Asking a series of questions can help you, as an employer, determine the appropriate visa for sending employees on international business travel. First, a few general tips:
- Details on visas for international business are available from each country’s consulate or foreign mission.
- Traveling employees should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on their passports whenever traveling abroad, more if needed.
- Employees should always carry their passports when traveling to another country in the Schengen area, even if there are no border checks at that time, because officials may reinstate border controls without notice.
- Employees should ensure their passport meets validity requirements for the destination country. For example, if a passport does not meet the Schengen requirements, a passport-holder attempting to enter a Schengen country can be refused boarding by the airline at the point of origin or while transferring planes, or can be denied entry regardless of the length of stay. Employees should receive a stamp in their passport when entering and exiting the Schengen area.
Questions to consider when determining what type of visa is appropriate for your prospective international business employee may include:
What is their nationality?
What is their current city and country of residence?
What is their country of destination?
When do they need to travel to the destination country?
How long must they remain in the destination country?
Were they ever refused entry into the destination country?
Do they have any prior travel history to the destination country?
Where will they be receiving their salary while in the destination country?
Will they be traveling with a spouse or any dependents?
What activities will they perform in the destination country? For example:
- Provide technical assistance, software development, management consulting, or project management services
- Manage local staff in the destination country
- Attend a conference, seminar, or trade fair
- Attend meetings with current clients
- Attend meetings with prospective clients
- Attend meetings at our corporate offices
- Provide training
- Attend a training course
- Conduct pre-sales activities (e.g., meet with potential customers, negotiate and/or sign contracts or agreements)
- Enter as a representative of a foreign country to install, dismantle, service, or repair the company’s equipment or products
- Provide after-sales or lease services of commercial or industrial equipment (e.g., supervise installers, set up and test commercial or industrial equipment, repair or service equipment)
- Information for U.S. travelers in Europe
- Traveler’s checklist
- Country-by-country information on visas, entry-exit requirements, travel advisories, and where to get assistance for U.S. citizens, (type the name of the destination country in the field at the left, “Learn about your destination”)
- List and descriptions of visas for business travelers to the United States
- Department of State’s Business Visa Center
- Contact info for foreign embassies and consulates