B Visa Overview

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.

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.

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