B-1 and B-2 Visas

B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visas for Business or Tourism

To legally enter the United States to visit friends or family, for a job interview, to attend a business meeting or conference, or for simple tourism, you must obtain a visitor’s visa classified under B-1 for business travelers or B-2 for tourists or those seeking medical treatment in the United States.

Visa Waiver Program

Many European countries participate in a visa waiver program with the United States, where visits shorter than 90 days can be made with a valid passport only and no visitor’s visa is required.  However, if you intend to pursue activities such as temporary work or are a member of the foreign press, you must obtain a nonimmigrant visa in the particular category that pertains to your purpose.

Who Qualifies for a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa?

As with the majority of nonimmigrant visas, the crucial factor that embassy or consulate officials consider when reviewing a visa application is whether or not the applicant has established ties to their home country making it plausible that temporary business or tourism is your true purpose in visiting.

Officials will consider obligations that are both social and economic such as:

  • Do you have friends and family in your country of residence?
  • Do you have a job in your country of residence and how long have you had the job?
  • What is your itinerary during your stay in the United States?
  • What are your plans for returning to your country of residence?

The Visa Application Process

You may apply for a visitor visa at any American embassy or consulate. Anyone wishing to visit the United States under a temporary, nonimmigrant visa status, including business travelers or tourists, must submit Form DS-156, the “Nonimmigrant Visa Application form.” Additionally, some individuals, including all male applicants between 16-45 and those coming from North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, and Iran (so-called “terrorist states”), will also be required to complete a Supplement Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-157.

Can I Bring Family Members into the Country with a B-1 or B-2 Visa?

B-class visas are for individuals.Thus any person who wishes to enter the United States must apply for and obtain a B visa, including each member of your family.

Can I Receive a Time Extension to Stay Longer on a B-1 or B-2 Visa?

Yes. In order to apply for an extension of your stay, you must apply for approval by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). It is recommended that you apply for an extension at least 45 days in advance of your visa expiration.

Speak to Our Immigration Attorneys about a B-1 or B-2 Visa

The application process for a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa can run into a lot of obstacles. You may need to request a waiver if you are a non-eligible student, you may need extra assistance if you are seeking medical treatments under a B-2 visa, or another part of the complex immigration law that has become more complex after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Contact our immigration lawyers for a free consultation and learn how we can help your B-1 or B-2 visa immigration goals become a success.