U.S. Law Center

Should you get a B-1 or B-2 tourist visa?

There are many reasons that people from outside of the U.S. may want a temporary visa. Some may have trouble deciding what type of visa to look into, since there are many kinds that are suitable for different situations. Temporary stays can usually be catered to by a temporary visitor visa.

According to the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs, visitor visas, also known as a tourist visa, is a temporary visa that can be given to anyone from a foreign country who wishes to visit the U.S. for a number of reasons. Whether it is for a visit, for fun, tourism or for business, as long as the stay is temporary, it can be covered by visitor visas. There are two different types of visitor visas that an immigrant can look into. 

B-2 visas are meant for those who visit the country for recreation. Reasons for obtaining a B-2 visa can include visiting family and friends, touring, attending events organized by social groups, and traveling for music, sports or contests as long as the performances are not professional venues that are for pay. In addition, people who wish to visit the U.S. for medical reasons also fall under the B-2 category. On the other hand, B-1 visas are meant for immigrants who are visiting the country on business. This includes people who are trying to negotiate contracts, settle estates, or attend business meetings, conferences or conventions.

Using these lists as a guideline, people can determine whether a B-1 or B-2 tourist visa would be a better option for them.

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