales or investment meetings
  • Discuss planned investment or purchases
  • For business investment purposes
  • To attend meetings
  • To interview and hire staff
  • For research purposes

Ideally, you should apply for the visa a minimum of 2-3 months in advance to allow for all security clearance and processing while meeting all the US business visa requirements. In some cases, there may be a personal interview as well.


The requirements for a US business visa are less stringent than those for other visas, but you must meet them to be eligible. The following are the requirements for obtaining the B1 visa:

  • That your visit to the United States is for business purposes.
  • You have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in the United States.
  • You intend to leave the United States as soon as your visa expires and will not return to your home country.

Since there is no quota on the B1 visa, the documentation required is not as strenuous as for migrant visas. Typically, your application package must contain:

  • Your passport
  • Proof of funds
  • Letters supporting your reason of visiting the US
  • Letter from your employer if traveling as an employee
  • Proof of business ownership if you are traveling as a businessperson
  • Insurance and other supporting documents


  • Fill out the DS-160 form.
  • Pay the B1 visa application fees.
  • Make an appointment for your visa interview.
  • Prepare the papers for your B1 visa application.
  • Participate in the interview.

Y-Axis can help you create and file your B1 application with minimal hassle. Our end-to-end support and complete knowledge of US immigration programs make us your best option for your visa needs. Talk to us to discover how we can help you get your US B1 Visa.

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