Application Process for a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa

How can I apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa?

If you are a foreign individual and you wish to visit the United States temporarily as a visitor for business or for pleasure, you may need to apply for a visa abroad first. A B-1 Visa for Business and a B-2 visitor for travel, tourism and visitors are U.S. visas that allow for temporary entry into the United States, usually for a period not exceeding 6 months at a time.

Individuals from certain countries, including those participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), do not need to get a visa abroad before entering the United States for short tourist visits. Read more about the ESTA program here.

Most citizens of Canada are B-1/B-2 visa exempt and can enter the United States with only a Canadian passport. For more information on Canadian visitors to the U.S., contact our Los Angeles immigration attorney for a free consultation.


How to apply for a B Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad

Typically, applying for a B visa is fairly straightforward. Individuals may apply for a B visa in his or her home country. Applicant must prepare an official form and the proper documentation, pay the fees and make a visit to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a personal interview.

It is very important to take the process seriously. Failure to provide a complete application can lead to a visa denial, which can have adverse affects later on.

What forms and documents should I prepare for my B visa application?

Your application for a B-1 or B-2 visa will consist of the appropriate U.S. Department of State form as well as documents collected by yourself. The Nonimmigrant Visa application form, DS-160, can be completed only online prior to the scheduling of the nonimmigrant visa interview. The remaining documents and forms you will bring with you to the visa interview.

The B-1/B-2 visa application should include the following items:

  1. Form DS-160 - after completing this online, you will need to print out the confirmation page with the barcode and bring it to your interview;
  2. MRV fee receipt - after you have paid the relevant machine-readable visa (MRV) application fee ($160) you will receive a receipt, which you will bring to the interview
  3. Your Passport - your passport must not expire within 6 months later than the end of your intended B-2 stay in the U.S.
  4. One photo of you - this must be a U.S. passport style photo, 2"x2"
  5. Documents showing purpose of trip - examples include return plane ticket, hotel, bus, various tickets. Must show intent to depart United States
  6. Financial Ability proof - you must be able to establish that once you enter the United States you have enough funds to support yourself for the entire extent of your stay

Attending the Consular Interview

You will need to contact the U.S. Embassy after you have completed Form DS-160 online to schedule a personal interview for your nonimmigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

If you have any questions about temporary nonimmigrant visas, contact our experienced visa and immigration lawyer now for a FREE consultation. We also help clients prepare for the B1/B2 visa interview with US Consulate.