Business and Tourist Visa (B1/B2) – The below information is per the U.S. Department of State

 

VISITOR VISAS 

BUSINESS AND PLEASURE 

Overview 

A “visitor” visa is a nonimmigrant visa and generally is used to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2), or a combination of these purposes (B-1/B-2). 

Business Visitor Visas (B-1) 

If the purpose of the planned travel is business related, for example, to consult with business associates, attend a scientific, educational, professional or business conference, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business visitor visa (B-1) would be the appropriate type of visa for the travel. 

 

Personal or Domestic Employees: Under immigration law, qualified personal or domestic employees may travel to the United States as business visitors under certain circumstances when accompanying: 

1) a U.S. citizen employer who lives permanently outside the United States or is stationed in a foreign country and is visiting or is assigned to the United States temporarily; OR 

2) a foreign citizen employer in the United States who is in B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q nonimmigrant visa status. 

Important Notice 

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (WWTVPA) of 2008 requires that an individual applying for a B-1 domestic employee visa be made aware of his or her legal rights under federal immigration, labor, and employment law. 

Pleasure, Tourism, Medical Treatment - Visitor Visas (B-2) 

If the purpose of the planned travel is recreational in nature, including tourism, visiting friends or relatives, rest, or is related to medical treatment, activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, or participation by amateurs who will receive no remuneration in musical, sports and similar events or contests, then a visitor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for the travel. Persons planning to travel to the United States for a different purpose including students, temporary workers, crew members, or journalists, must apply for a different category of visa. 

Note 

Representatives of the foreign press, radio, film, journalists or other information media, engaging in that vocation while in the United States, require a nonimmigrant Media (I) visa and cannot travel to the United States using a visitor visa or on the Visa Waiver Program. 

Visa Waiver Program 

Travelers coming to the United States for tourism or business (B-1 or B-2 category visa) purposes for 90 days or less from qualified countries* may be eligible to travel without a visa if they meet the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) requirements. 

Currently, 39 countries* participate in the VWP. 

  • Andorra

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Brunei

  • Chile

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Latvia

  • Liechtenstein

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Malta

  • Monaco

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • San Marino

  • Singapore

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • South Korea

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Taiwan*

  • United Kingdom**

**To be eligible to travel under the VWP, British citizens must have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

Qualifying for a Visitor Visa 

There are specific requirements which must be met by applicants to qualify for a visitor visa under U.S. immigration law. The consular officer at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will determine whether you qualify for the visa. 

The required presumption under U.S. law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant until they demonstrate otherwise. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating: 

  • That the purpose of their trip is to enter the United States temporarily for business or pleasure; 

  • That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period; 

  • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States; 

  • That they have a residence outside the United States as well as other binding ties that will ensure their departure from the United States at the end of the visit. 

Applying for a Visitor Visa 

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where they live. It is important to apply for a visa well in advance of the travel departure date. 

Completing Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, (ceac.state.gov/genniv/), is the first step in the visa application process. After you have submitted Form DS- 160, print the confirmation page and bring it to your interview. Next, pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if you are required to pay it before your interview. Then, make an appointment for an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you pay to apply for your visa. 

 

 

Schedule an Interview

Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions below. Consular officers may require an interview of any visa applicant.

If you are age:                                  Then an interview is:

13 and younger                                   Generally not required

14-79                                                    Required (some exceptions for renewals)

80 and older                                        Generally not required

 

The wait time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early application is strongly encouraged. 

During the visa application process, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. 

Additional Information 

Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If your passport expires, you may use the valid visa for travel and admission to the United States along with your new valid passport containing the same biographic data. Do not remove the visa page; instead carry both passports together. 

Visitors are not permitted to accept unauthorized employment during their stay in the United States. 

 

Visa Denials 

If the consular officer finds it necessary to deny the issuance of a visitor visa, the applicant may apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal.