B-1 and B-2 Immigration Visa Guidelines

There are many various types of visas available for immigrants. The type of visa you need varies, depending on the specific reason for your visit to the United States. B visas are provided for those who wish to travel to the U.S. for business or pleasure. There are a number of B-1 and B-2 immigration visa guidelines that should be noted before you submit an application to the USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

B-1 Visas for Temporary Business Travel

Those who want to travel to the U.S. for temporary business must first obtain a B-1 visa. This visa allows you to stay in the U.S. for a period of not more than 6 months. To meet the requirements, you must plan to remain in the U.S. only for a limited time, and must have the funds to pay for your stay. You must maintain a residence in your homeland, with no intention of remaining in the U.S.

Business Reasons for Obtaining a B-1 Visa

To qualify for a B-1 visa you must have a legitimate business reason for your visit to the U.S. Some of the reasons include:

  • Attend a convention or business meeting
  • Consult with business associates
  • Negotiate a business contract
  • Settle an estate
  • Attend training

There may be other reasons that qualify for short-term business travel. Consult with an immigration attorney to learn whether you meet the criteria to obtain a B-1 visa.

B-2 Visas for Tourist Travel

B-2 visas are for those traveling in the U.S. as tourists. The B-2 visa is a non-immigrant status document that allows for temporary touring, and for medical treatment. Those entering the U.S. on B-2 visas are not allowed to work, or attend school. However, in some cases, the visa holder may attend a workshop or similar conference. You are allowed to stay in the U.S. on a temporary basis, and must intend to return to your permanent home.

Obtaining a B-1 or B-2 Visa

If you plan to visit the U.S. for business or pleasure, you must first obtain a B-1 or B-2 visa. Applicants must submit their paperwork, along with any required documentation. Since the process may take some time, it is advisable to apply as early as possible before your intended travel. Getting a visa can be complicated. It is often best to discuss your visa needs with an immigration lawyer before you submit an application. Contact the attorneys at Udall Shumway PLC to learn more about the visa application process.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Immigration Visa Guidelines, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.