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B Visa Overview

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The B visa category applies to citizens of foreign countries who wish to visit the United States for a temporary period.  There are two types of B visas: B-1 (for business) and B-2 (for pleasure or medical treatment).  A B-1 visa would be issued for an individual desiring to enter the U.S. to consult with business associates; attend a scientific, educational, professional or business convention or conference; settle an estate; or negotiate a contract.  A B-2 visa would be issued for an individual wishing to enter the U.S. for touring, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a social or service nature.

Foreign travelers who are citizens from certain eligible countries may also be able to visit the U.S. without a visa for tourism or business for 90 days or less on the Visa Waiver Program.  (See Visa Waiver Program below.)

A. Duration of Stay

A business visitor (B-1) will be granted a period of entry sufficient to conduct his or her business.  Generally, these visits are approved for less than three months.  

A non-business visitor (B-2) will automatically be granted a six-month period of entry.  Only in unusual circumstances will a B-2 visa holder be granted a period of entry that is shorter or longer than six months.  

It should be noted that it is possible to obtain a period of admission of one year on initial entry to the U.S.  Additionally, extensions of up to six months may be granted.

B.    Application Process

In order to obtain a B visa, you need only apply with the U.S. consulate; an application to the Immigration Service is not required.

C.  Items for Travel

It is useful, in order to assure entry at the border, for the B-1 visa holder to carry a letter from his or her company, similar to the letter supporting the visa application that affirms:

 • The purpose of the trip.

• The limited duration of the trip.

• The visa holder's steady employment with the company and strong ties with his or her home country.

 The individual applying for the tourist visa should carry a letter of invitation, together with such other pieces of documentation as hotel reservations or evidence of other travel arrangements.

 The B-1 and B-2 visa holder should also bring with him or her:

• Copies of the documentation that accompanied the visa application.

•The return portion of his or her round-trip ticket and evidence of prepaid accommodations or confirmed hotel reservations.

• Sufficient funds to cover the period of stay requested by him or her.

D.    Special Conditions

It should be noted that an alien entering the U.S. with a B visa must not engage in gainful employment (labor for hire) in the U.S.  Additionally, the undertaking of an academic study program is not permitted (with a few limited exceptions).

E.   Basic Requirements for Obtaining B-1/B-2 Status

There are five basic requirements for issuance of a B visa, as specified by The State Department:

1.    The alien is entering the U.S. for a limited duration.

2.    The alien intends to depart the U.S. at the expiration of his or her stay.

3.    While in the U.S., the alien maintains a foreign residence which he or she has no intention of abandoning.

4.    The alien has adequate financial arrangements to travel to, sojourn in, and depart from the U.S.

5.    The alien will engage solely in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure.

F.   Additional Information

No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued.

Unless previously canceled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport, do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

Visitors are not permitted to accept employment during their stay in the U.S.

G.  Family Members

There is no derivative status for B visas, which is why family members must qualify independently for a B visa.

H.  The Visa Waiver Program

Nationals of several countries do not need to obtain B visas for business or tourist visits to the United States for a period of up to 90 days, as long as certain conditions are met. Here is the list of countries whose nationals are eligible for the Visa Waiver program, according to the Department of State website:

 Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:

Andorra

Hungary

New Zealand

Australia

Iceland

Norway

Austria

Ireland

Portugal

Belgium

Italy

San Marino

Brunei

Japan

Singapore

Czech Republic

Latvia

Slovakia

Denmark

Liechtenstein

Slovenia

Estonia

Lithuania

South Korea

Finland

Luxembourg

Spain

France

Malta

Sweden

Germany

Monaco

Switzerland

Greece

the Netherlands

United Kingdom

For more information, click here.

L-1 visa based on I-94

I m in the US on L-1 visa which expired last month but my i94 is valid till 2016. My parents who are currently in India, their visa is expiring next month, can I renew\extend their visa based on my i94?

L-1 visa based on I-94

Sorry, I dont understand. Please explain. Are you ring to get them a new visa?

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B1 visa

My brother in law who is already a permanent resident in Calgary Canada, who was petitioned under F4 category( marriage sons of daughters of US citizen)
wants to visit his ailing mom in the US. What will he do and will the chances of being given a tourist visa slim or high? Tnx.

B1 visa

Usually, chances for PR of Canada are good. Take some evidence of the illness.

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Annotations

What do annotations imply (e.g. Guam exam) on multiple entry B1/B2 visa valid for 10 yrs? Can it be used to visit other states in the mainland e.g New York, for touring?

Annotations

Check with CBP. They should let you enter for incidental tourism.

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Sponsoring parents on H-1B or GC

Hello,I am an H-1B visa holder resident doctor, I have applied for a green card through my wife, who is a US citizen. My retired Indian citizen parents are applying for a B2 visa to visit for my graduation. Now, my GC interview date is in 2-3 weeks, which I cannot anticipate how it will go. In the section of visa form for my parents, it ask what is visa status of their relative ( me). What should they mention? ( h1b or GC) In case they mention H1b and I happen to get approved for a GC, do they have to change the application? Also,would it be easier for them if i was on h1b than GC? thanks

Sponsoring parents on H-1B or GC

State the truth as it exists on the date of the application. In your case, H-1B, Doc.

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B2 visa

Dear sir,
I have a J1 visa slated to be in the US in mid January 2014 until October 2014 (9 months). I don't want to go alone for so long so I asked my uncle and his family (4 persons) to accompany me and they agreed. They applied for a B2 visa (because they are not my immediate family members) and during the early parts of the interview everything seems to go well until they mentioned that they will be staying for 9 months. The consular immediately ended the interview and denied the visa. Saying that they don't have regulations that allow such long visits. Can they reapply for 6 mths, when?

B2 visa

They can try. But visas are not "stay." Read and know the difference. Even if you have a one day visa, you could get stay for 6 months.

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B1/B2 Clarification

Need help - I am getting married on Nov 29th 2013 in India and my partner is holding a L1B, I wish to accompany my partner to the US after marriage during December 1st week for Christmas and New year on a B1/B2 visa that I currently have – stay would be for a month
- I traveled to US on B1/B2 visa on Sep 2013 for a period of 30 days,will I be questioned during immigration check why a revisit in such a short time? Is it OK to say that I am accompanying my partner and want to spend a month (Xmas and New Year)
- Upon return i immediately will apply for a L2 visa – do you see any denial challenges

In addition to B-2 visa

In addition to this, is it possible that they would give me entry for less than a month because the difference between my last visit and current visit is just 2 months?

In addition to B-2 visa

It is impossible to predict whether you will be allowed entry on B visa and for how long, Randhawa ji.

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L-2 visa

Thank you Khanna sahab for the reply...stay would be just for a month, i will have my return ticket done. My previous visit was official, should i be carrying the docs related to my last visit to prove that it was purely official and not visit for pleasure and tourism? i am a little worried that if they deny me entry there is a possibility that my visa would be cancelled and it may have potential problem in my L2.

Pls suggest what should i do.

L-2 visa

Impossible to predict, sir. L-2 after marriage, of course is the straighter method.

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B-2 Visa

Hii. I have a few questions I need some help answering please. My boyfriend, who lives in Greece, applied for a B 2 Tourist Visa to come & stay with me in NYC (I'm a US Citizen). He has a job in Greece & wanted to stay with me in NY & see what life is like. He was denied a B 2 Visa this morning & he was also denied his ESTA Visa. Why did they do this regarding the ESTA? Can he still try & visit me in 2 months time with the ESTA? He mentioned to me they didn't like that he rents his apartment & doesn't own. Should he move in with his brother to show his family or he owns a home? Please advise.

B-2 Visa

Chris, he can try reapplying. But overcoming a denial tends to be difficult.

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Owning Property in the USA but living in Canada

Can I stay longer than 6 months in the USA when I own a property in that country? Is the time period based on January - December of each year? How can I apply for an extension?

No law allowing for longer

No law allowing for longer stay based upon property ownership has been passed yet. Extensions are applied using Form I-539 if one is already in the USA, but this can get tricky.

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B2 Visa Offered for An Employment

Dear Rajiv,

What if I have a B2 visa and been in US fo 3 months already then a family friend who has a business in US would like to hire me. Is it possible?

B2 Visa Offered for An Employment

USCIS can consider this type of entry fraudulent, Maria.

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B1 to green card for same-sex couple

Hello, I moved in the US with my wife last year : she had a L1 visa and they give me a B1 visa in order to be able to stay with her. Since the new laws for same-sex couple this summer, we would like to transfer mine to an other status. She's applying now for a green card. Do you recommend me to do first an application for L2 visa and then for the green card or directly for the green card? The cost won't be the same if I can just do the green card. Thank you!

B1 to green card for same-sex couple

Your choice. Ideally, you should get your L-2 done.

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B-1 Visa expenses

Hello Rajiv,

I have a question I searched the Internet but could not find the exact answer. We are employer, some is here for training with B1 visa. Can we pay him for his expenses and per Diem and reimbursement? Is there any limitation for expense, per Diem or reimbursement to a B1 visa holder?

B-1 Visa expenses

As long as the money paid here does not replace the foreign salary, out of pocked expense reimbursement and a small stipend should not be a problem.

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B-2 visa extension

Dear everyone,
I am from Austria in the US with a b2 visa valid until 2029 multiple entry.
Before my arrival in the US I visited Canada for 3 month and used my b2 Visa for transit. Unfortunately, because now the stamps in my passport say b2 until december 14. Although the last stamp has nothing on it.
What do I have to do if want to stay until the 1st of March 2014?
I will go to Austria in November. Can my stay be extended on the airport? Should I enter with an ESTA Visa Waiver? Should I apply for extension?
If I do, do I need all papers translated into english?
thank you for your help! b

B-2 visa extension

Barbara, these questions require some discussion. Log in to our next free community conference call.

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Green card on B1 visa

Our family immigration has been filed and our case has been completed and we are only waiting for the cut off dates to reach so that interview could be called by the embassy , but now i have aquired a B1 visa can i apply for green card on reaching US now...i have a Pakistani passport...rply plz if anyone know..

Green card on B1 visa

Entering the USA on a B visa with an intention to convert to green card is considered fraud by the govt.

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Vistor visa while GC is in progress

Hi Rajiv,

I am a US citizen and applied GC for my brother around 3 years ago.

While his GC is in process, is it possible that he can apply for the visitor visa now to visit US on his vacation?

Thanks.

Vistor visa while GC is in progress

He may not get it, but there is no law stopping us from applying. Make sure the application forms are filled out truthfully, revealing the fact that there is a GC application in progress.

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My Nationality

Please i am a nigerian with a german permanent resident, i was issued with a US visiting visa but under the nationality, it was stated NRA .Is that a correct code for nationality as a nigerian ?

Nationality code for Nigeria NRA

That code is correct only if you are considered a national of Nigeria. Double check with the consulate.

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B1 visa

I apply for B1 visa to attend aconference but due to administrative processing conference dates expired.now the consolar askmeto send purpose of traven and employer latter.Can I mensined know I want to visit my friend or what I have to mention in purpose of travel

B1 visa

Let them know that conference has ended, so the purpose is gone. You can ask them if the visa can be issued to visit a friend. Conceal nothing. I think you would be better off filing a new visa application to visit friend.

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Visa for my son

Hi Rajiv,
Am being made to apply for a visa for my son who was born after we got our green-cards. He got an XN-3 stamp on his passport on our first visit to US and we never received his green-card. We have tried to relocate to US permanently with him but we were denied boarding by the airline staff. When i went to the embassy they said i should apply a visa with a form I-160 which i thought is for tourist/business visa. Will appreciate your input on this issue.

Visa for my son

As I recall, the consulate will give a B visa for a child born abroad if the child is under he age of two (or is it three????) and is being brought to USA for the first time by permanent resident parents.

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B1/B2 visa for my infant

Me, my wife, my child (4yrs) my mum got B1/B2 visa for 5 years multiple entry Bangladeshi national.But i have twin baby 1 girl & 1 boy age 4 month.They dont have passport, but process to issue. Please advice how could i get my twin infants visa B1/B2 to enable visit with us to USA ?
Thank you.

B1/B2 visa for my infant

Email and ask the US consulate. They should be able to guide, Anwar.

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Length of Stay in the US on a B2 Visa

Hi,

How do i ensure i get a 6 month visa upon arrival. Im coming over with my partner who has a J-1 visa so its really important i can stay for the same amount of time. However our intentions are to stay in new york and personally i will be focusing on going to the gym and treating it as a massive vacation. this is apparently suspect to the us officials. in any case i have my visa but the length of stay is subject to the officer on arrival but if they are anything like the guys from my interview i feel i might only be given a 3month visa etc. Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Length of Stay in the US on a B2 Visa

I have just posted a video for you http://youtu.be/I3aKzPTtLKg<

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Extension of stay for my father on B2

Hi - I am hoping someone can help and guide me on this scenario I have.
I lost my mother recently and we brought our father soon after that. I have an older brother and both of us stay here in USA. He has a medical condition - semi-paralytic . My father has a B2 multiple entry visa arrived here on 27th Jan 2013, I94 expired on July 26th and visa extension applied on June 14th.
1. How long can he stay here in US until the decision is made?
2. Will his multiple Visa get rejected if his extension is denied?
3. What is recommended, he leaves immediately or waits until his extension decision comes

Extension of stay for my father on B2

I have just posted a video for you http://youtu.be/I3aKzPTtLKg<

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Thanks Rajiv

Thanks Rajiv, I am particularly confused on my Q2 above:"on visa getting automatically void upon EOS denial and would need a new visa"-Is that true? My father is wheelchair bound and has had a severe brain haemorrhage leading to paralysis and memory loss. I do like to avoid the hurdle of going through a new visa application process for him? We requested for an extension so he can present for his grand child's Hindu naming ceremony in Nov & will leave immediately post that. For future, due to his medical condition and dependency can we apply for his green card etc, I do hold a green card.

Extension of stay for my father on B2

Let us talk in the next free community conference call. I will explain.

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B1/B2 visa

Hi - I live in Canada but have a valid US visa (B1/B2). My question to you is what is the risk associated with applying for the adjustment of status AOS, once in the US on B2 visa after marrying a US citizen. I plan to enter the US on b2 visa and get married to my girl friend after 2 months and apply for green card and work authorization in the US. Is that a safe bet? How long would you advise should I wait after entering the US on b2 visa before getting married or filing for I-130 so its not considered visa fraud. FYI - I am a pakistani passport holder.

B1/B2 visa

In my opinion, trying AOS on a B visa is almost always a bad idea. Don't.

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B1/B2 Visa Issuance

Hi Rajiv,please kindly advise; a friend of mine is a US citizen,schooling and working,he wants to invite me for a visit,on the other hand am an enterprenuer doing little business,single,own a few plots of land,what are my chances of getting the B2 visa,on the other hand I've some seminars to attend,application for the seminar cost about $3000,excluding hotel,ticket & other expenses.Which option do u think will enable get the visa so I can vist my friend & also attend the seminar? Thanks

B1/B2 Visa Issuance

Abraham, these visas are discretionary, so meaningful assessment is quite difficult. Who knows.

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B-1 and B-2 extensions

Sir I hve got the b1/b2 visa along with my family.Appearntly Me(29yrs) & my sister(21yrs) got the 3 moths visa However my parents got 1yr stamp,On our visa there is annotation (Family trip), now i just want to know if i go alone would it be problem in immigration clearence..I would be obliged if guide me & i want your email id for further consultaion

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