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Can I Come to the U.S. on ESTA to Attend a Board Meeting?

By April 20, 2021Immigration
Two business partners shaking hands

If you have an ESTA or a B-1 business visa, you can come to the U.S. for a temporary period of time and engage in certain business activities such as for example negotiating of contracts, consulting with your business associates, or attending a board meeting.

Can you come to the U.S. to attend a Board Meeting?

Yes. The Foreign Affairs Manual states that you can come to the U.S. on an ESTA/B-1 visa as a business visitor if you are a member of the Board of directors of a U.S. company and you want to come to the U.S. to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors or you need to perform other functions resulting from membership on the board.

Please see the list of activities you can engage in on a B-1 visa when you click here.

Do you need a B-1 business visa or can you come on an ESTA?

If you qualify for an ESTA, then you could come to the U.S. as a business visitor on ESTA and you can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days.

If you don’t qualify for an ESTA (your country is not one of the participant countries of the ESTA program), then you will have to apply for a B-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate.

The activities you can in engage in in the U.S. on ESTA and B-1 visa are the same, but if you enter on a B-1 visa, you could stay up to 6 months (assuming that you can justify to the CBP officer that you have business activities you need to accomplish during this entire period of time).

Please see some advantages and disadvantages of applying for an ESTA versus B-1 visa when you click here.

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