B-1 and B-2 Visas

Visas for Business Visitors and Tourists

B-1 and B-2 Visas

B-1 and B-2 visas are used by millions of visitors each year to enter the US to meet customers, attend seminars and trade conferences, and also to tour the US.

About Visitor Visas

Which Visitor Visa Do You Need?


Each year, millions of visitors enter the United States to promote their businesses. B-1 Visas are generally used by foreign companies to send representatives to meet with business associates and customers, or to attend conventions or trade shows. Sometimes the purpose of the entry is to participate in seminars or training courses. The B-1 is also commonly used to bring in domestic help and by airline representatives.

In more recent years, US companies with back-end offices overseas use the B-1 to get key employees on their project to enter the US to deploy the project at customer’s locations, or meet with the customers to collaborate on the project.


Millions of visitors enter the United States every year. Most come in to visit friends and family, or as tourists. Some enter as domestic partners of non-immigrant visa holders, or for medical treatment or to explore different schools for higher education.

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Eligibility Criteria

You qualify for a B visa if

  • You can provide a valid reason for entering the US
  • Your trip is short in duration, usually 6 months or less
  • You have sufficient funds for your trip, and
  • You have a home overseas and will return home after your trip

Both business and those traveling for pleasure apply at the US consulate closest to their home and are issued a B visa. When you enter the US with the visa, you are interviewed by the Border Patrol Officer before you are allowed to enter the US. At that time the officer decides how long you can stay in the US. The officer may let you in for 1 month, 3 months or 6 months. He will issue you a “I-94” which will have an end date. Please remember – even if the visa stamped in your passport says “10 years” , you can only stay as long as the I-94 end date.

You are also allowed to extend your stay one time, for another 6 months.

Sometimes, your visa will say “multiple entry”. In this case, you can return to the US again and again, till the end date listed on the visa.

If you are in the US on another non-immigrant visa and your visa is expiring, you can also change to a B-visa if you need additional time to wind up your home or job before heading overseas.

Visa Waiver

Tourists from some countries can also use the Visa Waiver Program to enter for up to 90 days. Visa Waiver entrants cannot change status or file for any other visa while in the US.

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Common Problems Visitors face

Applying from your home country.

If you are overseas, to get a visitor visa, you will need to go to the US Consulate closest to you for a visa interview. At that time the officer will talk to you to decide whether you should get the student visa. Student visas are discretionary, which means that the consular officer can reject your application without giving you any reason. If you are denied once, the chances of getting approved a second time are greatly reduced.

Though there can be a lot of reasons, Visa Officers usually deny visitor visas if you cannot show that you have sufficient funds for your trip, or when the officer is not convinced that you will return to your home after you enter the US. Visitors also get denied if the officer thinks there is another visa that will suit you better. This happens mostly if you have close family in the US who can sponsor you. Sometimes you are young and of marriageable age and the officer believes you want to travel to get married and stay in the US. A more serious reason can be that you had a previous visa and over-stayed the visa or had some other legal issues in the US.

Though these are some of the reasons, there are many reasons why an officer can deny a visitor visa. We completely understand how badly a visa denial can seriously hurt your business or family plans.

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How We Can Help

  • If you are in the US and want to stay longer, we can help file for an extension, or a change to another visa.
  • We can help you prepare for your first visa interview.
  • If you filed yourself and the visa is denied at the consulate, we can offer guidance and can help prepare you for a second interview. If it is justified, we can contact the consulate and request a review of your information. Several consulates have separate departments that help routine business visitors obtain visas and attorneys routinely represent clients before these consulates.
  • If the reason for denial of visa is over-stay on a previous visa, or an issue of criminal conduct, you might be eligible for a waiver. We file waivers for clients and help them prepare for the visa interview for the waiver when needed.

To talk with one of our attorneys, please contact us today.

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