Visitors to the United States are on the rise. In fact, in 2018 nearly 80 million people visited the US either as tourists or for business purposes.
If you are planning a trip to the US, you will want to learn about these visitor visas and which one applies to you.
The B-1 and B-2 visas are both non-immigrant visas and allow temporary stays in the United States for up to a maximum of six months.
Who Qualifies or is Eligible for the B-1 or B-2 Visa?
To be eligible for the B-1 or B-2 visa, applicants must plan to remain in the US for a limited and specified time period, have sufficient funds to support their stay and demonstrate sufficient ties to their home country.
B-1 visa holders must also ensure they will not be paid by a US company during their visit.
What are the B-1 and B-2 Visas?
The B-1 Visa is for individuals to engage in one of the following allowed activities:
- Attend business or professional conferences or conventions
- Consult with business associates
- Negotiate contracts
- Purchase goods or materials
- Appear as a witness in court trials
- Undertake independent research
- Applicants are not permitted to perform productive work or accept paid or unpaid employment
The B2 visa is for individuals who wish to travel in the US or for personal reasons, such as for tourism, pleasure, or to receive medical treatment. It is for tourists from a foreign country who wish to enter the US temporarily.
What is the Duration of the B-1 and B-2 Visas?
Both the B-1 and the B-2 visas allow stays of up to a maximum of 180 days (six months) per entry.
What is the B-1 and B-2 Visa Processing Time?
Processing times for US visas vary depending on several factors:
- The office or service center responsible for processing the file
- The type of non-immigrant visa
- B-1 and B-2 visa interview wait times (if applicable)
- Whether the applicant can qualify for an expedited interview appointment
- Whether Expedited processing is available
- Whether Premium Processing is available
- Providing insufficient or incomplete documents can lead to delays in processing and even denials
Top 10 Reasons for Refusal of the B-1 and B-2 Application
While there are many reasons why your B-1 or B-2 visa application could be refused, we have listed the top ten most common ones here:
- Current and or past immigration status and history for the US or abroad, including overstaying and unauthorized employment
- Insufficient funds to support themselves during their stay
- Incorrect or incomplete petition
- Insufficient supporting evidence
- Conflicts with travel documentation
- Health concerns
- Suspicious of malicious intent
- Problems with background check
- Criminal history/Being convicted of a crime/Suspected or known ties to terrorism
- Material Misrepresentation
The B-1 and B-2 Visas » Other FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How long can you stay in the US with a B-1 or B-2 Visa?
Up to six months initially and possibly longer if the visa holder obtains an extension.
How often can you travel on a B-1 Visa?
There are no defined limits; however, the duration of stay and time spent outside of the US between visits can play a factor.
Visitors should not be seen as living in the US while on a B-1 or B-2 visa.
Visitors may be required to demonstrate sufficient ties to their home countries.
Can a B-1 or B-2 visa holder work in the USA?
B-1 and B-2 visa holders are not authorized to work in the USA.
Can I travel for pleasure with a B-1 Visa?
A combination of a B-1 and B-2 visa can facilitate travel to the US for business and pleasure.
Do I need ESTA if I have a B-1 or a B-2 Visa? Is ESTA the same as a B-1 Visa?
ESTA means Electronic System for Travel Authorization and is an automated system to determine eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
The Visa Waiver Program is for citizens of participating countries only and it permits travelers to enter the United States without obtaining a B-1 or a B-2 visa.
Can you get married to a US citizen while on a B-2 visa?
Yes, provided you apply for an adjustment of status once you are married in the US.
Can I buy a house as a B-1 or B-2 visa holder?
Yes, it is possible to purchase a home as a B-1 or a B-2 visa holder.
Why Contact My Visa Source for an Assessment?
Congratulations on taking your first step toward temporarily visiting the United States.
The more research you do on the immigration process, the more you will learn about your specific situation and how we can help you navigate through the B-1 or B-2 visa process.
Immigration lawyers at My Visa Source dedicate themselves to your immigration case, providing legal representation tailored to your personal situation.
Our expertise focuses on immigration and visa programs for the United States and Canada, including global immigration.
Partnering with an award-winning immigration team greatly increases the likelihood of achieving your specific immigration or visa goals.
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