A business visa is given to people who would like to establish business relations with a corporation outside of their home country. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations on the cost, period of stay, etc. But the purpose remains the same – to conduct business. This article throws some light on the business visa requirements for some of the major countries in the world.
The United States of America attracts millions of people around the world in pursuit of the ‘American Dream’. For some, it’s a bucket list to travel through the country as tourists. The B-1 Visa is one of the two non-immigrant visas that people need to apply for if they are looking for business opportunities in the land of Uncle Sam.
What can you do with a B-1 Visa?
Let’s say you have a business corporation in the US with whom you want to associate. The B-1 visa is to attend business meetings and negotiate contracts, attend events or conferences for business or educational purposes. There is a more comprehensive list of the uses of a B-1 visa you can find on their official website.
Eligibility criteria for B-1 Visa
It’s not difficult to land a B-1 visa as long as you fulfil the following criteria:
- Your stay in the United States is only temporary, and you will leave as soon as your business commitments are over.
- An invitation letter from the partner entity/company with whom you intend to conduct business.
- Proof of finance to cover your expenses for the entire duration of your stay.
- Documents such as a letter from your current employer that state your commitment to assignments in your homeland.
- Most recent pay stubs.
- Any personal financial commitments that tie you back to your homeland, such as a housing loan, personal loan, close family ties.
Suggested Read: Guide To Visa Photo Size Requirements
B-1 Visa Application Process
- FORM DS-160 is to be submitted. It will have details like purpose of your travel and other personal details.
- PAYMENT of $160. A Visa issuance fee is also charged, which differs according to each person’s nationality.
- VISA INTERVIEW is to be scheduled at the US Embassy situated in your city.
- B-1 VISA DOCUMENTS like the Form DS-160, interview confirmation letter, passport, financial statements, travel insurance, proof of accommodation, flight tickets).
- THE INTERVIEW that will decide whether you will be granted the B-1 Visa or not.
Business Schengen Visa
A Schengen visa allows applicant access to 26 European nations that are a member to the Schengen Area (as per the Schengen agreement of 1986) that allows freedom of movement between member states. A business Schengen visa will allow a resident of a non-Schengen state, the ability to conduct temporary business in the area.
Which Country to Apply?
With 26 member countries, it may be a little tricky to understand which country to apply a business Schengen visa to. Here are a few ways to make it easy to decide:
- If you are visiting only one country, then one needs to apply at the embassy/consulate or the visa centre of that country.
- If you are going to visit multiple countries, then the country to apply to, would be the one where you will spend the greatest number of days of your trip at.
- In case you are going to spend an equal amount of time in all countries of your visit, then you will apply for your visa at the embassy/consulate of the country of your first arrival into the Schengen area.
Know In-Depth: How to get your Schengen visa from India?
Documents required for a Schengen Business Visa
- A completed visa application document.
- Valid passport (issued within the last 10 years, with at least 3 months validity)
- An invitation letter that details the purpose of your visit.
- Business-related documents: Income tax return form, company bank statement, certificate of incorporation.
- Travel related documents: Flight reservation, travel insurance, proof of accommodation.
- Individual bank statements providing enough proof that expenses are covered, most recent pay stubs, existing financial commitments that tie to the home country such as a housing loan.
- Passport-sized photographs.
- Proof of civil status: marriage certificate, birth certificate of the child etc.
- 1 copy of your passport’s data page.
Validity: Business Schengen visas are valid for 90 days.
Processing Time: It varies from country to country. Please make sure to visit the country’s embassy website on information related to visa processing times.
For multiple entry within the visa validity period, please be sure to fill in the “multiple entry” gap in the application form.
Singapore Business Visa
Singapore being one of the go-to destinations for vacations, you can club it with your work to make your trip more exciting.
ENTREPASS / ENTREPRENEUR PASS is the Business visa for Singapore that you need to apply if you have a fantastic entrepreneurial idea that you think will work in Singapore. The Singapore government encourages people to contribute to their economy and hence, it’s not difficult to land a Singapore Business Visa.
If you’re an Indian, you will get an e—visa. Download it, take a printout and then start packing your bags.
Further Read: Singapore Visa For Indians: All you need to know
- Valid passport.
- Business plans and other financials about your business.
- Proof of funds in your account of at least USD 50,000.
- Testimonials of your employment.
- Form 14A.
- Valid Passport (of minimum 6 months).
- Couple of Passport size photos.
- Other proofs and documents related to your business and supporting financials.
- Flight tickets and proof of accommodation.
Processing Time: 4 to 6 weeks is the time taken for the issue of your Singapore Business Visa for foreign nationals. Though for Indians, a week is what it usually takes. Depending on their workload, it should not take more than 2 weeks tops.
Validity: of your Singapore business visa may be up to 2 years with a minimum of 3 or 4 months. But the staying period is usually given for only 30 days at a stretch. You can make a number of trips to finish your business meetings and commitments since the Singapore Business Visa is a multiple entry visa.
Singapore Visa Processing Fee of $30 Singapore Dollars is charged for each application plus GST.
Dubai Business Visa
Being one of the most favoured places of tourist attraction in the world, the UAE is also an amazing place to set up your own business. And the best part is, it’s tax-free! Usually, GCC nationals will not need any visa to visit Dubai or the UAE for that matter.
For a Dubai Business Visa, you will get a multiple entry visa with certain conditions. You can apply for a multiple entry visa for 6 months if you need to make multiple trips. Each trip should only be for a maximum of 30 days. Though to procure this visa, you can get a visa on arrival and then apply for a multiple entry visa in the local immigration office.
Dubia Business Visa Cost: 1000AED. For India, depending on the number of days of travel, the fee ranges from around 2,500 rupees for a 48-hour visa to around 34,000 rupees for a multiple entry long term Dubai Business Visa.
