The most common nonimmigrant visa is the B1/B2 visa. Many people refer to it as the visitor for Business (B1) or tourist visa (B2). There is a distinct difference between the two. The business visitor may 1) conduct negotiations, 2) solicit sales or investment, 3) discuss planned investments or purchases, 4) make investments or purchases, 5) attend meetings while participating fully, 6) interview and hire staff and 7) conduct research. The B1 visa cannot be used for 1) gainful employment, 2) running a business, 3) getting paid by an organization within the United States or 4) participating as a professional in entertainment or sporting events. Each of these activities requires a different visa.
Those people entering on a B2 visa are generally granted six months’ admission. Many people make the mistake that since they are granted a 10-year visa, they are allowed to stay 10 years. This is simply not the case. When one enters on a B2 visa, they are given an I-94 card with an admitted stamp showing the date of entry. Underneath that, the border officer will indicate a date on which the person will have to leave by. Visitor visas should be applied for in the country of citizenship or permanent residence. If you apply in another country you run a high risk of being turned down because the most common reason for refusal of B1/B2 visas is the applicant showing insufficient evidence of social, family or economic ties to his or her country of residence that would ensure that he or she would return there following the visit to the United States. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.