B1-B2 Visa and the visa waiver program

About B1/B2 Visa and Visa Waiver Program

Coming to United of States as a visitor will be defined according to the purpose of your visit. You may apply for a B1 visa for a business visit or a B2 visa for  visits  for other purposes except business. For applicants of some countries that have a low ratio of refusal, a program named “Visa Waiver Program” (VWP) has been designed to enter to United States up to 90 days to conduct business or for pleasure without first obtaining a B1 visa or a B2 visa.

As a general requirement, in order to obtain a non-immigrant visa  (B1/B2 Visa )or qualify to Visa Waiver Program you must show:

  • Intention to not abandon your home country (strong ties) and;
  • A valid Passport (plus 6 months).

Frequent questions and Answers (FAQ)

What are strong ties?

“Ties” are the various aspects of a person’s life that bind them to their country or residence: possessions, employment, social and family relationships. Some examples of ties can be a person’s job and income, a house or apartment, a car, close family relationships, bank accounts, etc. Consular officers are trained to look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural and other factors. With younger applicants who may not have had an opportunity to form many ties, consular officers may look at the applicant’s specific intentions, family situations and long-range plans and prospects within his or her country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.

What do I require for a B1 visa?

If your company is financing your visit, carry relevant proof of the same. If the company is new or unknown, you must carry documents about your company, any brochure, Paper Ad cutting etc. as proof of the nature of you company business, financial strength, tax papers etc. it will be helpful to carry tax records of the company for the last 3 years.

My purpose to visit US is for pleasure or to get a medical evaluation, is a visa B2 suitable for me?

Yes, you may qualify for a B2 visa if the reason of your visit is solely for pleasure, to assist to an event, to accompany a relative who is a H1B visa holder, or for medical treatment. You will need to prove to the U.S. immigration authorities that you:

  • Plan to stay for a limited, specific period of time – and definitely not permanently.
  • Have strong ties as described above.
  • Have permission to enter a foreign country (probably your own) at the end of your U.S. stay, and

have the financial means to pay for your visit to and departure from the United States.

How Long I Can Stay in the U.S. on a B1-B2 Visa Compared to on the VWP?

If you enter the United States under a visa waiver program, your maximum stay will be 90 days. For a B2 tourist visa, you will normally be allowed to stay for up to six months.

As a B1/B2 visa holder or under VWP, can I change my visa to a working visa or to an immigrant visa?

As a B1/B2 visa holder you may change status to a non-immigrant visa status if you find an employer who can sponsor and process a working visa for you. Also, you may adjust your status if you become the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (most likely by marriage, or because you are the minor unmarried child or parent of a U.S. citizen).

Under VWP, you cannot change status to any other nonimmigrant/immigrant visa, unless you qualify for an immigrant visa as an immediate relative applicant or apply for asylum.

What Rights VWP Entrants Give Up?

People who obtain an actual B2 tourist visa before they enter the United States will enjoy rights to:

  • a hearing in front of an Immigration Judge if the U.S. government decides it wants to remove them (deport or send them home), and
  • request an extension of their visit without leaving the United States.

 You waive these rights under VWP. However, if, you have a medical or other emergency arises, or if you fear persecution in your home country, you can request a longer stay, or apply for asylum.