Would you like to visit your family in the U.S.?
Would you like to visit New York City and see Times Square?
Would you like to see the Grand Canyon in Arizona?
Do you need to visit the United States for medical treatment?
Do you intend to visit the United States for business?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, the B visa might be the perfect choice for you! Traveling to the United States is a lifelong dream for millions of people around the world. Whether you want to spend time with relatives who live in the U.S., do some sightseeing, or take care of business or medical affairs in the U.S., obtaining a B visa is often one of the key steps to making your dream come true!
The B visa category is one of the most commonly used visa categories. If you are interested in visiting the United States for either business or pleasure, the B visa can help you accomplish this goal. The B visa can be playfully referred to as the “Mission Possible”—instead of the “Mission Impossible”—visa category. In other words, if you provide a satisfactory statement and the proper documentary evidence to the United States Consulate in connection with your intended visit, you can qualify for a visitor’s visa to the U.S.. Stays in the U.S. under the B visa are usually brief and involve activities such as touring, visiting family members, getting health care, or doing business for an overseas employer. Please note: There is no guarantee that a person will qualify for a B-1 or B-2 visa.
There are two types of nonimmigrant B visas available for individuals who wish to visit the United States:
The B-1 visa is for individuals who want to visit the United States temporarily for business purposes. For example, those who are attending conferences, establishing business relations in the United States, obtaining medical treatment, or accompanying a family member who requires medical care. B-1 visitors will generally be approved for a stay of not more than three months. Furthermore, a B-1 holder may successfully apply for adjustment of status to an immigrant visa in certain situations Note: It is illegal for a person to enter the U.S. with a B visa and engage in employment or receive a salary from a U.S. employer.
B-1 holders may change status to another immigrant status, like J-1, F-1 or B-2. However, one should be very cautious when changing from B-1 status to another non-immigrant status. USCIS frowns upon using the B category as a stepping-stone to a different non-immigrant status for purposes of avoiding application procedures associated with the new status.
The B-2 visa is for individuals who wish to visit the United States temporarily for pleasure, such as a visit to family or friends. B-2 visitors are generally granted stays for six months, even if they intend to stay for shorter periods of time. Sometimes, under some circumstances, the officer at the port of entry may grant an applicant less time to stay in the United States.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR A B VISA?
If you are considering a B visa, it is advisable that you apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you permanently reside. Since the demand for B visas is generally high, it may take a long time for the Consulate to review your documents or provide you an interview date. In summary, it is important to apply for your B visa before your planned date of entry in the United States.
The first step in applying for the B visa is to make an appointment with the Consulate, who serves your state or territory in your home country. You can learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview with the Consulate, pay the application processing fee, review embassy specific instructions, and much more, by visiting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply. (See Appendix 3 for a list of U.S. Embassies or Consulates in different countries.) 9
IS THERE AN INTERVIEW AND/OR FINGERPRINTING REQUIRED FOR A B VISA?
Yes. In most circumstances the Consulate will interview all applicants for a B visa. During the visa application process, usually at the interview phase, your fingerprints will also be scanned.
B VISA INTERVIEW TIPS
It is strongly recommended that B visa applicants be very well dressed, have the proper documents, and conduct themselves in a highly professional manner at their visa interview. The most common errors that usually lead to the denial of a B visa are improper attire and/or etiquette, failure to listen and answer questions correctly, submitting fraudulent documents before the Consulate, and being impolite during the interview process.
More importantly, it is the applicant’s burden to establish that he or she will definitely return to his or her home country before the expiration of his or her stay in the U.S.. Very often people are denied a visa because they are unable to establish that they will return to their home country. The burden of proof is entirely upon the applicant to show that he or she will come back to his or her home country after visiting the U.S..
WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVE TO OBTAIN A VISA UNDER THE B VISA CATEGORY?
As a B visa applicant, you will have to show the following:
1) Your visit will be temporary and for a specified duration;
2) You intend to depart from the U.S. before the expiration of your authorized stay;
3) You have a valid passport in your possession;
4) You will maintain a foreign residence that you do not intend to abandon;
a. Proof that you own property;
b. Prior tax returns;
c. Proof of employment;
d. Letters from children’s schools.
5) You have adequate financial arrangements to support yourself during your stay in the U.S.;
6) You are admissible to the U.S. or have obtained a waiver for any ground of inadmissibility.
CAN I BRING MY FAMILY WITH ME ON MY B VISA?
There is no derivative status for family members of current B nonimmigrant visa holders. That means each family member must independently qualify for a B visa. For example, a spouse of a B-1 business visitor may be able to be eligible for B-2 status, if he or she is accompanying or looking to join the B-1 spouse.
VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
Ordinarily, a foreign national has to obtain a nonimmigrant visa, such as the B visa, before entering the United States. However, by participating in the Visa Waiver Program, citizens of the countries mentioned below may apply for admission to the United States without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visa. Foreign nationals may apply for ninety days or less for business or pleasure, provided they are otherwise eligible under applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
VISA WAIVER COUNTRIES
terms shall include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan.” 22 U.S.C. § 3303(b)(1). Accordingly, all references to “country” or “countries” in the Visa Waiver Program authorizing legislation, Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1187, are read to include Taiwan. This is consistent with the United States’ one-China policy, under which the United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.
**To be eligible to travel under the VWP, British citizens must have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and/or the Isle of Man.
If you intend to enter the United States for business or pleasure, the B visa can assist you in accomplishing your mission. Due to the great demand for B visas, it is strongly recommended that you allow ample time for your application to be processed. Please note that there is no guarantee that a person will qualify for a B-1 or B-2 visa. Adequate preparation from a