DHS Proposed Rule on B Category Visas

The United States ‘B’ Category Visa allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. on a temporary, limited basis to engage in legitimate business activities provided that they are not receiving remuneration from a U.S. source except for reimbursement for expenses while in the U.S.

To prevent fraud and abuse of the ‘B’ Category Visa, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to propose a regulation which could limit permissible business activities. The proposed rule was listed among the agenda items in the agency’s semi-annual agenda released last month.

The agency also intends to evaluate its policy towards “B-1 in lieu of H” (“BILOH”), an alternative that allows overseas companies to send employees, who remain on foreign payroll, to the U.S. for short-term work.

This clearly implies that the DHS, under Trump administration, intends to put in place a strengthened criterion for ‘B’ Category Visas and possible curtailment or elimination of the “BILOH”.

A proposed regulation has not yet been released. The anticipated publication date is November 2018.

Amit Solanki, Immigration Executive

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