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Visitors for business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2)

1. B-1 (Business Visa)

A B-1 visa allows entry as a visitor for a temporary business trip. Legitimate business activities include attending seminars, making investments, negotiating contracts, soliciting sales, and consulting with U.S. business associates.

A B-1 visitor may NOT actually be employed in the U.S. or operate their own company. Although the B-1 permits visitors to enter for business purposes, it is not a work permit allowing its holder to engage in productive employment.

The B-1 visa is obtained at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas. Applicants must establish that they have a residence outside the U.S. to which they intend to return as well as other binding ties that will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit. Applicants should also demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to meet the expenses of their stay in the US without having to resort to the need of unauthorized employment. Each Consulate has its own web page that provides information regarding any special procedures for obtaining a visa. U.S. Embassy and Consulate web pages can be found through the link at www.travel.state.gov. The B-1 visa and the B-2 visa is sometimes issued concurrently, even though they are for different purposes.

Upon entry to the U.S., a Customs and Border Protection officer will question the visitor regarding the nature of the business in the U.S. to determine how long to admit the visitor. The maximum length of stay is six months. The visitor will be issued an electronic I-94 indicating that the visitor is entering in B-1 status, and indicating the date by which the visitor must depart. Visitors can retrieve their electronic I-94 upon entering the US.

2. B-2 (Tourist Visa)

The most commonly used visa for entry to the U.S. is the B-2, visitor for pleasure. This visa is for visitors to enter temporarily for touring, to visit family and friends, to obtain medical treatment, or to attend conferences of social or service organizations. It does not permit the visitor to work or to attend school.

The B-2 visa is obtained at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas. Applicants should be expected to show evidence of maintaining an address or other ties to the home country, and financial resources to stay in the U.S. without working. Each Consulate has its own web page that provides information regarding any special procedures for obtaining a visa. U.S. Embassy and Consulate web pages can be found through the link at www.travel.state.gov. Many U.S. Embassies and Consulates will issue the B-1 visa with the B-2 visa, even though they are for different purposes.

Upon entry to the U.S., a CBP officer will question the visitor regarding the nature of the proposed activity in the U.S. to determine how long to admit the visitor. The maximum length of stay is six months. The visitor will be issued an electronic I-94 indicating that the visitor is entering in B-2 status, and indicating the date by which the visitor must depart. Visitors can retrieve their electronic I-94 upon entering the US.





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