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B-1 Visas for Business Travelers
B-2 Visas for Temporary Visits

San Diego, CA

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What is the B-1 Visa?

The purpose of the B-1 visa is for visiting the U.S. on “business.” The State Department defines “business” as referring to “conventions, conferences and consultations, and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature.” An employee of a foreign based company qualifies to make a visit for business if:

  1. The alien intends to maintain a foreign domicile;
  2. The companies profit predominately accrues in the foreign country or it is the principal place of business for the company;
  3. Each entry is temporary in character.

What Qualifies as a “Business” Visit?

The law is clear regarding specific activities that are classifiable under a B-1 visitor for Business Visa. The State Department, in its foreign affairs manual, has determined that the following activities fall under the purview of the Departments classification:

  1. Engaging in commercial transactions which do not involve gainful employment in the United Sates;
  2. Negotiating contracts;
  3. Consulting with Business Associates;
  4. Litigating;
  5. Participating in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences, or seminars; or
  6. Undertaking independent research.

Source: The Foreign Affairs Manual and Operations Instructions Listing of B-1 Activities

What is a B-2 Non-immigrant Visa?

The purpose of the B-2 visa is for persons desiring to enter the United States for pleasure or medical treatment. The presumption in the law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant.

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Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

What is the visa waiver program?

Travelers from certain eligible countries may also be able to visit the U.S. without a visa, through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP.) The VWP permits nationals from designated countries to apply for admission to the United States for ninety (90) days or less as nonimmigrant visitors for business or pleasure without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visa.

What Countries Are in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?

The following countries are in the VWP: Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom*, and Uruguay.

The United Kingdom Note

*For citizens with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
Please note that the Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may add countries to the program or remove them from the program at any time.

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applicants for B-2 visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:

The purpose of their trip is pleasure or medical treatment;

They plan to remain for a specific, limited period; and

They have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.






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