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B-1/B-2 Visas

B1/B2 visas are nonimmigrant visas for which DS-156 applications must be filed at US Consulates in foreign countries.

B-1 Business Visas

The B-1 Business Visitor's Visa is a short-term visa issued to foreigners who intend to enter the US for a brief period in order to conduct business activities. It is possible to apply for an extension of the initial business visitor’s visa term under special circumstances.   In determining whether to issues a B-1 Business Visa, consulates apply the following criteria:

  1. Whether the applicant intends to continue to reside at a foreign residence;
  2. Whether the principal place of business is in a foreign country;
  3. Whether the applicant is paid by a source outside the US; and
  4. Whether the applicant’s intent to stay in the US is of a temporary nature, even if the business activity is not.

B-1 Business Visitor status also is available to foreigners who are entering the US to:

  1. take part in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars;
  2. consult with business associates;
  3. discuss contracts;
  4. litigate;
  5. carry out independent research;
  6. participate in commercial transactions which do not involve profitable employment in the US.

B-2 Tourist Visas

The B-2 Tourist Visitor's Visa is issued to foreigners who intend to enter the US for a brief period for the purpose of a holiday or vacation. B-2 tourists generally are given a period of entry of six months, but the US CIS officer at the port-of-entry has the discretion to issue a tourist visa for a shorter duration.  It is possible to apply for an extension of the initial visitor’s visa term under special circumstances.

There are five requirements in order to be issued a B-2 Tourist Visa at a US Consulate:

  1. The applicant is entering the U.S. for a limited duration and will depart at the end of a temporary visit.
  2. The applicant maintains a foreign residence to which he intends to return after visiting the US.
  3. The applicant has adequate financial arrangements to travel to, remain in and depart from the US.
  4. The applicant will engage solely in activities relating to pleasure.
  5. The applicant will not engage in employment of any kind in the U.S.


The E-1 / E-2 visas are non-immigrant employment visas issued to applicants who are nationals of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and who are sponsored by a company that is majority-owned by individuals who are from the same country as the applicant.  The E-1 visa is based on the existence of substantial trade by the sponsoring company with the home country of the applicant.  The E-2 visa is based on an investment in the sponsoring company.