Our manager will be visiting the U.S. from Spain once per month to control our operations? Can he do that under the visa waivet program? Does he need an L or B1 instead?
No. VWP entry is not suitable for business activity.
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B1 visa would be the most suitable for this purpose.
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Will in all likelihood be admitted once or twice under the Visa Waiver program's "WB" (visitor for "business") category, pero a la larga will need to apply for and obtain a B-1 visa from either Madrid or Barcelona. An "L" could be excessive for the stated purpose..
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For this type of activity when entering the United States, and this frequency of applying for entry into the U.S., it is highly advisable for him to apply for and obtain a B-1/B-2 visa and to enter the U.S. in B-1 status. If he tries to enter the U.S. once a month under VWP, he might be admitted once or twice, after which it is quite possible that he will be put into secondary inspection and may be denied entry. If his visits to the U.S. are short, and last only three or four days, he probably does not need an L-1A visa.
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