US visitor visa is one of the best known types of entry permits when it comes to traveling to the United States. It is a regular visa that requires applicants to visit the Embassy and undergo an interview with a consular officer.
The visitor visa is a nonimmigrant entry permit that can be used for tourism or business purposes. Only short stays are allowed to all visitor visa holders. The length of the permitted stay, number of entries, and the validity period differ depending on the applicant’s nationality.
Read on to learn all about the B1/B2 visitor visas, their characteristics, application process, how to prepare for the visa interview, and more!
B1/B2 visa characteristics
How can travelers use the visitor visa to the United States? Since it is a nonimmigrant visa, it’s essential to notice that this type of entry permit is suitable only for short trips. Travelers visiting the US with a visitor visa cannot seek employment or overstay in the country.
B1 Visitor Visa
The B1 visa is a business entry permit designed for all entrepreneurs that need to handle any business affairs in the United States. With this type of visa, you may:
- attend business meetings and conferences
- educate yourself at seminars and conventions
- negotiate future contracts
- look for new collaboration opportunities
- settle an estate
B2 Visitor Visa
The second type of visitor visa is the B2 one that is dedicated to all tourists traveling to the United States. See how can you use this type of entry permit:
- going on vacation
- taking a road trip across the States and exploring the country
- making friends and family visits
- participating in any social event (music, sports, fraternal)
- taking a course or a study
- undergoing medical treatment
The applicant’s nationality decides on the length of permitted stay, validity period, and the number of entries allowed.
Visitor Visa application process
The process of applying for the United States visitor visa may seem a bit long and complicated. It requires not only filling a form online but also submitting the documents at an Embassy and going through the visa interview.
Prepare the photograph of the applicant, passport that will stay valid for at least 6 months from the planned date of entering the US, and any documents supporting the purpose of your stay.
Once you get the appropriate documents, follow these steps to apply for your visitor visa:
- Choose the type of entry permit according to what the purpose of your visit is (business, tourism, or a combination of both).
- Fill the DS-160 application form online with the necessary data and attach your photograph to it.
- Collect all of the required documents (passport, supporting documents, and the printed DS-160 form).
- Pay the application fee and schedule a visa appointment with the consular officer for your interview.
- Attend your visa interview and submit the collected documents to justify the purpose of your visit.
The supporting documents differ depending on what type of visitor visa have you selected. For tourist visits, this may be proof of having hotel reservations, a return ticket, or evidence of having sufficient funds for the trip.
A the second visa type may require providing a business card or an invitation letter from the company you plan on working with, or any other document proving the purpose of your stay.
The B1 and B2 visas were designed for all tourist and business visitors that want to travel to the United States for a short period of time. The application process is a bit complicated and requires providing different supporting documents.
If your country of citizenship is taking part in the Visa Waiver Program, it would be much easier to apply for the ESTA permit that is a multiple-entry visa. ESTA allows numerous visits of 90 days each for both tourism and business purposes.
Moreover, instead of waiting weeks for your visitor visa, apply online for ESTA that is processed within 72 hours and does not require applicants to attend any interview or go to the Embassy. Save yourself time, energy, and money and apply for an electronic visa today!
FAQ on the United States Visitor Visa
How can I get a tourist visa to the USA?
To get a tourist visa to the USA, simply fill the DS-160 form online with some basic personal and travel details. Attach a photograph of yourself and start collecting the necessary supporting documents. Pay the application fee and schedule an interview appointment. Lastly, attend the interview and submit the essential documents. If the consular officer decides your visit to the US is justified, your visa would be approved.
How long can you stay in the US on a visitor visa?
The length of the permitted stay, as well as the validity period, and the number of entries allowed depend on the applicant’s nationality. It’s best to contact the closest US Embassy or a Consulate to get further information.
How does the visa interview process look like?
Applying for the visitor visa requires the applicants to undergo an interview with the consular officer. Please note! Travelers under the age of 13 or above 80 usually do not need to attend the interview. Once you have paid the fee and scheduled the appointment in an Embassy or Consulate, gather the supporting documents and attend the interview. You will have to prove that the purpose of your stay in the US is valid.
What are the required documents for the B1/B2 US visas?
To fill the application form, the only two documents you will need are a valid passport that will not expire for at least 6 months from the intended arrival date and the applicant’s face photo. Once the form is filled, print it out and take it with you to your interview appointment along with other supporting documents that differ depending on the purpose of your stay.
Do I need a letter of invitation when applying for the B1/B2 visitor visa?
An invitation letter is not necessary to have upon your travel to the United States. Even if the letter is provided with the application, it does not guarantee positive visa approval. Make sure that you have the appropriate documents to prove that your stay is shorterm and that you will leave for your home country when attending the interview appointment.