B visa category is reserved for foreign nationals who wish to enter the U.S. temporarily for business (B1) and for pleasure or medical treatment (B2). To determine whether you should apply for B1 or B2, consider the nature of your planned trip. If it is recreational, such as visiting family members, tourism, amusement, or receiving medical treatment, a B2 visa would be more appropriate. If the purpose of your travel is to attend business meetings or scientific conferences, negotiate a contract, settle an estate, etc., you should apply for a B1 visa.
Citizens from 27 countries currently participating in the Visa Waiver Program do not need a B visa to visit the U.S.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, a visitor visa applicant is presumed to have immigrant intent. To qualify for a visitor visa, an applicant must prove to the consulate officer that s/he is not an intending immigrant, by demonstrating all of the following:
To apply for a B visa, you need to make a visa interview appointment with a U.S. embassy or consulate that has jurisdiction over your permanent residence. You may be able to apply for a B visa at a third country, but it is often more difficult.
Generally you will need the following documents:
A visa, within its validity period, allows you to travel to the port-of-entry (POE) of the United States. At that point a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will either permit or deny your entry to the U.S. after inspection. If allowed, you will be assigned an authorized stay which is indicated on your I-94 card. You must depart the U.S. before your authorized stay expired. Your information will also be entered into the US-VISIT system at the POE. You must turn in your I-94 card to the airline when departing the US.
Yes. You may file Form I-539 with the USCIS before your authorized stay expires. You are then allowed to remain in the US legally until a decision is made on your I-539 application, or up to 240 days, whichever comes first. If approved, a form I-797, with a new I-94 attached, will be mailed to you showing a new departure date.
Note that USCIS must physically receive your I-539 application on or before the last day of your authorized stay. If you are already late, you must prove that the delay of filing your extension was reasonable and also due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control.
If your application for extension is denied, and your previously approved stay has already expired, you will be considered out of status from the date your original authorized stay expired. You must leave the US as soon as possible to stop accumulating your unlawful stay, and to minimize any potential impacts it may have on your future applications.
Under such condition, any B visa you may have is also considered void. For these reasons we highly recommend you apply for an extension well before your B1 or B2 authorized stay expires. USCIS suggests two months in advance, but no more than six months.
No, you must change your status to F or M before you may enroll in any classes. Recreational classes or casual, short courses that are not considered as part of an academic or certification program are generally acceptable.