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B-1 Business Visitors and B-2 Pleasure Visitors

Would you like to visit your family in the U.S.?

Would you like to visit New York City and see Times Square?

Would you like to see the Grand Canyon in Arizona?

Do you need to visit the United States for medical treatment?

Do you intend to visit the United States for business?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, the B visa may be the perfect choice for you! Traveling to the United States is a lifelong dream for millions of people around the world. Whether you want to spend time with relatives who live in the U.S., do some sightseeing in famous places or take care of business or medical affairs in the U.S.,obtaining a B visa is often one of the key steps to making your dream come true!

The B visa category is one of the most commonly used non-immigration categories. If you are interested in visiting the United States for either business or pleasure, the B visa can help you accomplish this goal. The B visa can be playfully referred to as the “Mission Possible” instead of the “Mission Impossible” visa category. In other words, if you provide a satisfactory statement and the proper documentary evidence to the United States Consulate in connection with your intended visit, you can qualify for a visitor’s visa to the United States. Stays in the United States under the B visa are usually brief and involve activities such as touring, visiting family members, getting health care, or doing business for an overseas employer. Please note: There is no guarantee that a person will qualify for a B-1 or B-2 visa.

There are two types of nonimmigrant B visas available for people who wish to visit the United States:

  1. The B1 visa is for individuals who wish to visit the United States temporarily for business purposes. For example, those who are attending conferences, establishing business relations in the United States, obtaining medical treatment or accompanying a family member who requires medical treatment. B-1 visitors will generally be approved for a stay of not more than three months. Note: It is illegal for a person to enter the U.S. with a B visa and engage in employment or receive a salary from a U.S. employer.
  2. The B-2 visa is for individuals who wish to visit the United States temporarily for pleasure, such as a visit to family or friends. B-2 visitors are generally granted stays for a period of six months, even if they intend to stay for shorter periods of time. Sometimes, under some circumstances, the officer at the port of entry may grant an applicant less time to stay in the United States.

What is the application process for a B visa?

If you are considering a B visa, it is advisable that you apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you permanently reside. Since the demand for B visas is generally high, it may take a long time for the Consulate to review your documents or provide you an interview date. In summary, it is important to apply for your B visa prior to your planned date of entry in the United States.

The first step in applying for the B visa is to make an appointment with the Consulate who serves your state or territory in your home country. You can learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview with the Consulate, pay the application processing fee, review embassy specific instructions, and much more by visiting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply.

Are there an interview and/or fingerprinting required for a B visa?

Yes. All applicants for a B visa will be interviewed by the Consulate in most circumstances. During the application process, usually at the interview phase, your fingerprints will be also be scanned.

B Visa Interview Tips

It is strongly recommended that B visa applicants be very well dressed, have the proper documents, and conduct themselves in an extremely professional manner at their interview. The most common errors that usually lead to the denial of a B visa are improper dressing and/or etiquette, failure to listen and answer questions properly, submitting fraudulent documents before the Consulate, and being impolite during the interview process.

More importantly, it is the applicant’s burden to establish that he or she will definitely return to his or her home country before the expiration of his or her stay in the United States. Very often people are denied a visa because they are unable to establish that they will return to their home country. The burden of proof is entirely upon the applicant to show that he or she will return to his or her home country after visiting the United States.

What do I need to prove to obtain a visa under the B Visa category?

As a B visa applicant, you will have to prove the following:

  1. Your visit will be temporary and for a specified duration;
  2. You intend to depart from the United States before the expiration of your authorized stay;
  3. You have a valid passport in your possession;
  4. You will maintain a foreign residence that you do not intend to abandon;
  5. Proof that you own property;
  6. Prior tax returns;
  7. Employment letters;
  8. Letters from children’s schools;
  9. You have adequate financial arrangements to support yourself during your stay in the United States;
  10. You are admissible to the United States, or have obtained a waiver for any ground of inadmissibility.

Can I bring my family with me on my B Visa?

There is no derivative status for family members of current B nonimmigrant visa holders. That means that each family member must independently qualify for a B visa. For example, a spouse of a B-1 business visitor may be able to qualify for B-2 status, if he or she is accompanying or looking to join the B-1 spouse.

Visa Waiver Program

Ordinarily, a foreign national has to obtain a nonimmigrant visa, such as the B visa, prior to entering the United States. However, by participating in the Visa Waiver Program, citizens of the countries mentioned below may apply for admission to the United States without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visa. Foreign nationals may apply for a period of ninety days or less for business or pleasure, provided they are otherwise eligible under applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

Visa Waiver Countries

BelgiumBruneiCzech Republic
MaltaNew ZealandNorway
PortugalSan MarinoSingapore
SlovakiaSloveniaSouth Korea
United Kingdom

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