Recently, I shared my travel to US experience on B1 Visa in Expired Passport , I thought it is also important to share my experience on the restrictions and B1 issued from different company. Many of the us wonder with questions like
- I have B1 visa issued by my previous company, can I use the same visa to travel to US ?
- I have B1/B2 visa for US issued by my old employer and it has their name on it, can I used it to travel to US ?
- What are the documents required at POE, when I travel on B1 visa with different company ?
Many such questions. Below article clarifies most of such questions.
What is B1 Visa for US travel ? How about B2 Visa ? Combined B1/B2 Visa ?
To set some context, B1 visa is the visa issued for temporary travel to America for Business purposes and B2 visa is issued to travel to USA for pleasure or tourism, including purposes like Visa for Parents Visiting US . Both are short term travel visas for under 6 months. When someone applies for B1 visa, especially for business, US consulate most of the times issues B2 visa as well and they stamp in passport as B1/B2 visa, which gives you the option to travel for business or Pleasure. For full details, Check US Travel.Gov – B-1, B-2 Visa
How does B1 Visa (Business ) work ? Is it Tied to Company or Individual ?
It all depends on how the B1 Visa is stamped on your passport. There is a small section called Annotation in the US visa ( see below), which indicates the restrictions. If there are no company name or any other restrictions listed on that annotation section, you are free to travel to US from different company name as well. So, technically, imagine you worked for Company A and they applied for your B1 visa and you got it stamped in passport without any annotation like below, then the B1 visa is tied to you and not any company and you are free to use the same visa to travel to US with another company or different company. There is no restriction. In case, there is company name or any restrictions listed in the annotation section, then you cannot use the same B1 or B1/B2 visa to travel to US and you will need to apply for new B1 visa with your current company.
I have first-hand experience as I had B1/B2 visa issued without any annotation (see below) with Company A in 2012 and I traveled to US in 2012 and 2013. I have quit the company that issued my B1 and joined another Company B. Now, in 2017, as I had the old B1/B2 visa valid, I traveled to US with the same B1/B2 visa without any issues and returned as well. I will share on what documents you will need to carry in below section. So, there is no confusion.
What documents do you need to carry for B1 Visa, when with Different Company ?
Irrespective of which company you work for now, you will need to carry your employment related documents and proof of your current business travel. Below are the typical B1 Visa Travel documents checklist.
- Invitation letter from your business entity or employer in US
- Your employment letter from your current company
- Your travel reason related documents like
- Conference Invite, Agenda
- Business Meetings Invites, Confirmations.
- Details of people meeting, etc.
- Business Workshop related invites, etc.
- Your Company ID Card
- Your accommodation related details like Hotel, etc.
- Your travel itinerary with return flight ticket.
- (If applicable) Your current country of residence work visa details
- Latest Pay slips from your current employer.
- ( optional) Your previous employer’s offer letter or proof of employment, when your B1 visa was done.
Some of the above documents may sound like not needed, but to be safe, it is advisable to carry all such documents to avoid issues at US port of entry.
What was your experience with B1/B2 visa from different employer ?
Thanks to Bhaskar for sharing his experience