Whenever someone from a foreign country wishes to visit the United States, he or she must generally need to apply for and be granted a visa of some sort. When traveling to the U.S. on business or for tourism, one would seek out a B visa: B-1 for business, B-2 for tourists. To ensure that you apply for the appropriate visa, it is highly recommended that you consult with an immigration attorney.
B-1 visa requirements
- To get a B-1 visa, you must demonstrate the following:
- You are entering the U.S. on legitimate business
- You only plan to stay for a limited, specific amount of time
- You have the money to cover your travel and to stay in the U.S.
- You have a home outside the U.S. that you do not intend to abandon and that you plan to return to at the end of your trip
- There are no other reasons not to admit you to the U.S.
Some examples of 'legitimate business' include, but aren't limited to:
- Settling an estate
- Negotiating a contract
- Participating in short-term training
- Consulting with business associates
- Attending specific kinds of conventions or conferences
If you are uncertain of your qualifications, seek consultation from an immigration attorney.
B-2 visa requirements
You'll need a visa interview, at which you'll need to present:
- A Passport
- Nonimmigrant visa application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Application fee ($160) or receipt for payment
- Photo of yourself
You may also need to provide the following information:
- The reason for your trip
- A declaration of your intent to leave the U.S. after your trip
- Proof of your ability to pay all of the costs of the trip
You are not allowed to seek or accept employment in the U.S. while traveling on a B-2 tourist visa - You would need to change your status in order to do so. If you wish to change your status, you should seek the aid of an immigration lawyer in guiding you through the application process.
It is also important to note that family members of someone with a B-1 visa are not eligible for dependent visas. If you're traveling on a B-1 visa for business and your family wishes to come with you, they will need to apply for B-2 tourist visas.
You can also apply for a combination B-1/B-2 visa, if your travels are for both business and tourist purposes. In order to ensure you apply for the correct visa and to move the process along as quickly and smoothly as possible, you should consult with a qualified immigration lawyer.