Overview: The B visa is available to foreign nationals coming to the United States for business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2). Generally, this visa issued for 3-6 month stays in the United States. Acceptable activities for business visitors, include attending business meetings such as negotiations or sales calls, procurement of goods, components or raw materials, consultations with U.S. business colleagues, litigation, independent research or to arrange employment or investment in the United States. NOTE: gainful employment is not an acceptable B-1 activity.
Procedure: To obtain a B visa, a visitor must submit a DS-160 or DS 156, Application for Nonimmigrant Visa application at a U.S. Consulate abroad. If you are a male between the ages of 20 and 45 you must also submit a DS-157 Supplemental Application for Nonimmigrant Visa. The visitor must also submit evidence of their ability to support themselves while in the United States and evidence of their intent to return to their home country upon completion of their business in the United States.
Visa Waiver Program: Nationals of many countries are eligible to come to the US for business or pleasure for 90 days without obtaining a visa. At the time of departure from their home country, they must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months and a round trip ticket to the US. For business persons, careful consideration of the trip and its purpose should be made prior to traveling on visa waiver, due to the program’s severe limitations.
The list of countries eligible to participate does change from time to time. While a current list is provided below, always check with your attorney prior to leaving your home country to be sure it is still on the list.
Visa Waiver Eligibility: Nationals of the following countries are eligible to enter the US for 90 days without first obtaining a visa.
the United Kingdom*
the Channel Islands
Isle of Man
* United Kingdom does not refer to British overseas citizens, British dependent territories’ citizens, or citizens of British Commonwealth countries.