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If you are looking to enter the United States on a temporary basis then you will generally need to secure the proper visa. If your interest in coming to the United States is for temporary business or pleasure, then you will need the appropriate B1/B2, visitor visa. The B1 visa and B2 visa are temporary, non-immigrant, multiple-entry visas that allow the holder to travel to the United States for either business or tourism purposes.

In most cases, a B1/B2 visa is issued together, allowing the holder to travel for both business and pleasure.

What is the difference between a B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visa?

B1: A B1 visa serves the purpose of traveling to the United States for business-related work, such as:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in short-term training
  • Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa
  • Deadheading: certain air crewmen may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa

Please note, that a B1 visa will not permit you to secure employment in the United States and will not permit long-term work in the United States. It is specifically for conducting business-related activities. However, in March of 2023, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that people with a B1 or B2 visa can apply for jobs in the United States and attend interviews.

B2: A B2 visa serves the purpose of traveling to the United States for tourism, vacation, visiting friends and family, and certain medical treatments. Acquiring a B2 will generally require demonstrating:

  • The United States visit is purely temporary and for activities permitted under the B-2
  • If for medical treatment, documentation of the need for treatment in the United States and the financial ability to pay for the treatment

How long does it take to get a B1/B2?

The processing time for a B1/B2 visa interview currently stands at about two (2) months. However, if you are applying for an interview in a country other than your home country, wait times may be longer. We do not make any guarantees on how long the process will take to obtain your visa.

How long can I stay in the United States on a B1/B2?

The B1/B2 visa is a multiple-entry visa, so, you can enter the United States more than once. There's no set limit to the number of times you can visit the United States in a year, and it will often depend on the specific circumstances and discretion of the Customs and Border Protection officer for how long you will be allowed to stay. Generally, you are permitted to enter for six (6) months at a time, but this is still up to the discretion of the officer at the time of entry.