Many businessman are experts in their business, but they may not know English, or it may not be good enough. However, if you are able to communicate in English, it is best to choose to have the interview in English instead of asking for an interpreter. You should not worry about the American accent of the consular officer.
Interpreters mess up many times. They are sometimes more rude than the consular officer. Without understanding everything, they sometimes communicate to the other party in a hurry, and that creates a problem or an unnecessary prejudice in the mind of the consular officer. Sometimes, they don’t translate correctly, and the meaning of the matter changes drastically.
Moreover, if you can show that you can communicate in English, it is a positive point for getting the visa because this ability would actually be useful to you in conducting business related activities for which you are applying for the visa.
They are not looking for a particular accent or grammatical accuracy.
In order to apply for a business visa, you must demonstrate that:
- The purpose your trip is to enter the U.S. for business related activities but not to conduct business or take gainful employment.
- You intend to remain in the U.S. for a specific, limited time period.
- Your strong ties to your home country, including you having a clear intention to maintain a residence outside the U.S., that will ensure that you will leave the U.S. at the end of your authorized stay. This can include family, work related, and/or social ties. This is necessary because the U.S. immigrant law assumes that everyone applying for a new immigrant visa is a potential immigrant, and the burden is on you to overcome that presumption.
- Your adequate financial means to take care of the expenses while traveling and staying temporarily in the U.S.
As the circumstances of each applicant vary, it is not possible for the consulate to specify the exact documents that would be most suitable. The consular officer relies primarily on the interview to determine your eligibility for business visa. Even though suggested documents may help you in your interview, very little importance is given to them. Of course, you must use only valid documents, as fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent ineligibility for a nonimmigrant visa.
If a business visa applicant’s family (spouse and children) are also accompanying him/her on a tourist visa, and if this trip is expected to be a long trip, the consular officer may be suspicious your true intentions.
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- Business people in some countries make a lot of money. However, they only show a limited amount of income to save income tax. This may be a negative factor in getting the business visa.
- The consular officer may not be aware of too many local details, such as agriculture income being tax free, tax planning, deductions in the income tax, ability to forward the losses in the subsequent years, and various exemptions on income tax on several matters. This may create an issue. However, you should be prepared to explain such matters clearly and carry appropriate documentation regarding them.
- You should be able to communicate clearly about your age, education, experience, duration of your business, your relationship with the company who is sending you to the U.S., length of employment with them, your income, your marital status, and details about your children and their whereabouts. You should be ready to provide the proof for all of these matters to the extent possible.
- You should have formal wear. Men should wear a tie. In any case, dress according to your social and/or professional status. If you are an executive (such as owner, director, etc.), you should wear a suit and tie.
- Maintain eye to eye contact with the consular officer. Do not show any signs of nervousness like your tapping fingers on the window or playing with your ring or tie.
- If you are going on behalf of your company, and if available, wear your company’s ID in a visible manner.
- The consular officer may not ask you for all the documents or any document at all. You will need to push applicable documents appropriate in answering the questions.
- If your colleagues from your company have been to the U.S. on a business visa, you may want to discuss with them the kind of questions and documents asked for your specific situation so that you can get a better idea.
- Many activities, such as wearing weird clothes, too much make up, too much jewelry, cleaning your glasses too many times, adjusting your hair frequently because they obstruct your eyes, are negative factors in getting the business visa.
- Avoid communicating in a fake American accent.
Post Issuance Tips
- You should avoid changing your status to H1B or L1 once you enter the USA on a business visa. If needed, you can go back to the home country and get an H1B or L1 after that. You may be in trouble if you change your status to H1B or L1 after entering the U.S. on a B1.
- You should avoid starting a new company, opening bank accounts, getting life insurance, etc. If those are really needed, consult a good immigration attorney because those things are all indications of your intentions to stay longer in the U.S.
- Many times, business visas are issued as B-1/B-2 multiple entry. If that is the case, you can enter the USA either for business purposes or for tourism purposes, even if you originally got that visa for business purposes, provided there are no special annotations on the visa stamps.
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