What is a B1/B2 Visitor Visa and who Qualifies?
B visa is a non-immigrant visa for visitors encompassing two categories: B-1 for business visitors and B-2 for tourist visitors. To qualify for a B visa, the applicant must be able to: 1) demonstrate purpose of visit to the U.S.; and 2) prove that his/her visit to the U.S. is temporary.
B-1 visas are for applicants visiting the U.S. for business on behalf of a company, whose primary place of business is overseas. B-2 visas are for applicants visiting the U.S. solely for pleasure or seeking medical treatment. Qualified activities include tourism, visiting friends or relatives, participating in social events, and sight-seeing.
Certain countries are part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which waives the visa requirement for their citizens travelling for 90 days or less. A list of VWP countries can be found here.
Documents that prove the applicant’s purpose of visit and intent to return to their home country include but are not limited to:
- Bank statements and pay stubs
- Support letter from friends in the U.S.
- Support letter from foreign employer
- Trip itinerary
- Evidence of return passage to home country
- Birth/marriage certificates demonstrating social ties to home country
- Personal statement
For business purposes, you would generally want to submit evidence that corroborates that you will be here for an acceptable business purpose which does not involve employment in the United States.
Visitors entering the U.S. under B visa status generally may not be employed or involved in any formal program. Applicants who plan to visit prospective academic institutions should inform USCIS during their visitor visa application that they may change to F-1 status while in the United States. Failure to express this intention may be considered visa fraud and result in a rejected change of status.
When applying for a B visa to the U.S., most people do not require the services of an attorney since documenting and completing the application is relatively straightforward. If the applicant is interested in filing a change or extension of status, then a knowledgeable immigration attorney will be able to provide advice and guidance.
To discuss B1/B2 visas and other types of similar visas with an experienced immigration attorney from the American Visa Law Group, feel free click the contact us tab and fill out the inquiry form or call us at 510-500-1155.