Special Allowance For German & US Citizens:
- US CITIZENS can apply for a multiple entry visa for a minimum of 1 year up to a maximum of 10 years.
- PERIOD OF STAY: Each trip up to 6 months at a time.
- VISA COST: Nil. But a sponsor is needed.
- GERMAN CITIZENS can apply for a Dubai Business visa for up to 2 years with multiple entries.
- PERIOD OF STAY: Up to 3 months in a year and they don’t need any sponsor.
- VISA COST: 1500 AED.
Documents Required for Dubai Business Visa:
- Valid Passport (minimum 6 months).
- Flight tickets.
- Visa Form.
- Passport size photos.
- Sponsor’s letter.
- Other relevant documents of financials, Income Tax returns and proof of business or investments.
Visa Processing Time: 3 to 4 days to get your Normal Dubai Business Visa.
Australia Business Visa
As in every other country, the Australian Business Visa is provided to carry out new business investments in the land of the Aussies while you indulge in the company of the Aboriginals and take a run with the Kangaroos.
Know In-Depth: Australian Visa For Indians: A complete guide
Types of Business Programs
Visitor (subclass 600) is usually the Business Visa for Australia.
- Business – For people with their own business.
- Investor type – For people who want to invest in Australia.
- Senior Executive – For people who are among the top management in their business.
- High Calibre Business – For people who invest in millions and are usually supported by the State Government.
You can either apply for
- Direct Permanent Residence for businesses supported by the state government.
- Provisional Visa if you want to set up your own business (permanent residency is offered after your business is setup).
Documents Required for Australia Business Visa
- Business Documents
- Valid Passport
- Health Documents
- Other Proofs of financials and accommodation
- English Language documents
- Character Documents
- Proof of sponsor (if applicable)
Period of Stay: Depending on how long you want to stay and the reason for your trip, you may be granted a validity of up to 1 year. You can stay for a period of up to 3 months and Single entry or multiple entry options are also available.
Australia Visa Cost: AUD 145 for a normal visa. If you want a Fast-track visa and you’re from India, China or the UAE, it will cost an additional AUD 1000.
Australia Visa Processing Time: 12 to 18 days
Tip: Take out health insurance in case you need any emergency medical treatment.
Canada Business Visa
Canada is one of the few countries that welcome immigrants with open arms and gives a lot of opportunities for business owners who want to invest in their country. Its low business cost and low tax rates make it an ideal place to explore new business. As always, your activities as a business visitor may include:
- Attend meetings, conferences, and conventions.
- Involved in training Canadian employees.
- Procurement of Canadian goods/services.
Canada Visa Categories
- Start-up Visa
- Self-employed Visa
- Business/Investor Immigration Visa
Documents Required for Canada Business Visa
- Valid Passport.
- Business documents and financials.
- Letter of Invitation & Contact details of your Sponsor/Host in Canada.
- Proof of funds and accommodation.
- And of course, your flight tickets.
For a Canadian Business Visa for visitors, you will need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or a Visitor Visa.
Eligibility Criteria for Business Visitors
- You only wish to stay up to 6 months.
- Your main business and commitments are outside Canada.
- The necessary documents to support your activities in Canada are available.
- You do not wish to be involved in the labour market of Canada.
- There are no criminal charges against you
- You will leave once your business in Canada gets over.
- You have the funds to take care of your expenses while in Canada.
Canada visa Processing Fee: $1050
Period of Stay: Up to 6 months
China Business Visa:
With the largest population in the world, there is no dearth of opportunities for people with business ideas and investment in China. With the manufacturing cost too being low, China attracts business partnerships from across the world. The China Business Visa or the China M Visa allows you to carry out activities concerning your business like any other country with their own set of rules.
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Documents Required for China Visa
- Valid Passport (minimum of 6 months validity).
- China Business Visa application form.
- Invitation Letter from your Chinese Business Partner and their Contact details.
- Proof of Funds and Accommodation.
- Business documents & Financials.
China Visa Cost: The China Business Visa usually costs the same as the tourist visa. Depending on your nationality, the price may vary accordingly. For India, it costs Rs. 5,552 for a single person including taxes and the service fee of CVASC. For the US, it’s $140 and for other countries, it ranges from $30 to $90.
Visa processing Time: 4 working days. For the Fast-Track service, you can get the Visa in a day on payment of USD 30.
Period of Stay: The validity of the China Business Visa is 3 months. The staying period is usually 30 days. May be longer depending on your purpose of travel. But for people from the US, Canada or Argentina, they may be eligible for a 10-year China M visa.
Don’t forget to plan a short trip off from your work while your stint in these countries. Based on where your work is, you can either roam around the bustling city or take a short sabbatical in the countryside and visit the small villages. In the end, how is it fun if you can’t mix business and pleasure!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a business visa?
A business visa is issued to people who want to start their own business in other countries, make investments, collaborate with corporations outside their own country, or attend conferences, trade shows, handle negotiations etc.
2. How long can you stay on a business visa?
Depending on the country and the purpose of your travel, you will usually be allowed to stay for a period of 30 days to up to 6 months with a need for multiple trips.
3. What is Schengen Business Visa?
A Schengen visa allows the applicant access to 26 European nations that are member to the Schengen Area (as per the Schengen agreement of 1986) that allows freedom of movement between member states. A business Schengen visa will allow a resident of a non-Schengen state, the ability to conduct temporary business in the area.
4. What is B1 and B2 Visa?
The B1 and B2 Visas are issued to people who want to make a short trip to America and then return to their homeland. B1 Visa is for conducting business-related activities in the US, and the B2 visa is for tourists who want to visit the country for pleasure.
Know In-Depth: How to apply for Visa? In focus – Schengen visa, H1B visa