B-1 Business Visas
B-2 Tourist Visas

The US government provides an unlimited number of non-immigrant business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas for temporary travel to the U.S. Application consists of a one-step process, and visas are often approved and issued in one day. Please see new proposed changes to USCIS rules regarding visitor visas below.

B Visa Applicants must:
(1) show proof of a home abroad
(2) intend to return home after their visit is over
(3) be physically present at a U.S. consulate or USCIS (formerly INS) office to apply

B Visa Extensions: B Visa extensions are granted only in cases that have resulted from "unexpected or compelling humanitarian reasons" such as medical treatment or a delay in the conclusion of a business matter. Extensions are granted in increments of a maximum of six months.

B-1 Visas (business travel visas)

Maximum Length of Stay: six months
Limited to:
(1) making investments
(2) buying goods
(3) attending seminars
(4) performing temporary work for a non-U.S. employer

Extension: up to six months at a time

B-2 Visas (tourist visas)

Maximum Length of Stay: The USCIS will determine a period of time that is "fair and reasonable for the completion of the purpose of the visit" If this period cannot be determined, the USCIS will grant a 30-day period of admission.

Limited to:
(1) tourists only; may not engage in business-related activities
(2) available for vacation-home owners staying up to six months at a time

Extension: up to six months at a time

!ALERT! New rules on B visitor visas April 8, 2002

Citing a need to further enhance US security, the USCIS (formerly INS) has proposed new tighter regulations on the issuing of B visitor visas for tourists and businesspeople. The new proposed rules will:

  • eliminate the minimum 6-month admission period for B-2 non-immigrant tourist visitors. The new admission period will be based on the amount of time needed to accomplish the purposed of the trip, usually 30 days.

  • reduce the maximum initial admission period from one year to six months for all B non-immigrant visitors

  • limit the conditions for which an extension of stay can be granted and reduce the length of that extension

  • prohibit non-immigrants admitted in B visitor status from changing to student status unless they state an intention to study at the time of admission.

  • an alien with a final order of removal must surrender to authorities within 30 days of issuance of that order. The new rule will deny discretionary relief to such persons.




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