Generally if you wish to visit the United States on a temporary basis you must first obtain a visitor visa. Visitor visas are non-immigrant visas for individuals who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1 category visa), pleasure, tourism, certain medical treatments (B-2 category visa), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
If you want to travel to the United States for reasons that fall outside of B-1 or B-2 visa purposes, you must apply for a visa in a different category, and several other categories exist. Additionally, travelers from certain countries may be exempt from the visitor visa requirement under the Visa Waiver Program. This program allows citizens of participating countries to visit the United States for up to 90 days without having to obtain a B1 or B2 visitor visa.
When you apply for a B-1/B-2 visa, you must show that you qualify for a United States visa in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and National Act. In order to satisfy the qualification requirements, you must demonstrate the following:
In addition to the application requirements, you are only permitted to engage in certain activities when you obtain a B1/B2 visitor visa. For example, individuals with a Business (B-1) visa may not engage in productive employment in the United States.
Appropriate commercial activities under a B-1 visa are very limited and include visiting the United States to:
Appropriate activities under a B-2 visa are limited to:
For more detailed information about visas for persons seeking to visit the United States please see the information below:
Every Maryland immigration lawyer at our firm is highly skilled in working with clients to secure B-1 and B-2 visas. We can help you prepare your application and assist you at all stages of the process, including addressing any prior denials or immigration violations. Should you wish to extend your stay beyond the time limitations in your B-1/B-2 visa category, our legal team can advise you regarding the options that may be available to extend or change your status.
If you have questions about obtaining a B-1, B-2 or other visa category or would like to learn more about the Visa Waiver Program, we encourage you to contact a Maryland immigration lawyer at our firm. We offer a free, initial consultation and can be reached at 410-321-4994 or by completing our online contact form.