The B-1 visa is designed for persons visiting the US for the purpose of conducting business activities. The visa can be obtained in just a few days and is valid for 6 months initially and then extendable for an additional 6 months. Specifically, it permits a foreign business person to engage in any activity “of a temporary nature classified within the ordinary meaning of the word ‘business,’ but not classifiable as pleasure or labor.” The INS has acknowledged that foreign computer professionals are admissible in the B-1 classification where services provided by the foreign national are “necessary to the integrated international production, marketing and service system of a corporation, its subsidiaries and affiliates, and do not involve the reassignment of [the foreign national] to an employer in the US (i.e., the employee remains under the control of an employer outside the US).”
Although the B-2 visa does not authorize employment with a US company, it does permit conducting business in the US while receiving a salary from a foreign company. Further, while in the US, the foreign business person can draw upon any foreign business and personal accounts. Also a US company can pay living expenses to a B-1 holder while in the US.