US (B-1) and (B-2) Visitor Visas for Foreign Nationals

US (B-1) and (B-2) Visitor Visas for Foreign Nationals

Any citizen of a foreign country can apply to get a visa when he/she wishes to travel to the United States on either a temporary or a permanent basis. A US visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa meaning that it may be used to enter the United States temporarily for business, pleasure, or medical treatment. A Business Visitor Visa may also be referred to as a (B-1) visa while that used for pleasure or medical services is referred to as a (B-2) visa. On the other hand, one can also combine any of these purposes of travel and obtain a (B-1/B-2) visa.

The (B-1) visa may be used if the purpose of the planned visit is business related. this means that people who have business oriented events such as scientific, education or business conferences, settling estates or even negotiating any business contracts, can be allowed to use this visa to travel to the US. On the other hand, (B-2) visas may be used for pleasure, medical, or tourism purposes. This means that activities such as visiting friends and relatives, recreational activities, medical treatment, musical activities or sports, entitle any foreign citizens to apply for the (B-2) visa.f

For any foreign national to qualify for a US Visitor visa, he/she has to demonstrate beyond doubt that they are not intending immigrants. Since the law in the US has this presumption on all foreign nationals, they have to overcome this presumption before being offered the US visitor visa. The process involves completing an online nonimmigrant visa application after which the applicant can go ahead for the scheduled interview after which he/she can pay the non-refundable visa application fee.

However, foreign press representatives that are engaged in work during their visitor cannot use the US visitor visa for traveling to the US but rather require the nonimmigrant media (I) visa. Additionally, any travelers wishing to go to the US on business (B-1) or (B-2) visa in a period of less than 90 days from countries qualified for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) can be eligible to travel without the mentioned visas if they are able to meet the requirements of the VWP. There are currently close to 40 countries that are participating in this program meaning that its citizens can travel to the US on a temporary basis without the US visitor visa.


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