I am finding it hard to track down the right kind of visa to provide consulting on short Am I missing something obvious?
I had a number of business trips over to the USA with my previous company and just needed an ESTA in order to enter the country, but then I was visiting our US based offices so it may be different to visiting another business.
As mentioned above you can use the Visa Waiver Program to enter the USA for a “business trip” of up to 90 days which generally covers any of these activities:
Engage in commercial transactions, which do not involve gainful employment in the United States (such as a merchant who takes orders for goods manufactured abroad);
Consult with business associates;
Participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars; or
Undertake independent research.
Whether or not the activities are classified as work is a little murkier. There is a pretty good discussion of it in this article http://britishexpats.com/articles/usa/concession-business-visa/
This is a very tricky area and advice really depends on the specific facts. General information about what business activities are allowed on the Visa Waiver Program can be found on the US Department of State’s website at: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visa-waiver-program.html.
Additionally, I am happy to discuss your situation with you. Please visit our website at www.ganguinsamartin.com for information about our firm and our contact details.