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Besides a great country to work in, the US is also a very popular country to visit. It has historical landmarks, impressive infrastructure, and beautiful nature. Additionally, the US presents an attractive environment to do business in. Many people have the US as their travel or business destination and because of that, there are also visas available which only give you the right to enter the US for visiting purposes.
What Are the US Visitor Visas?
The US visitor visasallow its holder to go to the US short-term visits for a maximum of six months.Because there are two main purposes that visitors can go to the US, there are also two types of visitor visas into the B category:
- B1 visa is the visa which allows you to enter the US with the purpose of doing business with a company within the US.
- B2 visa is the visa which allows you to enter the US with the purpose of tourism, pleasure, or visit to friends and family.
Important: Starting May 30, 2023, the cost of a B1/B2 visa application will increase to $185 from the previous price of $160.
B1 vs B2 Visa
The main difference between a B1 and a B2 visa is that a B1 visa is issued for business reasons and the B2 permit is for tourism purposes to the US. Both of these visas are issued for a period of six months with the possibility of an extension to a year.
Here is a side by side comparison of the activities allowed under a B1 and a B2 visa:
|B1 visa||B2 visa|
|Negotiation and contract signing.||Go to a family or school reunion.|
|Take part in business meetings, conventions and exhibits.||Go to a family or friend event, i.e., wedding, graduation ceremony, engagements, etc.|
|Organize independent research.||Go to recreational resorts.|
|Buy business-related materials and supplies.||Receive medical treatment.|
|Finish an exam conducted only in the US.||Take part in cultural events (concerts, sports events, etc) that you will not get paid for.|
|Give business consultations.||Tour different cities in the US.|
US Visitor Visa Checker
Besides each individual visa, there is also a combination of both B1 and B2 visas; however, that is more rarely sought out.
The benefit of the US visitor visas is that there is no cap on the number issued in a year, and those who abide by the rules can get it as many times as they want as long as they fulfill the criteria.
What are the Limitations of the B1/B2 Visas for USA?
With a B1/B2visa, you are allowed to visit and travel the US, but you are strictly forbidden from doing these activities:
- Become a full or part-time student.
- Perform and get paid for it.
- Work in press or journalism.
- Engage in any form of employment.
- Enter as a crewmember on an aircraft or ship.
- Seek permanent residence in the US.
How to Apply for the Visitor Visas?
The application for visitor visas is quite straightforward and goes through much of the similar process as other US nonimmigrant visas. This means that you apply at a US Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
For those who need a visa to visit the US, the following steps need to be followed:
Fill in Form DS-160
Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application is a standard form required for a US visitor visa. It has various sections depending on the type of US visa that you are applying for. You must find the section for the visitor visas (either B1 visa or B2 visa) and fill the necessary spaces. It will ask about your personal information, background, and purpose of visit to the US. At the end, you will get a confirmation page and code which you need to retain for later.
You can fill the DS-160 form online through:
- the Consular Electronic Application Center, or
- by using the services of a third party company such asVisaExpress.
Why do we advise to apply through VisaExpress?
- VisaExpress’s staff will fill in the form DS-160 to book your B1/B2 visa appointment with the US Embassy/Consulate.
- They will provide you with a complete list of required documents for yourB1/B2 Visa application and will check your prepared application file to make sure your application has the highest possible prospect of success.
- The staff of VisaExpress will offer 24/7 online support regarding your B1/B2 visa application.
- If your US visa application is successful VisaExpress will get you your B1/B2 visa quickly.
- In the event of deniedentry to the US they offer Travel Protection that will cover your financial expenses.
- VisaExpress is a specialized company in processing US visa applications and has helped over 65,000 people enter the United States.They provide end-to-end visa assistance to help you successfully enter the United States.
Pay the US visitor visa application fee
The application fee for the US visitor visas is $185. Besides this fee, you might have to pay visa issuance fees which are determined based on the relationship of your country with the US.
Schedule your visitor visa interview
All visa applicants between 14 and 79 years old are required to attend a US visitor visa interview with an official from the US Embassy they are applying in. To learn more about how to schedule a US visa interview, visit the following article.
Compile your document file for the B1/B2 visas
When you go to the US Embassy, you need to support your case as to why the US Embassy has to give you a visa.To apply for a US visitor visa, you need to compile a document file which contains the
- Standard required documents for every US visa and
- the specific document requirements for the B1 visa
- or the required documents for the B2 visa.
Attend your interview
With your document file and depending on the type of visitor visa you are seeking, attend your interview. During the interview, the official will mostly concentrate on your intent to return to your home country. Many people try to go into the US with visitor visas and find employment illegally, so you must prove that you will return.
To increase your chances of having a successful US. Visitor Visa application you can use the services ofVisaExpress.
Specializing in processing visa applications with accuracy, VisaExpress has helped over 65,000 people enter the United States.
The experienced VisaExpress agents will carefully handle your application and offer the help you need during your US. Visitor Visa Application.
How Long do the USA Visitor Visas take to Process?
The processing time for the B1/B2 visa can vary from a few weeks to a few months. If you have a specific date that you need to be in the US in, it is best to apply as early as possible so that you can allow enough time for the visa to be processed.
Do I Need to Obtain Health Insurance as a Visitor in the United States?
No. Purchasing health insurance is not a requirement of the US authorities to issue a visa. However, considering the high costs of the American healthcare system you are strongly advised to get health insurance before traveling to the United States.
