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B-1 and B-2 visa/status

Temporary business and visitor Visas/Status

Travelers may enter the United States using a Temporary business B1, Temporary visitor B2 - B1 'Visitor for Business' Visa or B2 - 'Visitor for Pleasure' (Tourist) visa. The B1 Visa excludes visitors coming to the U.S. to perform skilled or unskilled labor. However, exceptions are made to business visitors who may be eligible for B1 provided they qualify for one of the categories below :

  • Contract negotiations.

  • Litigation.

  • Independent research.

  • Taking purchase orders.

  • Consultation with business associates.

  • Participation in meetings, conventions, conferences and seminars.

  • Certain professional athletes, such as golfers and auto racers, who receive no salary or payment other than prize money; members of a foreign-based team coming to compete in international competition; and amateur hockey players joining a professional team for brief tryouts with a National Hockey League team and whom receive only incidental expenses.

  • Prospective investors seeking investment opportunities to qualify for E2 Visa classification.

  • Commercial or industrial workers with specialized knowledge to install, service, or repair equipment or machinery purchased abroad or to train U.S. workers provided their services are required pursuant to a contract.

  • Artists coming to the U.S. to paint, sculpt, etc., who are not under contract with a U.S. employer and who do not intend to regularly sell their artwork in the U.S.

  • Participants in International Competitions. A professional entertainer may be eligible for a B-1 Visa when coming to the United States to participate in a competition for which there is no remuneration other than a prize (monetary or otherwise) and expenses.

  • Musicians may be issued a B-1 visa, provided the musician is coming to the United Sates in order to utilize recording facilities for recording purposes only, the recording will be distributed and sold only outside the United States, and no public performances will be given.

  • Still photographers may enter the United States with B-1 visas for the purpose of taking photographs as long as they receive no income from a U.S. source.

The presumption in the law is that every visitor 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;

  • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States;

  • Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and

  • That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties that will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

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