Visiting the United States requires that you have the proper visa. If you enter the country with the wrong visa, it could cause some serious problems for you. Many people struggle to understand the differences between the various visas and have trouble figuring out which one they need.
Two of the most commonly confused visas are the B1 and B2. We will help you to understand which of these two visas you need for your upcoming trip to the United States.
Non-Immigrant Visa Definition
Both B1 and B2 visas are nonimmigrant or visitor visas. They are only for those who are visiting the country on a temporary basis, and they have strict limits on the length of time that you can remain in the country. If you need a more permanent visa, neither of these is for you.
Visitor visas are broken into two primary categories: business and tourism. B1 visas are for business travel and B2 visas are for tourism. The eligibility requirements for each are different, so you need to be sure that you meet the criteria for one of them before you apply.
Eligibility For A Business Visitor
A B1 visa for a business visitor is intended for short-term business travel. To be eligible for a B1 visa, you need to be able to show that the primary purpose of your trip to the United States is business. This does not mean that you cannot engage in any tourism while you are, just that it cannot be the primary reason for the trip.
You must also show that you are planning to stay for a limited time, and that you have ties to another country that would make a permanent move unlikely. For instance, a home that you own or a family that is not traveling with you. They want to be sure that you will not try and change your immigrant status once you are in the country.
You have to demonstrate that you either have enough money to cover your expenses on the trip or that your employer will be paying for them. You cannot engage in any unskilled or skilled labor, or work as a representative for any kind of foreign media company. These all require a different visa.
Eligibility For A Tourist Visa
B2 visas are for tourism and vacationing, and are typically only good for six months. To be eligible for a B2, you must be able to demonstrate that your trip is for pleasure or medical purposes. You need to know the specific date that you plan on leaving so that it’s clear that you are planning to leave the country.
You will also need to show that you have no intention of attempting to immigrate permanently and that you will not be engaging in work while you are here. You will be asked to prove that you have enough money to cover your expenses and that you have realistic plans for the entire time you are here. They will want to see that you have a residence and/or other binding ties in your home country, too.
Limitations & Restrictions Of B Visas
B visas are not useful in every situation. They are strictly for business or tourist trips and if you have a B2 visa you cannot engage in any work during your trip. They are only good for six months, although business visas can, in some circumstances, be extended for an additional six months.
If you are unemployed and looking for work, a B visa will not be helpful. You are not permitted to apply for or interview for jobs while you are in the country on a B visa. You also cannot use a B visa to enter the country for educational purposes. You cannot obtain a permanent residence in the United States if you are on a B visa.
You also cannot participate in any sort of paid performance on a B visa. Essentially, when you are on a B visa, you can only engage in those activities that you listed when you applied for the visa in the first place. This makes them among the most restrictive visas. If you are traveling for business or vacation, there is no problem with that. You will be able to do everything you want or need to do.
If you are traveling for any reason other than business or vacation, you need to get a different visa. A B visa simply will not allow you to do anything else.
Preparing For Your Interview With A Legal Professional
Often an interview is the final part of the application process for a visa. This is done at the discretion of the consular office processing your application, and is more likely in some countries than others. If you know that you have been scheduled for an interview, it is a good idea to prepare in advance with a legal professional.
Pride Immigration specializes in helping people to get the visas they need. Contact us today and one of our legal professionals will be glad to assist you in preparing for your visa interview.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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