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What is an B visa?

The B “visitor” visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for leisure or medical treatment (B-2). Travelers from certain eligible countries may be able to visit the U.S. without a visa on the Visa Waiver Pilot Program.

Applying for a visitor B visa

Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The presumption in the law is that every visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
  • That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period; and
  • That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

B Term

Those admitted into the US on a B visa can be admitted up to 1 year and can be extended for an additional 6 months. Those on a B-2 visa are automatically given a 6 month entry.

Visa Waiver Pilot Program

Travelers coming to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. without a visa. Currently, 25 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Visitors entering on the Visa Waiver Pilot Program cannot work or study while in the U.S. and cannot stay longer than 90 days or adjust their status to another category.