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

Did you know that a United States work visa or work permit is not necessary if you are only conducting certain business activities in Houston? You will still need a visa though, and a Houston business visitor visa is called a B-1 Visa. 

Qualifying for a B-1 visa is easy, depending on what you plan on doing in the city of Houston. However, actually obtaining one is not so easy – because even if you qualify for a business visitor visa for a business meeting in Houston, you must prove two very important things to immigration officials before they’ll give you one:

1. That you will only be in Houston to engage in specific activities that are allowed on a business visa, such as attending a business meeting, conference or conventions.

2. That you will not stay in the United States after your business visitor visa expires (also known as overstaying your visa).

How do I get a B1 visa?

If you are a Canadian citizen you will likely just get a stamp on your passport that indicates you have a B1 visa. However, you will still have to provide plenty of information to the immigration authorities to prove you have no intention of overstaying and you’ll only be conducting specified activities. To do this, you can provide:

A letter from your foreign employer, stating that you work full-time for them outside of the United States, that your job is very important and you will definitely be returning home, and what exactly you’ll be engaging in when you come to the United States on a business visa. You may also want to indicate your itinerary in Houston from entrance to exit.

Other documents will also be necessary to demonstrate that you have good reasons to go back home. This is referred to as showing your strong ties to your home country. Some examples are property records (to show you have a home or property there), financial statements, or information about your family that is living there.

Please note that there is a long list of activities acceptable on a business visa, but you absolutely cannot work while on a business visa. Give us a call, as we can help you determine which document you will require to travel to Houston for a business meeting without problems. You can contact us at the number at the top of this page or e-mail us.

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.

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