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:

  • That the purpose of your trip to the U.S. is for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment
  • That you plan to remain in the U.S. 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 U.S., 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 submit the following:

  • A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. Visit the DS-160 webpage 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"x2" (5cmx5cm) photograph. This page has information about the required photo format.
  • A receipt showing payment of your US$160 non-refundable nonimmigrant visa application processing fee, paid in local currency. This page has more information about paying this fee. 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
    Pay the visa application fee.

    Step 2
    Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

    Step 3
    Schedule your appointment on this web page. You will need three pieces of information in order to schedule your appointment:

    • Your passport number
    • Your MRV fee payment receipt number
    • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page

    Step 4
    Visit the U.S. Embassy/Consulate on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, one recent photograph, your current passport 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 in a sealed envelope. The Embassy will not make this information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of the information.

You should 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 Embassy.

  • 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 you 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 latest 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.

    Business visitors and company directors
    Bring evidence of your position in the company and remuneration.

    Visiting a relative
    Bring photocopies of your relative's proof of status (e.g. Green Card, naturalization certificate, valid visa, etc).

    Previous visitors to the U.S.
    If you were previously in the United States, any documents attesting to your immigration or visa status.

Supporting Documents for Applicants Seeking Medical Care

If you wish to travel to the U.S. for medical treatment, then you should be prepared to present the following documentation in addition to the documents listed above and those the consular officer may require:

  • 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.