Three regulations from the State Department affecting B-1 business visitor visas have cleared review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The text of the rules is not yet available. The agency is expected to post the following rules in the coming weeks:

  • A proposed rule that may be used as a basis to eliminate the “B-1 in lieu of H-1B” classification, if the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) Note that provides for this classification is also removed.
  • A final rule establishing a pilot program under which consular officers will require certain B-1/B-2 applicants to post a “Maintenance of Status and Departure Bond” as a condition of visa issuance, “to ensure the individual will not overstay his or her period of lawful admission.”
  • A final rule to revise the definition of “equivalent to a diplomatic passport” for purposes of eligibility for a diplomatic or official type visa.

BAL Analysis: The text of these regulations is not yet available, and the agency will post them for public inspection at least one day before their official publication in the Federal Register. The proposed regulation will not take effect until after members of the public have had an opportunity to comment, whereas the two final regulations regarding bonds and diplomatic passports are expected to take effect shortly after publication without a comment period. BAL is monitoring the progression of these regulations and will provide additional information when text is published.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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