In the United States, we have an incredibly complex immigration system. There are so many visa types (all with their own alpha numeric combinations) that is extremely hard to know which visa you may need for a particular purpose. For most individuals wanting to enter the United States, they simply want to come into the country to visit. Luckily, we have a visa for that! 

The B Visa is a temporary, non-immigrant visa that allows the holder to travel to the United States. The visa typically will allow a traveler to come in on tourist visa or for business purposes based on which of the two visa types that the individual possesses. It should be noted, however, that under neither of these two visa classifications is birth tourism valid. If that term is not familiar, it is the practice of visiting a country, in this case the United States of America, to give birth so that child obtains citizenship in that country. If a consular officer has reason to believe a party is only coming to the United States to give birth as their primary purpose, the consular may outright deny their B Visa. 

The B Visa comes in two distinct forms, so knowing which of the two that applies to you is very important.

The first of these visas is the B-1 Visa. The B-1 Visa is the visitor visa for individuals who are entering the country on business grounds. USCIS will generally consider an individual eligible for a B-1 visa if they are going to be participating in a business activity of qualifying or commercial nature. 

This means individuals who are coming into the country for things like work conferences, consulting with clientele or other business associates, settling an estate, negotiating a contract, performing work training, or individuals who may be coming into the country via deadheading. Additionally, these individuals may take part in events as long as there is no payment involved to the person attending. 

The second of these visas is the B-2 visa. The B-2 visa is the visitor visa for people that are simply traveling for pleasure. USCIS will generally see these people as individuals who are coming for recreation purposes. These purposes may include tourism, vacation, visiting friends or family, obtaining some form of medical treatment, participation in social events from fraternal organizations, participating in amateur sports, music, or other events so long as they are not being paid, and enrolling in study for recreational purposes.

This is just a general breakdown of the two visitor visa types and should not be construed as being comprehensive. Additionally, these lists provided are not exhaustive and there could be more activities which qualify you to enter the United States on a B Visa. Additionally, this article merely goes into the existence of the B Visa and doesn’t cover how to obtain a B Visa. So, it is always suggested that you seek the counsel of a qualified immigration legal professional before making any decisions.

If you are contemplating applying for a B Visa or if you have any questions related to the visa, you may set up a consultation with any of our attorneys at The Werner Law Group. The immigration department can be reached by text or phone call seven days a week at 361-885-2883 (Spanish) or 361-747-6263 (English).