The B visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the U.S. government to foreign citizens seeking to enter the U.S. for a temporary period. The B visa is divided into two types, the B-2 Visitor visa and the B-1 Business Visitor visa.
The B-2 Visitor visa allows you to enter the U.S. to engage in tourism, vacation, or visiting friends and family.
The B-1 Business Visitor Visa allows you to enter the U.S. in order to negotiate a contract, make investments, settle an estate, attend seminars, or perform other temporary work for an employer that is based outside the United States.
Applicants for B visas must prove that:
- the purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
- they plan to remain within the U.S. for a specific, limited period; and
- they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties that will ensure their return at the end of the visit.
Each of these criteria is very important, and you will need to provide convincing evidence that you meet them, as discussed below.
- Your passport, which must be valid for at least six (6) months
- Documents showing the purpose of your trip, which include providing an itinerary, hotel arrangements, and/or train tickets
- Documents showing that you plan to return to your home country, such as proof of ownership of real estate, lease agreement, evidence of relationships with close family members who live there, and an employment letter from your current employer showing that you have not quit your job and it will remain open until your return
- Proof of your ability to pay for your expenses during the trip, this can include bank statements and evidence of income (paystubs, etc.)
- If the trip is for business purposes, you must provide a letter from your employer abroad which describes your position and explains what you will be doing throughout your visit. It should also state that you will be paid only from sources outside of the U.S. and when you will return. For business events such as trade shows or exhibitions, provide flyers, contracts, or similar documentation to establish when the event will take place.
- If the trip is for medical treatment, you must provide a statement from your doctor with your diagnosis and why you must visit the U.S. for treatment. You must also provide a letter from the U.S. doctor or facility in which you will receive treatment, which must state how long the treatment will last, the expected costs, as well as proof that you have sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of your stay and medical expenses.
The B visa is an entry document, and many B visas allow considered “multiple entry” visas, which means you can use them repeatedly for U.S. entry. Each entry has a maximum authorized stay period of 6 months. However, if you must extend your trip while in the United States you may file for an extension of status with USCIS for a maximum of 6 additional months per extension.