The US embassy issues dozens of visas to interested visitors based on their needs and ability to meet the requirements, and one of the most common types of visas is the US visa type B1/B2. What is a category B visa for, and what is it used for? We will aim to answer these questions in this article and provide you with all the information you need regarding this visa class.
US Visa Type B1/B2 Meaning
The B1 and B2 visas call under the B class visa, a code name for a temporary and nonimmigrant visa issued by the United States government through the Department of State. This visa is designed for business and tourist trips to the US. The B1 visa is generally for business-related trips, while the B2 is for leisure and tourism. In some cases, the US embassy may issue any of them for business or pleasure, depending on the discretion of the visa officer.
This visa is only for those who are not from visa waiver countries of the United States government. Citizens from visa-exempt countries who qualify for visa-free entry don’t need this visa as they can enter the country and stay for up to 90 days.
Let’s review both visas in detail.
US B1 Visa
The B1 business visa is for persons conducting a temporary visa project that will take six months or less to conclude. This non immigrant visa is issued to persons visiting to settle an estate, attend a convention, exhibition, or seminar, conduct research, negotiate or sign a contract, compete in a non-professional sport, purchase business supplies, provide professional consulting services, settle an estate, etc.
This visa is for engagements that will not take more than six months; if yours will take longer, you need to apply for an immigrant visa instead, which guarantees a longer stay. Furthermore, holders of B1 visas may apply for an extension, but only if their expectations were less than six months. If they are caught lying, they would have violated the terms of the visa and may not be given another visa in the future.
The B2 visitor visa is for tourists and leisure seekers who spend less than six months in the US. Such persons can apply for a B2 tourist visa if they are coming to attend a reunion event, wedding ceremony, or any other social function, partake in classes or recreational retreats, seek medical care, visit family or friends, or visit tourist attractions in the country.
Just like the B1 visa, holders of B2 visas can also apply for extensions but under very strict rules. They will be required to submit some documents to the Department of State before the expiration of their current visas. Persons who stay in the Us with an expired visa, even if they have a pending application extension, are law violators and may need help to receive a new visa in the future.
US B1/B2 Visa Combination
Did you know there is a B1/B2 visa combination for travelers who want to enjoy leisure time in the Us while conducting business? While the standard B1 version may restrict the holder to strictly business, the B1/B2 version allows the holder to travel to any state in the US to pursue their interest. This visa offers more flexibility and advantages than the B1 visa.
Visa Waiver Program – B1 & B2 Visa Alternative
A visa waiver program is open to visitors who wish to spend less than 90 days in the JS for business or pleasure. This visa comes with loads of advantages it also restrictions. However, it is a preferable route instead of going through a costly and lengthy visa application process for the B visa. The visa waiver program is for everyone, but only those from the listed countries.
Here are the eligibility conditions
You must come from an eligible country.
You plan to stay for no more than three months as a visitor
Your passport is valid for the return next six months after your departure.
You are not a citizen of Iran, Sudan, Iraq, or Syria, even if you have a passport from another country
You have a valid ESTA permit
You have not violated the terms of a previous nonimmigrant visa issued to you
You have never been to Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, or any other country that the Department of State views as a sponsor of terrorism
You will not enter the US on a private aircraft or any other non-approved sea or air carrier
How To Apply For a B1/B2 Visa?
Business travelers and tourists who wish to apply for B1 and B2 visas must do the following.
Submit their application online: They must submit their application online after completing Form DS-160. The form must be signed and have a recent photograph.
Book an interview: They must book an interview unless they are 80 years and above. The appointment can be scheduled at the nearest US embassy or consulate.
Pay The visa fee: The $160 visa fee must be paid using a procedure laid out by the embassy with a receipt to show as evidence.
Gather your documents: Your passport, birth certificate, Civil documents, visa fee receipt, and Copy of application form confirmation must be arranged.
Attend the interview, present these documents to the visa officer, and answer all your questions.
Now that you know the US visa type B1 B2 meaning, you can decide which will suit you.