Visitor visas allow nonimmigrants to enter the U.S. and live there for a limited period of time. There are two types of visitor visas that are granted to foreign nationals, B-1 and B-2. The visa can also be a combination of B-1 and B-2.
A B-1 visa allows foreign nationals to come to the U.S. for the purpose of business. The person with this visa can stay in the U.S. for a maximum of 6 months at a time.
A B-2 visa is issued to a foreign national for a temporary stay in the U.S. for recreational purposes only. This can include vacation, tourism, medical treatment, visit family or friends, etc. It is valid for six months, as well.
You are required to fulfill the eligibility criteria to be considered for a B-1 or B-2 visa.
- The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business/recreational activity of a legitimate nature.
- You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time.
- You have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States.
- You have a residence outside the United States that you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties that will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit.
- You are otherwise admissible to the United States.
You can apply for a visitor visa in the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country. After applying, you are required to fill the Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. As the name states, this form is to be filled and submitted online. A copy of the form is to be brought to the interview you schedule with the U.S. embassy in your country for the visa. As the process can take time, you are recommended to apply for the visa well before you intend to visit the U.S.
In the interview, you need to bring your passport, photograph, DS-160 form confirmation page, fee receipt, and any other additional document to verify your intent to visit. Fingerprint scans will be taken during the interview as a part of the process. The consulate reserves the right to approve or deny a visa.
Under the Visa Waiver Program, foreign nationals from certain countries are qualified to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business without a visa if they intend to stay for 90 days or less. You will still be required to meet the eligibility criteria set for B-1 and B-2 visas to enter without a visa under this program.
It is possible to extend your stay past the authorized period of your visa. If your passport and visa status remain valid until your extended period of stay, and you have not violated any laws, you can file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
The process can be confusing for someone not familiar with immigration rules. Our New Jersey immigration attorneys at Bhuchar Law Firm can help you if you want to apply for a visitor visa. We can ensure you have the documents needed to apply for a visitor visa and help you understand the process and what is expected of you. If you are looking to extend your stay or change your status on a visitor visa, out attorneys can guide you. If you have any questions, we are happy to answer them. Kindly contact our office to book a consultation.