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Visiting the USA

Basically, there are four types of non immigrant visas for visitors to the U.S. B-1 visa is issued to visitors who want to enter the U.S. for a temporary period to engage in genuine business activities, such as meetings, conferences, negotiating contracts and consultations. B-1 visa holders will not be able to work in the United States and cannot be paid from a U.S. company. If you wish to work in the US, you have to go through the work visa process and get one.

B-2 visitor visa:

On the other hand, a B-2 visa is a tourist visitor visa that is issued to visitors who want to enter the U.S. for a temporary period for tourism purposes or to visit their families or friends and also for medical treatment. Additionally, in certain instances, persons accompanying a spouse or partner who holds another visa status in the US will be issued a B-2 visa. The third type is the WB, waiver for business and WT, waiver for a tourist.

A B-1/B-2 visa is valid for six months as reflected on the Form I-94 and can be extended once the visa holder is lands in the U.S. They can also file an application to change their status to another non immigrant or immigrant status if they are eligible.

Non immigrants under the WB and WT categories enter the US under a visa waiver program and are exempt from a visa. They are not required to apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate before entering the U.S. Only citizens of certain countries are eligible under the WB and WT categories. However, WB and WT non immigrants cannot extend their stay in the U.S. or change their status to another non immigrant or immigrant category. An immediate relative of a US citizen being an exemption to this rule. Their stay is limited to 90 days. Such non immigrants will be issued a separate Form I-94 which has the terms of the person’s stay

Visa applicants should demonstrate that the purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment. Also that they plan to remain in the US for a specific and limited period. They should also prove that they have a residence outside the U.S. and other binding ties which will ensure that the applicant will return abroad at the end of the visit.

The tourist visitor visa process:

Tourist visitor visa applicants should generally apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Though applicants can apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it will be quite difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.

Keep the required documents ready and complete the necessary application forms. You can contact the US Embassy or Consular office in your country to know the filing procedures. The procedures differ depending on the country from which you are applying. You might be required to fix an appointment in some US embassies whereas others may accept walk-ins.

You should also demonstrate that you are properly classifiable as visitors under U.S. law. You have to provide evidence that shows the purpose of the trip and the proposed intent to depart the United States. You should also prove that you have adequate finance to to cover the costs of the trip.

You can extend B-1/B-2 status after you enter the U.S. on a valid non immigrant visa. In such a case, you have to file Form I-539 with the USCIS.

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