Pitching your idea to a U.S. investor? 5 tips for getting your business visa.


Teleconferencing is convenient, but nothing matches the effectiveness of a face-to-face meeting. If you have your business plan, you’ve made your contacts and are ready to pitch your idea to U.S. investors, you’ll want to do it in person.

The Business Visitor Visa (B-1) allows for temporary, business-related travel to the U.S. The B-1 visa does not allow you to work or earn money in the U.S. To find out if you qualify for the B-1, go to travel.state.gov. To apply, visit the website of your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Fill out the online application to schedule an interview.

At your interview, the officer will ask questions that help him or her better understand your need to travel to the U.S. It’s important to effectively convey your reasons.

  • Be specific. Tell the interviewing officer the particulars of your business trip — who you’re meeting with and why. Be prepared to answer questions about your trip and your business clearly and specifically.

  • Make your ties to your home country clear. The officer who interviews you is looking to you to show that your trip is temporary and for a specific purpose. Strong family ties and an ongoing career in your home country are examples of connections that will help clarify this.

  • Bring supporting documents. While you are not required to supply specific documents, a copy of your business plan, a letter from the U.S. company you’re pitching to or anything that supports your reason for travel will help.

  • Be honest. Do not exaggerate the extent of your business or fabricate reasons for your travel. This will make a denial likely, now and in the future.

  • Understand that there is no single magic answer. You’ll be granted a visa based on the information you give your interviewer about your overall circumstances. There is no secret answer to a single question. The best strategy is to be clear and straightforward about your particular situation.

ShareAmerica features information about same-sex spousediversity, and other kinds of U.S. visas.Also visit travel.state.gov to learn more.