H1 vs. B1 Visa

The Difference Between H1 and B1 Visa If you’re planning on staying in the US temporarily, then you will…

The Difference Between H1 and B1 Visa

If you’re planning on staying in the US temporarily, then you will need to apply for either H1 or B1 visa. The choice between the two will depend on your purpose in staying. The H1 visas apply for professionals who are not US citizens, but are hired by American employers, while the B1 visa is for business alone.

H1 Visa

Employees who want to apply for an H1 visa are required to be college graduates or to possess enough skills and experience to perform the work he/she is applying for. What you have to remember about the H1 visa is that it requires two parties to cooperate: the employer and the employee. For and employee to be granted with this visa, he/she must be sponsored by one employer in the least. It is the employer who will supply your petition, although it can’t be that difficult for them because they are in no way obliged to review first the local job applications before they can hire H1B workers.

The moment the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS approves your H1 visa, you may legally stay for up to 6 years in the US. Moreover, if you apply for I-140 Immigrant Petition anytime before your last year in the US, you can be granted with up to 3 years extension; giving you enough time to finalize a green card certification.

The H1 visa is available in different forms for different people:

  • H1B – for professionals who posses Bachelor’s Degrees or higher educational attainment or are certified specialists.
  • H1B1 – for workers for the Free Trade Agreement from Singapore and Chile.
  • H1B2 – for people who work for the Co-production project or Development Projects and Department of Defense Cooperative Research.
  • H1B3 –  for fashion models distinguished for their ability and merit.
  • H1C – for nurses who work in areas determined by US Department of Labor to have shortages of health professionals.

B1 Visa


For those who only need to settle things in the US just for a short time, the B1 visa would prove most useful. If approved, the B1 visa entitles you 90 days in the US to settle businesses or other concerns such as an affiliate’s delegation conference, attend examinations, purchase certain materials or settle property matters. If your purpose in staying falls among the mentioned, then you may apply for your B1 visa, but make sure you do it at least three months before your actual departure period. This will give enough time for the US consulate to properly review your request and provide you with a timely result, which is irrevocable, whatever it might be. You will also be given a personal chance to convince them that you are in no way planning to stay in the United States longer than needed or be an immigrant.

Differentiating Between the Two


Although both H1 and B1 are applicable for foreigners who want to enter the United States temporarily, they have different requirements and constraints. A worker qualified for H1 visa must be a professional or should possess specialized skills needed by US employers. B1 visa holders, however, only needs an acceptable request or reason for visiting the US for up to 3 months and with limited privileges. H1 holders have the upper hand in maximum time of stay since they can stay in the United States for up to 6 years, granted that they remain employed. H1 status provides more opportunities for an individual while B1 can only be applied for problems that can be resolved quickly. Depending on your purpose in coming to the US, the decision as to which visa to choose is yours to make.


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