Do You Qualify for a visitor visa?

You qualify for a B-1 visa if you are com­ing to the U. S. as a visitor for a temporary business trip. You qualify for a B-2 visa if you are visiting the U. S. temporarily, either as a tourist or for medical treat­ment. Often, these two visas are issued
together in combination so you have all the options under both. You must have the intent to return to your home country after your visit is over. Usually, you must have a home abroad to which you will return.

A B-1 visa allows you to be in the u. s. for business purposes such as making investments, buying goods, attending seminars, or performing other temporary work for an employer located outside the united states. You may not, however, be employed or operate your own com­pany. You may not be paid by a source inside the united states. It is sometimes difficult to draw the line between per­missible business activities and illegal employment on a B-1 visa.

unlike the b-1 visitor, the b-2 tour­ist may not engage in business-related activities at all. A condition of being admitted on a B-2 visa is that you are visiting solely for purposes of pleasure or medical treatment.

If you enter the u. s. with a B visa, your intention must be to come only as a temporary visitor. Tourists are usually given stays of up to six months and busi­ness visitors may stay as necessary up to a maximum of one year. The date when your permitted stay will expire will be shown on your Form I-94, a little white card that the CBP officer at the border or airport will put into your passport. Theoretically, you may leave the u. s. at the end of your stay, return the next day, and be readmitted for another stay. Alter­natively, when your permitted stay has expired, you can apply for an extension of stay without leaving. (see section C, below.)

If your travel history shows that you are spending most of your time in the u. s., the CBP will assume you have the intent to be more than just a temporary visitor. on this basis, you can be denied entry altogether, even though you do have a valid visa. some people, thinking that they have found a loophole in the system, try to live in the u. s. permanently on a visitor’s visa by merely taking brief trips outside the country every time their permitted stay expires. Do not expect this tactic to work for very long. However, those who want to have vacation homes in the u. s. and live in them for about six months each year may do so legally.


Never lie to get a visa. People who use fraudulent documents or make misrepresentations, or who attempt entry to the U. S. without proper documentation, can be refused entry at the U. S. border or airport, deported from the U. S., and prevented from returning for five years. Accordingly, it is extremely important to understand the requirements of the visa classification you are requesting, and not make any misrepresentations of your intent or qualifications for a particular visa.

Updated: 18th July 2015 — 3:10 pm