For instance, the treatment of a broken leg or broken arm will cost you $2,500, while staying at a US hospital for one night may cost over $10,000, on average.
Here you can find more information about travel insurance plans for visitors in the United States:
- Travel Insurance for visitors to the USA
- Travel Insurance for visiting parents in the USA
- Pregnant Women Travel Insurance
How Long Are the US Visitor Visas Valid?
US Visitor visas are given for a period 1 month up to 10 years. The maximum stay on a visitor visa is six months, but bear in mind that you are not allowed to work during that time, so you must prove you can afford to stay for that period of time.
B1/B2 Visa Extension
If you want a B1/B2 visa extension, you must provide a valid reason as to why you need to stay and submit documents supporting your case. Additionally, during the time that you are in the US with a visitor visa, you can try to change your status to a longer-term visa. However, if your purpose is this, then you need to inform the officials at the Embassy during your interview. If you do not inform them, then you need to prove that you did not intend to change your status at the beginning of your trip and the opportunity came later on.
Can I Get a Green Card With the Visitor Visas?
Since the visitor visas are temporary and require you to prove that you will return to your home country, it is difficult to get permanent residence. You can do so only if you are able to change your status to a longer-term visa which allows dual intent (applying for a Green Card), marrying in the US, or applying to join your family.
Can I Bring my Dependents With a B1/B2 Visa?
The B1/B2 Visas do not have dependents visas, so if you want to travel with your family, they must also get the appropriate visitor visas.
Did you find this page helpful?
B1 visa is the visa which allows you to enter the US with the purpose of doing business with a company within the US. B2 visa is the visa which allows you to enter the US with the purpose of tourism, pleasure, or visit to friends and family.What is the difference between B1 and B2 and B1 B2 visa? ›
B1 and B2 visas are generally referred to as “B visas”, and they are the most common types of visa issued for a wide range of uses in the United States. The B1 visa is issued mainly for short-term business trips, while the B2 visa is issued mainly traveling for tourism purposes.What are the conditions for US B2 visa? ›
To qualify for the B2 travel visa, you must prove that: The purpose of your trip is to tour the U.S. You have a permanent residence in your home country that you have no intention of abandoning. You have binding ties to your home country in the form of property, family, or a permanent job.What is B1 visa policy? ›
You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible for a B-1 visa: The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature. You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time. You have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States.How long can I stay in US with B1 B2 visa in a year? ›
While B-1 or B-2 visas may be valid up to 10 years, visitors on B-1 or B-2 will only be permitted to stay in the United States for a short duration (maximum 6 months), as granted by US Customs and Border Protection upon arrival.How many days can B1 B2 visa stay in USA? ›
B1 and B2 visa holders are allowed to stay in the US for up to 6 months at a time. Each visa application will be assessed on its own merit, and the adjudicating officer may grant a stay of less than 6 months – this is the maximum period for an initial stay under the B classification.Can B1 B2 visa be converted to green card? ›
Adjustment of status from B1/B2 Visa to Green Card is done through family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, or investment-based immigration. Family-based immigration grants a Green Card to B-1/B-2 Visitors who are sponsored by their US citizen relatives.Can I marry a US citizen on a B1 B2 visa? ›
Can I Marry A US Citizen on A Tourist Visa? The short answer is: yes, you can get married in the US while on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa or on a visa waiver program.Is US B1 B2 visa easy to get? ›
Nonetheless, the US B1/B2 visa offers one of the simplest options for visiting the United States for business or tourism purposes. The B1/B2 Visa is an important requirement for many travelers wishing to enter the U.S. Luckily, everyone is eligible to apply for it in the easiest way possible using iVisa.How much bank balance is required for US B2 visa? ›
So, in order to visit the USA on a b1/b2 visa, your budget should be a minimum of $3000-6000 for a family of 4 members (also include the cost of airfare into this from your destination to the US).
The B-2 (B2) visa is for temporary visitors for pleasure. There are limited activities that a B2 temporary visitor for pleasure may engage in lawfully. Employment and full-time education are categorically prohibited while on B2 status.What documents do I need to invite someone to the USA? ›
- Scanned copy of host's ID or passport.
- Evidence of means of financial subsistence.
- Proof of homeownership or rental contract.
- An itinerary of the planned visit.
- Documentation of the host's time off from work for the visit.
- Obtaining and engaging in employment in the US- INA § 101(a)(15)(B) specifically excludes from this classification aliens coming to the US to perform skilled or unskilled labor. ...
- Cannot enroll in a course of study- B-1 visa holders cannot enroll in a course of study.
How much does a US Tourist Visa cost? Securing a US Tourist Visa (B1/B2) is straightforward with us. The visa fee is USD $185.00, though remember that this cost may fluctuate depending on your nationality. Depending on your nationality, payment can be made during the application process or at your interview.Can I buy house in USA on B1 visa? ›
Yes, it is possible to buy a house in the United States while on a nonimmigrant visa, such as a B1/B2 (visitor), TN Visa (USMCA), L1 Visa, F1 (student), H1B (temporary worker), or other types of visa. There are no specific restrictions on property ownership for nonimmigrant visa holders or foreign nationals.Do you need a sponsor for a B1 B2 visa? ›
A visa sponsorship for visitors can help facilitate the approval process. Generally, the U.S. government does not require a visa sponsorship for B-2 visas. A foreign visitor who has a healthy financial background and who meets the other requirements for visa, can typically obtain a B-2 visitor visa without a sponsor.