Business/Tourist Visa

FAQ

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Overview

The B-1/B-2 visitor visa is for people traveling to the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). Generally, the B-1 visa is for travelers consulting with business associates; attending scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions/conferences; settling an estate; or negotiating contracts. The B-2 visa is for travel that is recreational in nature, including tourism; visits with friends or relatives; medical treatment; and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature. Often, the B-1 and B-2 visas are combined and issued as one visa: the B-1/B-2.

Qualifications

If you apply for a B-1/B-2 visa, you must demonstrate to a consular officer that you qualify for a U.S. visa in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 214(b) of the INA presumes that every B-1/B-2 applicant is an intending immigrant. You must overcome this legal presumption by showing the following:

  • That the purpose of your trip to the United States is for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment.
  • That you plan to remain in the United States for a specific, limited period of time.
  • Evidence of funds to cover your expenses while in the United States.
  • That you have a residence outside the United States, as well as other binding social or economic ties, that will ensure your return abroad at the end of your visit.

Personal or domestic employees and crew members working aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf may qualify for B-1 visas under certain circumstances.

Some foreign nationals may be ineligible for visas according to The Immigration and Nationality Act. You can read more about The Immigration and Nationality Act and visa ineligibility here.

Application Items

If you apply for a business/tourist visa, you must pay your $160 application fee and submit the following:

  • A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. Visit the DS-160 web page for more information about the DS-160.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
  • One (1) 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) photograph taken within the last six months. This web page has information about the required photo format.
  • If a visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality. The Department of State's website can help you find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.

In addition to these items, you must present an interview appointment letter confirming that you booked an appointment through this service. You may also bring whatever supporting documents you believe support the information provided to the consular officer.

How to Apply

Step 1

Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2

Pay the visa application fee.

Step 3

Schedule your appointment on this web page. You need the following three pieces of information in order to schedule your appointment:

  • Your passport number.
  • The receipt number from your Visa Fee receipt. Click here if you need help finding this number.
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.
Step 4

Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General on the date and time of your visa interview. You must bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken within the last six months and your current and all old passports. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.

Supporting Documents

Supporting documents are only one of many factors a consular officer will consider in your interview. Consular officers look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural, and other factors during adjudication. Consular officers may look at your specific intentions, family situation, and your long-range plans and prospects within your country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.

Caution: Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility. If confidentiality is of concern, the applicant should bring the documents to the Embassy or Consulate General in a sealed envelope. The Embassy or Consulate General will not make this information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of the information.

You must bring the following documents to your interview. Original documents are always preferred over photocopies and you must bring these documents with you to the interview. Do not fax, email or mail any supporting documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.

  • Current proof of income, tax payments, property or business ownership, or assets.
  • Your travel itinerary and/or other explanation about your planned trip.
  • A letter from your employer detailing your position, salary, how long you have been employed, any authorized vacation, and the business purpose, if any, of your U.S. trip.
  • Criminal/court records pertaining to any arrest or conviction anywhere, even if you completed your sentence or were later pardoned.

Additionally, based on your purpose of travel, you should consider bringing the following:

Students

Bring your school results, transcripts, and degrees/diplomas. Also bring evidence of financial support such as monthly bank statements, fixed deposit slips, or other evidence.

Working adults

Bring an employment letter from your employer and pay slips from the most recent three months.

Businessmen and company directors

Bring evidence of your position in the company and remuneration.

Visiting a relative

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 United States. The following documentation may be helpful: Household registration or other proof of genuine family relationship, photos with the U.S. family members in recent years, a copy of his/her U.S. passport or green card, a copy of his/her passport and U.S. visas, etc. If you previously stayed in the United States longer than the period granted at the U.S. port of entry, you should present the original letter of extension issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Previous visitors to the United States

If you were previously in the United States, any documents attesting to your immigration or visa status, particularly all previous U.S. visas, even if expired.

APEC travel card holders 

Applicants with APEC travel cards are not exempt from the online scheduling requirement.  To schedule an appointment online, please click here.

Supporting Documents for Applicants Seeking Medical Care

If you wish to travel to the United States for medical treatment, then you should be prepared to present the following documentation in addition to the documents listed above:

  • A medical diagnosis from a local physician explaining the nature of your ailment and the reason you require treatment in the United States.
  • A letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States expressing a willingness to treat this specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including doctors' fees, hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).
  • A statement of financial responsibility from the individuals or organization paying for your transportation, medical and living expenses. The individuals guaranteeing payment of these expenses must provide proof of their ability to do so, often in the form of bank or other statements of income/savings or certified copies of income tax returns.

More Information

For more information about business and tourist visas, visit the Department of State's website.