B1/B2 Visas for Business, Tourism, and Medical Treatment

Purpose of B1/B2 Visitor Visas

B visas are for persons who wish to visit the United States for business, pleasure, or medical treatment. Business visitors are issued B1 visas, and visitors coming to the United States for pleasure or medical treatment are issued B2 visas. B visa holders are not allowed to work or study in the United States.

To qualify for a B visa, you must show:

  • The purpose of your trip to the United States is for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
  • You will remain in the United States for a specific, limited period time; and
  • You have a permanent home outside the United States and have no intention of it.
  • This is usually shown by presenting evidence of employment abroad and family and social ties to your home country.

B1 Visas for Business Visitors

Business visitors must show that they seek to enter the United States to engage in commercial or professional activity. Examples of such activity include negotiating contracts; consulting with business associates; conducting business or marker research; interviewing and hiring staff; litigation; and participating in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions.

All work done in the United States pursuant to a business visa must be for your employer outside the United States, and you must continue to be paid by your employer outside the United States. You cannot be employed by a U.S. company while on a B1 visa.

B2 Visas for Tourists and Other Visitors

A B2 visa is the visa to apply for if you are coming to the United States for one or more of the following purposes:

  • Tourism or vacation
  • To visit friends and relatives
  • To receive medical treatment in the United States
  • To participate in conventions for social organizations
  • To participate in amateur musical, sports, or similar events for which they will not be paid
  • To accompany a person who is on a B1 Business Visitor Visa

Applying for a B1/B2 Visitor Visa

The application for a B1/B2 visa must be submitted at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. The visa forms you need to file will depend on which U.S. embassy or consulate you are applying through.

Generally if you are apply for a B1/B2 visa, you will need to submit evidence of:

  • Round-trip plane tickets
  • Ability to pay for all the activities you have planned during your trip
  • Confirmations for hotel and/or car rental reservations or reservations for any tourist packages or travel plans within the United States
  • A letter of invitation from a person or business in the United States
  • Your intention to return home after your visit to the United States

If you are applying for a B1 business visitor visa, you will need to submit additional documents providing details about your trip and planned activities in the United States.

If you are applying for a B2 visitor visa so you can receive medical treatment in the United States, you should submit:

  • A medical diagnosis from a local physician, which includes a description of your health problem and the reason you are seeking medical treatment in the United States;
  • A letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States agreeing to treat your health problem and describing the length and cost of the treatment; and
  • A statement of financial responsibility from you or the organization that will pay for your expenses (medical, living, and transportation) in the United States.

Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch deals with providing B1/B2 visas to clients based on their visit purpose