Business/Tourist Visa

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FAQ

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 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.

Fees

$160 application fee and possibly an issuance fee (also known as a reciprocity fee) depending on country of citizenship.

Latvian nationals, including Latvian non-citizen passport holders, pay only the application fee of $160.

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 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.
  • Your old passport with your previous U.S. visa, if you had one and if available.
  • One (1) 2"x2" (5cmx5cm) photograph taken within the last six months. This web 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 web 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.
  • An envelope with your address label that will be used by the Embassy to return your visa and documents to you. You should e-mail velokurjers@velokurjers.lv or call tel. +371 200 00041 to request the address label for your visa pass-back. The subject line of your e-mail should be - US. visa application delivery request.
  • 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

 Determine your visa type by reading Common Nonimmigrant Visas. Each visa type explains the qualifications and application items. Choose the visa type that applies to your situation.

 Be sure to also review the Visa Waiver Program. If your country participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you do not need to apply for a visa if you are traveling for business or pleasure and will only be staying in the Unites States for 90 days or less.

Step 2

 The next step is to complete the DS-160 Form. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes. If you need assistance, please consult an immigration lawyer or translator. The call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment.

Step 3

Once you have determined the correct visa type and completed the DS-160, you must pay the visa fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in U.S. dollars and local currency.

To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment. You will create a profile and must keep your CGI reference number to book your visa appointment.

Step 4

Now you will need to log in to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay your visa fee. Once you are in the system, you will see your dashboard.

Click on Schedule Appointment on the left-hand side menu.

This will start the process for scheduling your appointment. You will need:

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

As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents, confirm visa payment, and schedule your interview appointment. If you are renewing your previous U.S. visa that is still valid or expired less than 24 months ago, you may be able to mail-in your documents to the Embassy without a visa interview.

 Step 5

 Contact SIA Velokurjers by e-mail at velokurjers@velokurjers.lv or tel. +371 200 00041 to arrange your visa delivery to you. The subject line of your e-mail should be -  U.S. visa application delivery request.  

SIA Velokurjers will provide guidance on payment options for the visa delivery service and send you an e-mail with your address label information. You will have to print this label and glue it on an envelope. You MUST bring this envelope with you for your visa interview and submit it to the Consular Section along with your passport and visa application documents.

If you select the option to renew your visa without a visa interview, contact SIA Velokurjers by e-mail at velokurjers@velokurjers.lv or tel. +371 200 00041 to arrange your document delivery to the Embassy AND your visa delivery to you.

Please note!

  • ALL visa applicants are required to use only SIA Velokurjers services for sending and receiving their documents to/from the Embassy.
  • Each application/individual MUST have a separate address label. The courier's security and safety rules require separate tracking of each passport.
  • Groups of applicants and family members may NOT use one envelope, address label, or tracking number for all their application documents.

 Step 6

Visit the U.S. Embassy Riga on the date and time of your visa interview. Be sure to check the Schedule My Appointment page for the necessary documentation needed for your appointment.

 Step 7

If your visa is approved, your documents including the passport with the visa will be sent to you in your envelope with the address label from SIA Velokurjers.

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 U.S. Embassy in a sealed envelope. The U.S. Embassy will not make this information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of the information.

If applicable, 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 U.S. Embassy Riga.

  • A letter from your employer detailing your position, salary, how long you have been employed, and the business purpose 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. Latvian residents who have criminal records in the past, may choose to prepare also a Latvian police certificate (click on the link for instructions).
  • Seamen requiring B-1 visas for OCS employment must present their original employment contract or a letter with employment offer, as well as a U.S. Coast Guard Letter authorizing the particular ship for OCS work.
  • Personal or domestic employees of U.S. citizens resident abroad or foreign nationals in nonimmigrant status must present original employment contract in their native language with English translation and evidence of their employers’ qualifying status.

Nonimmigrant business and tourism visa applicants may choose to bring information about their travel itinerary and other documents regarding employment, family, and other ties to Latvia. These documents may be helpful, but are not mandatory.

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 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.