Would filing an I-140 void my B-1/B-2?
No. filing the I-140 will not void your B/1/B-2 visa stamp or status.
Would getting an I-140 approval void my B-1/B-2?
No, obtaining an I-140 approval will not void your B/1/B-2 visa stamp or status.
Can I enter the U.S. in B/1/B-2 status after my I-140 is filed and/or approved?
Yes, you can travel internationally and re-enter the U.S. in B-1/B-2 status even after your I-140 is filed and/or approved. The I-140 is for future employment. Important note: at the time of entry in B status, you must maintain the intent leave the U.S. after your temporary trip.
Can I enter the U.S. using my B-1 visa stamp and subsequently file the I-485?
At the time of entry in B status, you must maintain the intent leave the U.S. after your temporary trip. If your plans later change, you will need to wait at least 60 days from your last entry in B before filing the I-485 application. This is necessary to mitigate any conflict in intent at the time of your B entry.
Once the I-485 is filed, you must remain in the U.S. until your Advance Parole is issued, which usually takes 5-8 months. This means that you cannot leave the U.S. for at least 7 months: 60 days after B entry before I-485 can be filed plus approximately 5-8 months from I-485 filing to Advance Parole issuance. This is because, if you travel internationally and re-enter the U.S. in B status with a pending I-485, this could be considered abandonment of your green card application.
How can I prove that I have strong ties outside the U.S. for the B visa interview/entry at the border?
To enter the U.S. in B status, you must maintain the intent to depart the U.S. after your temporary trip. The government is looking to see whether you have strong ties outside the U.S., which could be a strong insurance for you to depart the U.S. after your temporary visit. "Strong ties" are aspects of your life that bind you to your foreign country of residence. This can include a job, house, family, or bank account abroad, that you are not likely to abandon. Examples of evidence to have handy are an employment verification letter for the foreign company you work for or a lease or mortgage to your home outside the U.S.
Can I work in B-1?
No. The B-1 is for entry into the U.S. for business meetings and information exchange. You cannot engage in productive work in the U.S. in B-1 status. Please see below for a non-exhaustive list of permissible activities in B-1 versus non-permissible activities. Engaging in non-permissible activities could result in a violation of your B status.
Permissible activities as Business Visitor
Attend and participate in meetings.
Discuss planned investments or purchases, including purchasing inventory for the business.
Develop business relationships. For example, meeting investors and clients.
Attend and/or present at a conference.
Survey potential sites for office space and/or leasing premises in the U.S.
Consult with business associates.
Participate in litigation.
Independent research of the industry. This would constitute permissible “information exchange”.
Activities NOT permissible as Business Visitor
CANNOT engage in “productive” work. Productive work are activities that go beyond information exchange/business meetings. For example, activities that go beyond the column on the left.
CANNOT have hands-on involvement in product development. For example, a software engineer cannot enter the U.S. as a Business Visitor to write code for software.
CANNOT engage in the direct management of the business.
CANNOT directly supervise or direct staff in the function of their work.
CANNOT implement decisions that impact U.S. operations. You can create relationships and think about the business.
How long is the B status valid for?
Entry in B status is valid for up to 6 months. If you still need to be in the U.S. after this, you can try to apply for a B extension for up to another 6 months. The maximum amount of time in B-1 status for any trip is generally 1 year.
Can I extend my B status in the U.S.?
Yes. If you are in the U.S. in valid B status and need to extend your stay in the U.S., you can try to file a B extension. The B extension can be requested for up to 6 months. The maximum amount of time in B-1 status for any trip is generally 1 year. Please note that approval of the B extension is discretionary.
My B visa was previously denied at the Consulate/Embassy. Would this impact my chances of getting the immigrant visa (“green card”) through Consular processing?
Depending on the reason why your B was denied, this may impact your ability to obtain the immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy. For example, if your B was denied because you were found to be inadmissible due to a felony charge, this may impact your Consular processing for an immigrant visa. But if your B visa was denied because the Consulate did not feel that you established sufficient ties abroad or intent to depart the U.S. after your temporary business/tourism trip, this will not impact your ability to obtain the immigrant visa. Your attorney will evaluate the specifics of your situation and provide legal guidance.
Can I remain in the U.S. while my B extension is pending?
If your B extension was timely filed, meaning that it was filed before your B status expired, you may remain in the U.S. while the B extension is pending, even after the initial B status has expired.