The B visa is a non-immigrant visa that the United States government issues to foreign nationals seeking temporary entry to into the United States. The B Visitor visa comes in two types – the B-1 visa for foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States for business purposes and the B-2 visa issued to foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States for tourism and non-business purposes. For many foreign nationals seeking entry into the U.S., the B Visitor visa is the most appropriate and easiest way into the United States. If you wish to enter the United States to work temporarily and to enroll in a course of study towards the earning of a degree, among other cases, the B visa may not be appropriate and you will have to apply for a different nonimmigrant visa.
Who Is Eligible For a B Visitor Visa?
In order to obtain a B-1/B-2 visa, you as an applicant have to demonstrate that:
- You intend to return abroad at the end of your visit.
- You intend to be in the United States for a limited period of time
- The objective of the visit is for legitimate business or non-business purpose.
- You are admissible to the U.S.
What Purposes Qualify For A B Visitor Visa?
A visitor into the U.S. can use the B Visitor visa to accomplish multiple tasks or purposes.
For business purposes, the B-1 visa can be used to:
- Participate in business/corporate meetings.
- Try out for or compete in an athletic/sports competition.
- Repair, service or install machinery or equipment acquired from a non-U.S. company to U.S.purchaser when explicitly obligatory by the purchase contract, construction work not permitted.
- Give a lecture.
- Settle an estate.
- Perform certain professional services.
- Perform as a speaker.
- Partake in/perform independent research.
- Partake in a training program that is not intended principally to provide employment.
- Partake in a business event, trade show, meeting, or convention for business, professional, educational, or scientific purposes.
- Negotiate and/or sign contracts.
- Interview and/or hire employees.
- Assess prospective sites for a business.
- Acquire/purchase materials or supplies.
- Accept order(s) for goods and products manufactured outside the U.S.
For non-business purposes, the B-2 visa can be used:
- To partake in a contest or event in which there is no receipt of payment.
- To partake in activities of a service, social or fraternal nature.
- To receive medical treatment.
- To visit friends and family.
- To travel within the U.S.
- To enroll in a short course of study that is not credited toward a degree.
B Visitor visa holders must not take part in these activities :
- Arrive as part of a crew of an aircraft or ship.
- Enroll in a course of study that is credited toward a degree.
- Live long-term or permanently in the United States.
- Perform for a paying audience.
- Seek employment.
- Work in the information media for instance as a journalist.
- Supervise or operate a U.S. based firm/company/business.
Period of Stay
Entering visitors are granted 1 to 6 months admission upon entry. However, the maximum permitted period of stay is 1 year. Visitors are eligible to acquire a 6-month extension.
It is possible in cases for the B-1 Visitor For Business Visa or b-2 visa holder t to change status to a visa that will allow him/her to stay for a longer term.
Outside the United States
The foreign national seeking entry to the United States on the B visa has to apply for a visa at their respective U.S. consulate or embassy. Locate the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and find out how to apply, book an interview appointment, pay the application fee and much more. However, aliens from some certain countries may be able to enter the United States without a Visitor visa and stay for up to 90 days
On the other hand, citizens of the six nations banned from entering the United States under the Travel ban executive order signed by the President may not be able to enter the United States even when holding a valid visa which includes the B visa.
From within the United States
If you are already in the United States in a different nonimmigrant status, you can change to a B-1/B-2 status. To do so, you have to file a Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
For more information on changing status while in another valid nonimmigrant status, kindly visit Change My Nonimmigrant Status.
Family of a B-1 Visa Holder :
The children and spouse of a B-1 visa are ineligible to apply for a dependent visa; however, they can apply for a separate B-2 visa.
B-1 in Lieu of H-1B visa
In certain instances, a foreign national may be granted a B-1 visa for short-term work purposes. This employment-authorized B-1 visa enables the visa hold to H-1B visa type work. This is useful for both non-U.S. and U.S. companies that have offices in the U.S. and international and wish to send employees to work in the United States for a short period of time.
For a foreign national to be eligible for this visa, he or she has:
- To demonstrate that the he or she earns at least the prevailing wage for the intended employment area and occupation.
- To demonstrate that there is a clear employer-employee relationship between the employers and the beneficiary.
- To show that he or she has the skills needed to perform the job for which he or she is obtaining the visa.
- These demonstrations need to be provided to the consulate instead of going through the USCIS first.
B Visitor Visa Does Not Guarantee Entry in to the United States
It is important to remember that no visa guarantees automatic entry into the United States. Immigration and customs authorities have the power to deny entry into the United States if they have reason to believe the visa holder is a security threat or if it is evidential that the visa holder intends to use the visa for purposes it is not intended for. For more information Please give us call – (212) 354-1010 or contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
1) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. B-1 Temporary Business Visitor. ( USCIS Website – 17 July 2017)
2) U.S. State Department. Business Visa March 2014 Flier- Business Travel to the United States ( Travel.Gov Website- 17 July 2017)
3) US State Department . Department of State Affairs Manual ( Section 9 FAM 402.2) ( Farm.Gov Website -17 July 2017)
4) Cornell Law School 8 US Code 1357-Powers of Immigration Officers and Employees ( Cornel Law School Website-17 July 2017)