Millions of people travel to the U.S. every year for business and tourism. Between the B-1, B-2, and combined B-1/B-2 visa, over 3,000,000 visas were awarded in 2010 for business and pleasure visits to the United States. If you are planning a business trip to the U.S., then you will need the B-1 visa for business visitors. The B-1 visa is reserved for those traveling in order to consult with a business; attend a scientific, educational, or professional convention; a conference; to settle an estate; or negotiate a contract.
There are a lot of people who wonder what is a B1 visa and how is it different from other U.S. visas. The B-1 visa grants a 6-12 month stay in the United States for business visitors conducting a wide range of business activities. It is a temporary visa, meaning that you are only allowed a short visit with an expressed purpose. If you are planning to work for a U.S.-based company and earn a salary, you do not qualify for the B1 visa. Athletes, investors, researchers, salespersons, lecturers, engineers, and conference attendees all qualify, provided that they will not be earning a direct income from an American business while in the United States.
Applying for the B-1 visa can become a fairly complicated process when you do not take the time to fully understand every step that you have to complete. In order for you to receive your visa, you must fill out forms, schedule an interview with an embassy or consulate, pay your visa fees, and prepare for your interview. Before you will be awarded a visa, you must go through all of these steps and complete them to the best of your ability. Follow these four steps to apply for a B-1 visa:
HCCMIS offers two excellent travel health insurance products to suit the needs of business visitors on a B-1 visa: Atlas MultiTrip insurance and Atlas Travel Insurance.
|Highlights||Atlas MultiTripTM Insurance||Atlas Travel® Insurance|
|Type of Coverage||Multi-trip||Single Trip|
|Length of Coverage||all day trips with durations lasting up to 30 or 45 days for up to 364 days||1 trip lasting up to 364 days|
|Cover in U.S.||Yes||Yes|
|Coverage for Medical Expenses||Yes||Yes|
Business Travel Insurance: Available Options
If you still aren’t sure if Atlas MultiTrip or Atlas Travel insurance are the right plans for your business travel insurance, try our product selection tool to find the best product for your business travel needs.
Interacting with the locals in a foreign country can present a number of interesting and unusual situations. Your idea of what is proper can vary drastically from theirs, and learning how to fit in usually takes some time. As a business visitor, your knowledge of American business etiquette could be the difference between a closed deal and a missed opportunity. Here are just a few tips for what to expect while doing business in the United States:
Tips: Business Etiquette in the USA
Dress for Success: The wardrobe of the typical American businessperson is rather difficult to identify. Some companies require fully professional attire (suits, ties), while others only enforce a “business casual” dress code, which can allow employees to wear jeans and a nice shirt. Additionally, many businesses participate in “Casual Fridays,” allowing their employees to wear more expressive, comfortable clothes every Friday. When in doubt, always dress as professionally as possible that way you give off the appearance of caring about what you are doing. You should be dressing to impress your potential new partners or clients.
Set up a business lunch: There’s no better way to get to know someone than by sharing a meal together. If you are looking to set up a meeting with a new business contact, invite them to lunch or dinner. Conversations tend to flow more freely when food is involved. You could also suggest getting a meal after a meeting so that you can establish a more personal relationship with your clients or whomever you are meeting . If you do end up sharing a meal together, be sure you are polite and courteous and if you are unsure how something in American etiquette is done, then watch the person you are eating with or just ask questions. It is better to ask questions than risk offending someone.
Reply Promptly: In the age of social media and instant communication, the typical businessperson has grown impatient. Most American businesses rely on email for efficient communications. One of the best ways to look respectful and professional in the eyes of a business contact is to always reply to emails and phone calls quickly. Obviously, you can’t always respond within a few seconds of receiving that email or voicemail, but you should respond as quickly as possible. By responding promptly you show that you care about the person and the business relationship you are trying to set up, and this goes a long way in the U.S.
Be on Time: Besides responding to business associates promptly, you should be sure you are on time for every business meeting that you have. It is actually a great idea to show up early for a meeting. While meeting times are more relaxed in some parts of the world, they are usually pretty rigid in the U.S., and to show up late for a meeting is considered extremely rude. In fact, if you make someone wait on you, you could potentially lose the client and/or business deal.
Your main purpose for the trip is to conduct business, but you are most likely going to have a little bit of down time, and you should use that time to explore. It is easy to become so wrapped up in your work that you forget you are in a new country and city. Traveling, even for business purposes, allows you a chance to explore new cultures and see some amazing things that you normally would not have a chance to see. Here are some tips on how to manage your time between pleasure and fun:
Business is handled slightly differently everywhere in the world. Conducting business in the U.S. while under a B-1 visa may be new to you. So, you should do your best to be prepared. As you are preparing for your meetings or to attend a conference, do not forget to prepare for a new culture. Knowing about the U.S. before you travel will help you avoid culture shock and will help you navigate through life while you are staying in the U.S.
Tokio Marine HCC - Medical Insurance Services Group (MIS Group) is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. We are regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by Tokio Marine HCC – International Group.