Any visitor entering the United States on a temporary basis generally requires to first obtaining an appropriate visa. A U.S. visit that is temporary and for pleasure, for business (NOT employment), or for medical treatment typically require a Visitor Visa. The “Visitor” visa is a non-immigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2), or combination of both (B-1/B-2) purposes. Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence.

For more information on the different types of Visitor and Business Visa, please select the appropriate Visa option:

The B-1 visa category is for individuals who will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States. The activities may include consulting with business associates, traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates, settling an estate, contract negotiations, short-term training, and for transiting through United States.

Applicant is allowed a maximum total amount of time of 1 YEAR in B-1 status on any one trip. For stay beyond the time indicated on the Form I-94 without departing from the United States, the applicant must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status and submit any required supporting documents to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The spouse and children of B-1 visa holders are not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. Each of the dependents accompanying or following to join must apply separately for a B-2 visa.

Certain business visitors require employment authorization. Those include personal or domestic servant who is accompanying or following to join an employer who seeks admission into, or is already in the United States in a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, or TN non-immigrant classification; domestic servant of a U.S. citizen accompanying or following to join his or her U.S. citizen employer, who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, and who is temporarily visiting the United States; and foreign airline employee  engaged in international transportation of passengers, freight, whose position with the foreign airline would otherwise entitle the employee to treaty trader nonimmigrant classification (E-1). Besides, such applicants must demonstrate that they have a residence abroad with no intention of abandoning it.

B-2 visa is issued if the purpose of planned travel is recreational in nature, including tourism, vacation (holiday), amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, and participation by amateurs, who will receive no remuneration, in musical, sports and similar events or contests. If one is going primarily for tourism, but want to take a short course of study which is recreational (and not for credit towards a degree), and the course is less than 18 hours per week, it is permitted on a visitor visa. Travelers coming to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. without a visa if they meet the visa waiver program requirements.

Under law the presumption is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that the purpose of their trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature and plan to remain only for a specific limited period of time. The applicant must have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and stay in the United States. Besides, it must be shown that the applicant has a residence outside the United States with no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties ensuring return abroad at the end of the visit. Also, applicant must show that he or she is otherwise admissible to the United States.


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