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B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visas

Law Offices of Yu & Associates

The "visitor" B visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1) and for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2).

B-1 Visa

B-1 business visitor visas are issued for people who plan to travel to the U.S. to consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention or conference on specific dates, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract.

B-2 Visa

The B-2 tourist visa is appropriate for people whose purpose of travel is recreational in nature, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature.

Foreign travelers who are citizens of certain eligible countries may also be able to visit the U.S. without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program.

Required Documents for Applying for B-1 or B-2 Visas

  • Valid Passport: B-1/B-2 visa applicants must have passports valid for six months beyond their intended period of stay in the United States.
  • One Photograph: A two-inch square color photograph, less than 6 months old, against a white background, full frontal view.
  • Original Bank Receipt for Application Fee.
  • Completed Visa Application Forms: DS-156 & DS-157.
  • Evidence of Why You Will Return to Your Home Country: Proof of economic, social, family, or other commitments that will help demonstrate that you intend to return to your home country after a temporary stay in the U.S. Examples of evidence include an ID card, proof of employment, pay statements showing a regular monthly salary, bank books with regular deposits and withdrawals, ownership of automobile vehicles and real estate property.
  • Invitation Letter: If you have been invited to visit someone in the United States, provide information about who is inviting you, purpose of travel, and planned itinerary or schedule.
  • Proof of Finances: Proof that you can support yourself during your entire stay in the U.S. without working, e.g. pay statements showing regular monthly salary & bank books with a regular history of deposits and withdrawals, etc. (Please note that certificates of deposit are NOT helpful.)
  • If Traveling for Business: Bring specific information about where you will go, who you will meet, what you will discuss, and what products you plan to buy in the United States.
  • If Going to Visit Family: You should provide proof that you have a genuine, ongoing relationship with the person inviting you, and provide information about his/her immigration status in the U.S.

Qualifying for a B-1 or B-2 Visa

The presumption in U.S. immigration law and regulations is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for B-1 or B-2 visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
  • They plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
  • They possess funds to cover expenses in the United States;
  • They have compelling social and economic ties abroad; and
  • They have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will ensure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

Where Do I Apply for a Visitor B Visa?

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa outside the country of permanent residence.


The above is intended as a general introduction and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion for your particular case. Please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates with any specific questions. Tel: (301) 838-8986, Email:, Address: 110 N Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850.

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