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Business/Tourist Visa

FAQ

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Overview

The B-1/B-2 visitor visa is for people traveling to the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). Generally, the B-1 visa is for travelers consulting with business associates, attending scientific, educational, professional or business conventions/conferences, settling an estate or negotiating contracts. The B-2 visa is for travel that is recreational in nature, including tourism, visits with friends or relatives, medical treatment and activities of a fraternal, social or service nature. Often, the B-1 and B-2 visas are combined and issued as one visa: the B-1/B-2.

Qualifications

If you apply for a B-1/B-2 visa, you must demonstrate to a consular officer that you qualify for a U.S. visa in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 214(b) of the INA presumes that every B-1/B-2 applicant is an intending immigrant. You must overcome this legal presumption by showing:

  • That the purpose of your trip to the United States is for a temporary visit, such as business, pleasure, or medical treatment
  • That you plan to remain in the United States for a specific, limited period of time
  • Evidence of funds to cover your expenses while in the United States
  • That you have a residence outside the United States, as well as other binding social or economic ties, that will ensure your return abroad at the end of your visit

Personal or domestic employees and crew members working aboard vessels within the Outer Continental Shelf may qualify for B-1 visas under certain circumstances.

Some foreign nationals may be ineligible for visas according to The Immigration and Nationality Act. You can read more about The Immigration and Nationality Act and visa ineligibility here.

Application Items

If you apply for a business/tourist visa, you must submit the following:

  • A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. Visit the DS-160 webpage for more information about the DS-160.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
  • One (1) 2"x2" (5cmx5cm) photograph taken within the last six months.taken within the last six months. This page has information about the required photo format.
  • A receipt showing payment of your US$160 non-refundable nonimmigrant visa application processing fee, paid in local currency. This page has more information about paying this fee. If a visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, depending on your nationality. The Department of State's website can help you find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.

In addition to these items, you must present an interview appointment letter confirming that you booked an appointment through this service. You may also bring whatever supporting documents you believe support the information provided to the consular officer.

How to Apply

Step 1
Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2
Pay the visa application fee.

Step 3
Schedule your appointment on this web page. You will need three pieces of information in order to schedule your appointment:

  • Your passport number
  • The receipt number (Click here if you need help finding this number.)
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page

Step 4

Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring:

  • A printed copy of your appointment letter
  • Your DS-160 confirmation page
  • One recent photograph
  • Your current passport and all old passports

Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.

Supporting Documents

The application forms and visa interview are designed to elicit sufficient information to determine an applicant’s eligibility for a visa. Although not required for most applications, applicants may also bring documents that they feel will be useful in explaining their purpose of travel, ties to their residence abroad, or ability to pay for their trip.

Consular officers may review supporting documents if they believe it will help in adjudicating a case, but will primarily evaluate your specific intentions, family situation, and your long-range plans and prospects within your country of residence based on your interview. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.

While additional documents are not required for most applicants, there are certain situations in which documentation is required. For instance, if you have ever extended your stay in the United States or changed your visa status, please bring all related documents to your appointment.

If you have ever been arrested or convicted for any crime or offense, please bring a recent copy of a good conduct certificate and court records detailing your conviction. If the criminal offense took place in Poland, you should contact the National Criminal Register Information Office at Czerniakowska Street 100 in Warsaw (see map) to request a good conduct certificate. If the criminal offense took place outside of Poland, you should bring a good conduct certificate/police record and court records issued by governmental authorities of the country where the offense occurred. Documents should be translated into English.

Caution: Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility.
The visa process and all information presented by applicants in the course of their visa applications will remain confidential.

Supporting Documents for Applicants Seeking Medical Care

If you wish to travel to the United States for medical treatment, then you should be prepared to present the following documentation in addition to the documents listed above and those the consular officer may require:

  • A medical diagnosis from a local physician explaining the nature of your ailment and the reason you require treatment in the United States.
  • A letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States expressing a willingness to treat this specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including doctors' fees, hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).
  • A statement of financial responsibility from the individuals or organization paying for your transportation, medical and living expenses. The individuals guaranteeing payment of these expenses must provide proof of their ability to do so, often in the form of bank or other statements of income/savings or certified copies of income tax returns.

More Information

For more information about business and tourist visas, visit the Department of State's website.