This nonimmigrant visa is reserved for foreign national visitors to the United States for business (B-1) and for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). These trips are temporary in nature and the foreign national cannot engage in any sort of employment in the US while on this visa.
Duration of Stay
Under the current rules and regulations, it is possible to obtain a period of admission for up to one year upon initial entry into the United States. Furthermore, extensions of stay can be obtained for no more than six months at a time.
The foreign national must meet the following requirements to qualify under this category, including:
- The foreign national is entering the US for a limited duration;
- Foreign national intends to depart the US at the expiration of his or her stay;
- While the US, the foreign national must maintain a foreign residence which he or she has no intention of abandoning;
- The foreign national has sufficient financial resources to cover the expenses of travel;
- The foreign national will only engage in legitimate activities related to business or pleasure.
Demonstrating Bona Fide Nonimmigrant Intent
The foreign national must be able to demonstrate that he or she intends to return to his or her home country after completion of the visit. In order to show such intent, the foreign national must show the following:
- Plans to visit the US temporarily;
- Plans to leave the US at the end of the temporary stay;
- Maintenance of a residence abroad that he or she has no intention of abandoning;
- Permission to enter a foreign country at the end of the temporary stay;
- Sufficient financial resources to be able to carry out the purpose of the visit.
Unlike other visas, this type of visa only requires the applicant to apply at the US Consulate in his or her country. Furthermore, there is no derivative status for the foreign nationals family for this visa category. Hence, family members must qualify independently.
Visa Waiver Program
This program allows nationals of certain countries to travel to the US for business or pleasure for up to 90 days without a visa. Currently, 36 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160;
- DS 157, if applicable
- Supporting documentation establishing nonimmigrant intent or the legitimate business activity the person will engage in;
- Valid passport with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States;
- One passport size photograph;
- Evidence which shows the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the United States, and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip may be provided;
- Application fee;
- Other applicable documents as required by the facts of the specific situation.