U.S. Visitor Visas, immigration lawyer usa

Visitors to the United States may enter in B-1 or B-2 status. Citizens of certain countries may be eligible under the Visa Waiver Program

U.S. Visitor Visas

If you are planning to visit the United States, you may have to apply for a visitor visa at a U.S. consulate abroad, depending on which country you are a citizen of. If you are seeking to enter for pleasure, you would apply for a B-2 visa. If you are seeking to conduct business in the United States on behalf of your foreign employer or company, you would apply for a B-1 visa.  B-1/B-2 visas may be issued anywhere from one month to a maximum of six months.

Visa Waiver Program

Citizens of other countries who wish to visit the United States must obtain an appropriate B-1 or B-2 visa. Some countries under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program do not require its citizens to apply for a visa if they are entering pleasure, medical treatment or business. Click here to learn more about the Visa Waiver Program.

B-1 Business Visitor Visa

The B-1 visa is for foreign citizens who want to enter the United States for business, such as attending meetings, attending conventions, or to negotiate contracts. B-1 visa holders must not be employed by a U.S. firm, or be paid a salary from a U.S. employer.

B-2 Visitor Visa

Foreign citizens entering the United States for short visits or for vacation do so on a B-2 visa. Foreign nationals may also enter the United States on a B-2 visa in order to obtain medical treatment.

Canadians Visiting the United States

Canadian citizens are not part of the VWP but they do not need to apply for a visa to enter as a visitor. Rather, Canadians who enter the United States for business or pleasure are automatically granted B-1 or B-2 status. This status is granted for up to six months (183 days) in a twelve month (365 days) period.  Keep in mind that this is not based on a calendar year.  Instead, B-1/B-2 status should be calculated based on your stay in the United States over the previous 365 days.  For example, if you are seeking to enter on October 1st, you should calculate how many days you have been in the United States in B-1/B-2 status since October 1st of the previous year.  If the cumulative number of days is 183, then you may be denied admission.  If the cumulative number of days is 163, then you may be admitted for up to 60 days, etc.

Preconceived Intent

Before entering the United States on a B-1 visa, foreign citizens must be sure that the intent is strictly a temporary visit. For example, a foreign spouse engaged to a U.S. citizen who plans to enter the U.S. to get married may be denied entry because the intent is to remain long term rather than to stay temporarily.  In this case, a K-1 visa would be appropriate.  Entry on a B-2 and then adjusting to permanent residency later could pose problems if preconceived intent was found by the USCIS.

Banned from the U.S.

Many foreign nationals face the prospect of being banned from the United States – usually for overstaying a visa. The ban may last three to ten years. Those who wish to enter the U.S. during a ban may apply for the following: Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, Application for Permission to Re-Apply for Admission into the United States after Removal/Deportation, and an Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant.

Click here to learn more about visiting the United States.