A citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa. The B1 / B2 nonimmigrant visa category is for foreign nationals who wish to temporarily visit the United States, for the purpose of doing business or for pleasure, such as sightseeing or visiting a family member. The purpose of the visa category is to encourage international travel by citizens of foreign countries to the United States for cultural, social, and economic benefits. either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.
The B-1 Business Visa
The B-1 business visa is granted to those who travel to the United States for the purpose of entering into negotiations, developing commercial activities whose economic benefit is completed or caused outside the United States, among others. The term "business" is very ambiguous and broad and can encompass a multiplicity of activities, however, the point of focus is that these are activities that are not productive or remunerative.
The State Department has specifically stated that the following are permitted "commercial" activities:
- Participate in business transactions that do not involve gainful employment in the United States
- Negotiate contracts-Consult with business partners.
- Participate in scientific, educational, professional, or commercial conventions, conferences, or seminars.
- Undertake an independent investigation.
The B-2 Pleasure Visa
The B-2 pleasure visa is granted to those who travel to the United States for the purpose of visiting relatives in the United States, sightseeing, participating in cultural activities, among others. The term "pleasure" is very broad and can encompass many activities. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a traveler must be able to concretely explain the purpose of their visit and their travel plan. The following documents may be appropriate to present during the B-2 visa application:
- Itineraries, purchase receipts, and brochures of tourist activities and/or tourist packages.
- Invitation letter from a family member (s) or friend (s) residing in the United States.
- Invitations to family, social, fraternal, or service events.
- Programs, agendas, or press releases of conventions, conferences, or social, fraternal, or service conventions.
For non-immigrants with a B-2 visa, it is absolutely prohibited to engage in employment while in the United States.
The Complexities of the B Visa
The burden of proof
Both when applying for the B visa and when entering the United States, a traveler must bear in mind that it is he, the foreigner who wishes to enter the United States, who must demonstrate that he does not wish to remain in the country indefinitely. and that there is consistency between the purpose of the trip that you stated in your visa petition, and the statements made by the port of entry agent (at the airport in the United States).
The length of stay
Except in exceptional cases, the entry and stay of a traveler who comes to the United States is subject to a maximum period of six months. Although a person can leave the United States, after the expiration of the six months and enter again, in many cases a second visit in a short period of time tends to generate suspicions in the agents of the ports of entry.
Understanding the purpose of the trip
If a person opts for the choice of a B1 / B2 visa to travel to the United States, they must be clear about their purpose of travel, have supporting documentation at all times, and be able to answer the following questions:
- What is the reason for your trip to the United States?
- What activities do you plan to carry out in the United States?
- Unless the purpose of the trip is to visit relatives who live in the United States, what is your travel itinerary? Do you have documentary supports of the said itinerary?
- What is your residence outside the United States?
- What ties do you have with your country of residence?
The B visa to accompany a non-immigrant family member
Whoever has or is applying for a B visa wishes to travel to the United States for the purpose of accompanying another "principal" foreign national, who will have nonimmigrant status, the class B nonimmigrant must show that he is not eligible for a benefit of visa as a dependent, a spouse or child. Individuals in B visa nonimmigrant status may accompany principal foreign nationals with H, L, F, J, My NATO visa.
According to the Foreign Affairs Manual, a foreign citizen who is eligible for a visa benefit as a dependent, but for whom it is "inconvenient or impossible" to apply for the appropriate visa, can apply for a B-2 visa. However, this is not recommended as it should be noted that:
- Even as a companion of a non-immigrant, the beneficiary of a B-2 visa is authorized a B-2 period of admission typically of six months.
- Extensions B-2 even accompanied by supporting evidence establishing nonimmigrant intent and residence abroad, can be time-consuming and complex.
- Although a person can leave the United States and request readmission, such readmission request could be denied.
In contrast, a Visa benefit as a dependent has the following benefits: -With a non-immigrant visa dependent on their passport, the foreign citizen is usually admitted to the United States by a person. Longer period than the period normally granted to B-2 visa holders, eliminating the need for an extension.
A longer visa validity period should allow the foreign citizen to travel internationally, without being questioned extensively in each application for admission. In summary, although it may be inconvenient to gather the necessary documents to apply for a visa benefit as a dependent, failure to do so may have adverse consequences for the traveler.