A B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows citizens of other countries to come to the United States temporarily for business or pleasure. Applying for either of the visitor visas has advantages and disadvantages.
Several advantages include:
- The quickness of the application process
- The length of time it allows you to stay in the U.S. (up to 6 months)
- Allowing for multiple entries into the U.S
However, one large disadvantage is that a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa does not authorize you to work in the United States.
The B-1 Business Visa is specifically for individuals that would like to travel to the United States for business matters. With a B-1 Business Visa, you can:
- Attend meetings
- Make investments
- Buy merchandise
- Perform temporary job-related duties
Keep in mind that with a B-1 Visa, you may not perform duties for a company that you operate or for a company located in the United States.
A B-2 Tourist Visa, on the other hand, is great for individuals that would like to visit the United States for pleasure. This visa is specifically for people that want to come to the United States for:
- Medical treatments
- Visits with friends and family
- Sporting events
- Touring the country
To apply for a Visitor Visa, you must first submit a DS-160 application online and pay the application fee. Once your application is complete, you must schedule an interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country. At the interview, the consular officer will examine your application, ask you a series of questions about your visit and take your fingerprints for a background check. You may receive a decision right after your interview or it may take a few weeks.