B-1 Visitor for Business and B-2 Visitor for Pleasure Visa – Immigration Law
B-1 and B-2 Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas used for very specific purposes. The B-1 Visitor for Business visa is used for participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the US. These activities include the following non-exhaustive list: consulting with business associates, traveling for a convention or conference on specific dates, settling an estate, negotiating a contract, participating in short-term training, transiting through the US and deadheading. The B-2 Visitor for Pleasure visa is reserved for individuals who intend on visiting the US for tourism, vacationing, to visit family, participating in social, musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid, and even enrollment in a brief recreational course of study that is not intended to be used towards a degree. Our Sacramento immigration lawyers have assisted and provided legal advice to countless individuals who sought the benefits of the B-1 and B-2 Visitor visas. Our Sacramento immigration law firm can assist you in obtaining, extending, or even changing your B-1 or B-2 Visitor status.
What is the difference between a B-2 Visa for Pleasure and the Visa Waiver Program?
The United States is a participant to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows citizens or nationals of a VWP designated country, currently 38, to travel to the US for up to 90 days without obtaining a B-2 Tourist Visa. Unlike the B-2 Tourist Visa, the VWP requires the individual to have a round trip ticket abroad. The countries participating in the VWP include Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom. The B-1/B-2 Visitor visa permit travel for up to 6 months at a time and generally are valid for up to 10 years.
If I have a spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21, can they use my B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa?
No, they must apply for their own B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa.
What are the requirements for the B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa?
In order to qualify for the B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa, the following requirements must be met:
- The purpose of the trip is to enter the US for legitimate activities permitted under this category;
- The individual plans to remain for a specific limited period of time;
- The individual has the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and stay in the US; and,
- The individual must otherwise be admissible to the US per our laws.
If I change my mind while in the US under the B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa and want to change my status or stay longer, is this permitted?
It depends on your circumstances. Some individuals enter the US to visit family members and while in the US decide that they would like to pursue an education here. In situations like this, the person may possibly change his or her nonimmigrant status. It is important, however, in these situations to speak with an experienced immigration attorney because there are common pitfalls that one must avoid when deciding to change his or her status while in the United States.
Also, the individual may decide to extend his or her stay. One may apply for an extension if the individual:
- Was lawfully admitted into the US with a nonimmigrant visa;
- Is under a valid nonimmigrant status;
- Has not committed any crimes that make her ineligible for a visa;
- Has not violated the conditions of her admission; and,
- Has a valid passport and will remain valid for the duration of stay requested.
The individual cannot extend his or her stay under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), as a D nonimmigrant visa holder as a crew member, in transit under the C nonimmigrant visa or without a visa (TWOV), fiancé or dependent under the K nonimmigrant visa, or as an informant or accompanying family member on terrorism or organized crime (S visa).
Our Sacramento immigration lawyers are prepared to answer questions you might have about the B-1 and B-2 Visitor visa. Carson & Kyung is a Sacramento immigration law firm that has been highly successful with a wide range of immigration matters and welcomes you to discuss your immigration questions with our Sacramento immigration lawyers. Please do not hesitate to contact our immigration attorneys in Sacramento.
US Department of State on Visa Waiver Program: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visa-waiver-program.html#reference
US Department of State on B-2 Tourist Visa: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html