With some exceptions, foreign nationals wishing to visit the United States for business or pleasure must first obtain a B-1 (business) or B-2 (pleasure) visa from a U.S. consulate. There is a visa waiver program for citizens of certain countries. B-1 and B-2 visas are valid for short periods of time, not generally exceeding 1 year.
B-1 visas are appropriate for people traveling to the United States on business. B-1 visas are generally issued for the duration of the business activity only, and generally do not exceed 1 year. B-2 visas are appropriate for tourists or those individuals traveling to the U.S. for pleasure. B-2 visas are generally valid for 6 months.
In order to qualify for a B-1/B-2 visa, the applicant must have the intent to leave the U.S. at the expiration of the visa. The applicant must also have and show the financial ability to support himself/herself while in the U.S. B-1/B-2 visa holders cannot engage in employment while in the U.S.
B-1/B-2 visa holders generally cannot change their status while in the United States and must leave the United States at or before the expiration of their visa, but there are exceptions to this rule. Extensions of a B1 or B2 visa can be obtained for periods of up to 6 months.
If you have questions about the B-1/B-2 visa or would like to obtain an extension on a current B-1/B-2 visa, please call Shorstein & Lasnetski at 904-642-3332.