If you are looking to come to the United States for less then 6 months, then a B visa might be the visa for you. The duration of your stay given on these visas by Customs Border Patrol (CBP) is however often limited to the time necessary to complete the purpose of your trip. You may not need to get a visa at all as based on your nationality you might be eligible to have that requirement waived by using the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) all though these trips are limited to 90 days.
Occasionally these visas are issued for longer and you may hear people refer to the fact that they have a 10 year B visa. This does not mean that they can come to the United States for 10 years. Rather during that period the visa gives them permission to apply for admission to the United States at the port of entry (normally the airport) with CBP.
Visitor Visa for Travel and Medical Purposes
You may want to consider getting a tourist visa, a B-2 visa, if you are looking to come into the United States for less then 6 months and the purpose of your trip falls into one of the following categories:
- vacation (holiday)
- visit with friends or relatives
- medical treatment
- participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
- participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
- enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)
Visitor Visa for Business Purposes
Unless eligible for the visa waiver program, persons who wish to conduct activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States must obtain a B1 visa. This is also a temporary visa usually granted for up to 6 months or the duration needed to complete the necessary activities. Such activities include but are not limited to:
- Consulting with business associates;
- Negotiating a contract;
- Attending a business conference;
- Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates; or
- Settling an estate.
B-1 Visas are often complex in what can and cannot be done whilst on a B-1 visa for further information on the requirements that need to be met for this type of visa, click here or contact Hannaford Immigration today by calling us or filling in the inquiry form.
Occasionally the B-1 and B-2 visa are actually issued together and you will find that your visa is annotated with B-1/B-2 which will allow someone who has an old valid B-2 visa apply for admission with CBP as a B-1 and vice versa.
Visa Waiver Program
For individuals from certain countries who are enrolled in the visa waiver program they are exempt from the normal requirement of getting a visa for these purposes. You will only be granted 90 days or less when entering on the VWP but if you would like to stay longer you may still apply at the consulate for the appropriate B visa.
In order to travel on the VWP you also need to register for Electronic System for Travel Authorization, more commonly referred to as ESTA.