B1/B2 visas are nonimmigrant visas and must be applied for by submitting a completed and signed Form DS-156 together with a valid passport.
B-1 : Business Person
Issued to Beneficiary for a period not exceeding 6 months for the purpose of business and its development or medical attention.
B-2 : Tourist
Issued to Beneficiary for a period not exceeding 6 months for the purpose of holiday or family visits.
B-1/B2 : Business / Tourist
Issued to persons who travel for business and/or pleasure for a temporary period of time.
The B-1 or Business Visitor’s Visa is a permit issued by the U.S. Govt. to a foreigner who intends to enter the U.S. for such period of time as may be necessary to conduct and conclude a ‘business activity’. Such foreigners, entering the U.S. in this category, may do so, provided, their objective is to participate in a legitimate activity.
The U.S. Govt., generally assumes that a B-1 applicant intends to permanently reside in the U.S. In view of the same, the applicant is required to:
(a) reveal his financial records, to convince the Govt. that he has sufficient resources to avoid any sort
of employment offered to him;
(b) present detailed and accurate plans for the forthcoming visit;
(c) state a definite period for which he proposes to stay;
(d) show that the proposed period of the visit is consistent with the purpose of the visit;
(e) establish with a fair amount of conviction that he shall certainly depart on concluding his
temporary visit; and
(f) establish an adequate relationship between himself and his country of domicile, e.g. close ties
with his family, employment, business links, proof of a residence owned by him.
With regard to the above, it is imperative for the B-1 applicant to keep the following documents ready to be handed over to the officer at an overseas U.S. consulate, while applying for the B-1 visa:
(i) a supporting letter from the employers explaining the purpose of the trip, with details of the
(ii) a letter from the employers establishing pertinent facts to show that they shall continue paying the
applicant’s salary from outside the U.S. and guarantee that the employee is permanently
employed with them;
(iii) an invitation from the client(s) in the U.S. to the foreign company to conduct business with them;
(iv) a Company Catalogue describing the foreign company; and return air tickets illustrating the
applicant’s objective to return to his country of domicile.
Duration of Visa:
The B-1 visa allows you to be admitted for the amount of time necessary to conduct your business, upto a maximum of 1 year.
The B-1 visa allows you to come to the U.S. temporarily for business, to take part in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars; consult business associates; discuss contracts and participate in such commercial transactions. However, the B-1 visa holder is not allowed to be employed by an American employer or receive any compensation while in the U.S. other than daily expenses.
The B-2 or Tourist Visitor’s Visa is a permit issued by the U.S. Govt. to a foreigner who intends to enter the U.S. for a short period of time for the purpose of a holiday.
1) The alien is entering the U.S. for a limited duration and will depart at the end of a temporary visit.
2) The alien maintains a foreign residence that he/she has no intention of abandoning while in the
3) The alien has adequate financial arrangements to travel to, sojourn in and depart from the U.S.
4) The alien will engage solely in activities relating to pleasure.
5) The alien will not engage in employment of any kind in the U.S.
Duration of authorized stay in U.S.:
Generally 6 months with the possibility of a 6-month extension upto a maximum of one year.
The B-2 visa is issued to an alien to allow him/her to come to the U.S. as a visitor on a temporary basis. This maybe for a holiday, to visit relatives or for medical purposes. A B-2 visa does not allow the alien to be gainfully employed during his/her time in the U.S. A B-2 visa will normally allow the alien to stay in the U.S. for 6 months, with the possibility of requesting a 6-month extension, if there is a genuine reason for the extension.
This visa is issued to persons who travel regularly on both business and pleasure. The requirements are the same as the individual B-1 or B-2 visas.
The requirements are the same as the individual B-1 or B-2 visas.
Generally 6 months with the possibility of 6-month extensions.
Persons who have a permanent resident application pending may sometimes want to visit the U.S. on business or for pleasure during this time. Although in theory, a B visa is permitted to be given, in actual fact, the visa is very often refused, as the consulate feels that the person may stay on in the U.S. instead of returning to his/her home country and waiting out the period before the immigrant visa is granted. Therefore, it is very important, in these cases, to have enough documentation to convince the officer of his/her genuine intent.