Business/Tourist Visa

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FAQ

Important Notice

AIT is experiencing delays in visa appointment wait times due to increased demand. Please consider utilizing ESTA if you are qualified to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. All visa applicants are requested to apply well in advance of any planned travel.

Overview

Please confirm whether or not you need to apply for a visa. You may not need to apply for a new visa if you already hold a valid U.S. visa, or are a national of a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating country, or are otherwise qualified to travel Without a Visa. If your country participates in the VWP (Taiwan is currently one of the participants), generally speaking, you do not need to apply for a visa if you are traveling for business or pleasure, meet all VWP criteria, and will only be staying in the United States for 90 days or fewer.

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.

How to Apply

Step 1: Complete the DS-160 online application 

Complete the online visa application. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully.  All information must be correct and accurate. 

Step 2: Create your profile & pay the visa fee 

Once you have completed the DS-160 application, you will be able to create your profile in the online applicant system, choose your passport delivery method, pay your fee, and schedule an interview.  For more information about paying your visa fee, click here

Exception: Certain applicants who are foreign government officials may NOT need to create profiles and may NOT need to pay the visa processing fee.  Click on the above link to learn more about how to apply.

Step 3: Schedule an interview 

You can log in to your profile to schedule your interview after your payment receipt has been activated. For more information about payment options and receipt activation times, click here.  

Exception: Certain applicants who are foreign government officials may NOT need to pay the visa fee and may NOT need to log in here.  These applicants should click on the above link to learn more about how to schedule. 

Certain applicants who qualify for Interview Waiver may be eligible to apply for a visa without an interview. 

Step 4: Appear at AIT for an interview

Visit the American Institute in Taiwan on the date and time of your visa interview. You must bring all the application items. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.  You may also bring supporting documents  to provide to the consular officer.  

Access to AIT Consular Section waiting room is limited to the following:

  • Applicants;
  • Parents or legal guardians of applicants under 18 years old;
  • Aides of disabled applicants 

Appointment holders must have an appointment confirmation page and may not be admitted more than 10 minutes before or after their appointment time.

Please review AIT’s security regulations prior to your visit. In particular, please note the rules regarding Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs). 

Step 6: Receive your documents

You can check your visa application status here.  If your visa application is approved, your passport and visa will be returned to you via courier service.  You can track the status of your passport delivery using your passport number or the courier tracking number

Application Items

If you apply for a business/tourist visa, you must submit the following: 

  • A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form confirmation page. Any time you make a new application, you must complete a new DS-160.  Please print out and bring your DS-160 confirmation to your interview. Please make sure the printed bar codes are clear. Incomplete, incorrect, or unclear barcodes will NOT be accepted and will result in cancellation of your appointment. Visit the DS-160 web page for more information about the DS-160.
  • A valid passport. Most visa applicants must have a passport valid for at least 6 months past the date of their anticipated departure from the United States.  Taiwan passport holders and passport holders from certain countries may enter the United States with passports that will expire in less than 6 months.  However, they will not be permitted to remain in the U.S. beyond the validity of their passports.
  • All previous passports - If your previous passports are lost or stolen, you must provide AIT with a Certificate of Entry and Exit Dates (from 1983 to present).  To obtain a Certificate of Entry and Exit Dates, please visit the Taiwan National Immigration Agency’s website for details. If you have reported your passport lost or stolen, please also provide a police report.
  • One color photograph (5cmx5cm) taken within the last six months with a white or off-white background. Starting November 1, 2016, eyeglasses will no longer be allowed in visa photos. This web page has information about the required photo format. Submitting photos that do not meet these criteria can delay the visa application process.
  • 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. (AIT strongly advises all customers to bring cash, as our system does not always accommodate credit card transactions. Thank you.)
  • A printout of your appointment confirmation showing that you booked an appointment.  Please make sure the printed bar codes are clear. Incomplete, incorrect, or unclear barcodes will NOT be accepted and will result in cancellation of your appointment.
  • If you have legally changed your name, please bring your most recent Taiwan Household Registration Record (with detailed notes). If you are not a Taiwan resident, please bring your Taiwan Alien Resident Certificate or your Taiwan visa information.
  • Applicants in scientific fields, or with technical and scientific backgrounds, may be required to provide additional documents. See the Administrative Processing webpage for details. 
  • If you have been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, please bring the police record or court documents to your interview.  (If the original record was not written in English, please also provide an English translation).  Please also provide a Taiwan Police Criminal Record Certificate regardless of where you were arrested or convicted.
  • If you have abandoned your U.S. lawful permanent resident status (or green card), please provide proof of abandonment.

You may also bring supporting documents to provide to the consular officer. 

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 American Institute in Taiwan in a sealed envelope. The American Institute in Taiwan 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 American Institute in Taiwan.

  • 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.

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.

Businessmen 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 United States

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 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.

Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS)

In accordance with the agreement signed between the United States and China to extend visa validity, beginning on November 29, 2016, Chinese citizens with 10-year B1, B2 or B1/B2 visas in Peoples’ Republic of China passports will be required to update their biographical and other information from their visa application via a website every two years, or upon getting a new passport or B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa, whichever occurs first.  This mechanism is called EVUS - Electronic Visa Update System.

The EVUS website is now open to the public for enrollments at www.EVUS.gov.  CBP will not collect a fee for EVUS enrollment at this time. CBP anticipates the eventual implementation of an EVUS enrollment fee, but does not have a time frame. Until the implementation of a fee, travelers can enroll in EVUS without charge.  The Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will keep visa holders informed of new information throughout the year. For further information, please visit www.cbp.gov/EVUS.‎

More Information

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