B1 and B2 Visas – Visas for Visitors (Business and Pleasure)

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B-1 Visa

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the U.S. must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the U.S. temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

Visitors with a category B-1 business visa are permitted to consult with business associates; attend scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions or conferences; settle an estate; negotiate a contract; participate in short-term training; transit through the U.S.; and certain air crewmen may enter the U.S. as deadhead crew.

Eligibility:

​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 U.S. temporarily for business of a legitimate nature;- That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;- Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the U.S.;- That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties that you have no intention of abandoning, which will ensure their departure from the U.S. at the end of the visit; and- You are otherwise admissible to the U.S.

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. The first step in the visa application process is completing Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. The visa service fee for the B-Visitor category is $160.00.

Your spouse and children are not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. Each of your dependents who will be accompanying or following to join you must apply separately for a B-2 visa and must follow the regulations for that visa.

Visitor Visas for Personal or Domestic Employees

You may apply for a B-1 visitor visa to work in the U.S. as a personal or domestic employee for your employer in limited situations. You may work in the U.S. on a visitor visa if your employee is:- A U.S. citizen who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, but is visiting or is assigned to the U.S. temporarily; or

A foreign citizen who is in the U.S. on one of the following nonimmigrant visa categories: B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q.

Timeline:

​After the applicant has submitted Form DS-160, they must print the confirmation page and take it to the interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The wait time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early application is strongly encouraged. Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing times for each U.S. Embassy or Consulate vary form case to case according to its circumstances.-

B-2 Visa

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the U.S. must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the U.S. temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

​Visitors with a category B-2 tourism visa are permitted to participate in tourism; vacation, visit with friends or relatives; seek medical treatment; participate in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations; participate in amateur musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid to participate; and enroll in a short recreational course of study, not for credits toward a degree.

​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 U.S. temporarily for pleasure;- That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;- Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the U.S.;- That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties that you have no intention of abandoning, which will ensure their departure from the U.S. at the end of the visit; and- You are otherwise admissible to the U.S.

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. The first step in the visa application process is completing Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. The visa service fee for the B-Visitor category is $160.00.

Timeline:

​After the applicant has submitted Form DS-160, they must print the confirmation page and take it to the interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The wait time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early application is strongly encouraged. Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing times for each U.S. Embassy or Consulate vary form case to case according to its circumstances. 

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