An Overview of B-1 and B-2 Visas
August 20, 2021|
Join Chugh, LLP Attorneys Joy Dungca and Vandana Marath for an overview of B-1 and B-2 visas, which activities qualify for each visa, and which individuals may be eligible for each visa status.
What Activities are Allowed on B-1 Visas?
B-1 visas are designed for temporary business visitors. Business and commercial activities which qualify for the B-1 visa include:
- Consulting with business colleagues.
- Traveling for a specific convention or conference that covers scientific, education, professional, or business topics.
- Settling an estate.
- Negotiating a contract.
- Participating in short-term training.
- Transiting through the United States, for a destination outside of the US.
- Deadheading, for certain air crew.
Certain domestic or personal employees may be eligible to travel in the US on B-1 visitors if they accompany:
- A US citizen employer outside the US who is temporarily visiting the US, or
- A foreign citizen employer on visa statuses including B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q.
Proof Required to Secure a B-1 Visa
To be approved for a B-1 visa, you must be able to demonstrate that:
- Your trip is for legitimate business purposes.
- You plan to remain in the US for a limited, specific period.
- You have enough funds to cover the cost of your trip and stay in the US.
- You have binding ties outside of the US that you plan to return to after your visit is over.
- You are admissible to the US.
Individuals may apply for a B-1 visa at US consulates abroad, or they can apply for a change of status if they are already present in the United States.
What Activities are Allowed on B-2 Visas?
B-2 visitor visas cover temporary travel into the United States for tourist purposes. These purposes may include:
- Visits with relatives or friends.
- Medical treatment.
- Participation in social events held by service, fraternal, or social organizations.
- Unpaid amateur participation in musical, sports, or similar events or contests.
- Enrollment in a short recreational class which does not count toward a degree (such as a cooking class taken on vacation).
Certain activities are prohibited while on a B-2 visa. These include:
- Paid performances.
- Arriving as a crewmember on an aircraft or ship.
- Media work, including for the foreign press, print journalism, radio, film, or similar information media.
- Seeking permanent residence in the US.
Applying for a B-2 Visa
The process to apply for a B-2 visa is relatively simple. The steps include:
- Completing Form DS-160 online to apply at a US Consulate abroad. Be sure to upload your photo during the application process.
- Print the application form and bring it to your interview.
- Schedule and attend the interview.
Interviews are generally not required for individuals who are 13 and younger, or for those 80 and older.
For help applying for a temporary B-1 or B-2 visa, please contact your trusted Chugh, LLP immigration professional.
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