With rare exceptions, the B-1 visa for business is not to be used for any activity that could be construed as meaningful work or employment in the United States. The distinction between “meaningful work” and “business activity” is not a clear one. However, the Department of State (DOS) and USCIS have provided some guidance on this issue, which appears below.
Generally, in the B-1 visa regulations, “business” refers to “conventions, conferences, consultations and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature” that do not include US employment or labor for hire.
The US Department of State (DOS) has interpreted the regulations to allow B-1 visa holders to:
The US Department of State (9 FAM §41.31) and USCIS (Operating Instructions §214.2(b)) list specific activities approved for admission to the US on a B-1 business visa. These contain useful examples of permissible B-1 visa business activities not obviously within the FAM definition or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) test of permissible B-1 visa business activities that nevertheless qualify: