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B-1, B-2 Visitor Visas


Business Visitor – B-1
Persons going to the U.S. on business, to attend conferences, conventions or seminars may apply for a B-1 business visitor visa. You must not receive a salary or other remuneration from a U.S. source, nor can you engage in ordinary employment stateside. Entry can be granted for up to a year, but most B-1 admissions are granted for the period necessary to conduct business and are not normally granted to stay longer than six months.

Tourist/Holiday Maker – B-2
Persons wishing to go to the United States to visit family or friends, have medical treatment, participation in amateur arts and entertainment events, or for general tourism may apply for a B-2 tourist visa. You may not work in the U.S. with this visa. A B-2 visa holder is normally admitted for a period of six months and can be extended in some instances for an additional period of six months. Your spouse and children must also qualify independently of you if they will travel with you to the U.S.

Who needs to apply?

  1. All persons who are not citizens of visa waiver countries. The United Kingdom, western European nations and a number of other countries are nationals of visa waiver countries (see visa waiver program for further details).
  2. All persons who wish to visit the United States for a period of over 90 days.
  3. All nationals of visa waiver countries who have been previously denied admission into the United States, have been refused a US visa, or committed any other US immigration violation. Also included in this category are nationals who are not otherwise admissible into the United States. Such people include those with criminal convictions (apart from minor motor vehicle and other violations which are not crimes of moral turpitude, nor illegal substance possession crimes) including those whose convictions have been spent under The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Persons who have a disease of public health significance, e.g. HIV / Aids, infectious tuberculosis. Persons who are otherwise inadmissible.
  4. Persons entering the United States on non scheduled flights, e.g. by private jet. All such persons need a B-1 / B-2 visa.

How to apply for a B-1/B-2 visa:
Applications should be made at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate of your permanent place of residence or nationality. Some posts may accept applications from third country nationals but only if the person has lawful status in that country.

The following documentation is required:

  1. A DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, which must be completed and submitted online. A passport-style photograph must also be scanned and uploaded when completing the DS-160.
  2. A valid passport. There should be at least six months of unexpired validity and at least one blank page to insert the machine readable visa.
  3. Evidence of sufficient funds to cover the duration and purpose of the trip.
  4. Evidence to show that you are not abandoning your place of permanent residence. Such evidence should be letter from employer, a real property lease or mortgage statement, and bank statements. This is extremely important if you are single, young, well educated and have relatives or friends in the U.S.
  5. If you are applying for a B-1 visa your application should be accompanied with a detailed letter explaining the reasons for the trip, the itinerary for the trip, and a letter from your employer on company letterhead stationery stating your current position in the company, your salary and that the expenses for the trip are being paid by the company.
  6. If you are applying for a B-2 visa your application should be accompanied by either: a letter of invitation from your family or friend; or a letter from the medical institution where you will be receiving treatment; or items to confirm hotel reservations, car rentals, internal travel arrangements or tour package.
  7. Payment of the visa issuance fee, where required. Please contact Ferman Law who can advise as to which nationalities must pay visa issuance fees and the applicable fee payable.

How We Can Help You:
With regards to B-1/B-2 visas Ferman Law can help you schedule your visa appointment, prepare all your appropriate application documents, obtain the required fee receipt and make payment on your behalf, advise you on supporting documents needed. We will prepare you for your visa interview and explain to you the procedure. Where appropriate we can also help you file for an extension of stay when you are in the United States.

For persons who are otherwise inadmissible Ferman Law can advise with regard to the possibility of waiver of inadmissibility. Ferman Law will prepare appropriate waiver applications and prepare the applicant for the personal interview which will determine whether the applicant is to be recommended for a waiver.