USA – Visitor Visa

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USA Visitor Visa (B1/B2)


In the United States, the visitor visa is treated as a non-immigration visa. This will not be permanent.
There are two categories of non-permanent visa, the Business Visa (B-1) and the visiting, pleasure or tourism Visa (B-2). There is a combination of both these visas, (B-1/B-2).


Business (B-1)

This allows you to do the following. You can talk, consult and discuss with business associates, you can go to business, professional, scientific and educational conferences and conventions. You can settle and finalize an estate. A contract can also be negotiated.

To go into a bit more detail. For the following groups, there must be no money transactions in the United States. This includes the following:

  • If you are attending a business conference, trade shows or events, you cannot receive no salary from a United States company or concern.
  • If you are a lecturer and/or a speaker, you can receive expenses only. If you receive an honorarium from an organization in the United States, this must not be longer than nine days for one organization. There is a limit of five organizations over six months for any similar repayment arrangements.
  • A visiting researcher must not receive a salary or income whilst in the United States.
  • Any sales, the selling of products and exhibitions, must all take place outside the United States.
  • There should be no repairing or installation of equipment with payment. Such activities should be only be part of a non-profit demonstration of installation and repairs, as part of an education program.
  • Training should not be about providing employment in the United States. Any payment should simply be for reimbursements and costs for the visit.


Tourism and Visiting Visa ( B-2)

For both the Business and Tourist Visas a lot of the hard work could properly be undertaken by Tourist Agencies or specialist and reliable online Visa agencies. This will especially be the case regarding the documentation you might need and how to go about processing your visa. Yes, there is perceived to be an increased terrorist threat, so careful vetting is becoming even more important.

The following general requirements are needed for a Visiting Visa (B-2):

  • The visit is solely for tourism.
  • The visit is solely for tourism.
  • Or simply a vacation or a holiday.
  • You are visiting relatives or friends.
  • For medical treatment.
  • You are taking part in a social event.
  • You are taking part in an amateur (non-paid) sporting or musical event.
  • You are taking part in a course which is recreational only. This should not be a course that leads to a credit for an American College or University.


Application Process

Before doing anything, it might be an idea to contact your American Embassy or Consulate to see if there any special factors relating to your visa application in your home country.


Online Applications

This is known as the Online non-immigration visa application (DS-160).

For those on short business trips and holiday visits, you will probably need the following documentation:

  • A current passport. If it due to “expire” during your visit to the United States, then you must have it updated.
  • Details of your travel itinerary, if you have already organized this.
  • Any details of trips to the United States over the last five years.
  • Plus, any further information that might be needed to US immigration.

Please also note that you will need to fill out the form in English. The only exception to this will possibly writing your name in your native language.

Family groups can be included in the application. The official program will generate individual pages for different family applicants.


Official Photographs

The United States immigration has strict regulations regarding passport type photographs. It is highly recommended that you use a professional photographer that is qualified in taking either standard or digital photographs to these standards.

This is a summary of some of the key requirements:

  • This should be a color photograph.
  • View the official template. Basically, the top of the head to the bottom of the chin, should take up between 50% and 69% of the images overall.
  • The photo must have been taken only in the last six months.
  • It should be taken against a white or off white background.
  • You must have a full face, with a neutral expression, looking straight at the camera, with both eyes open.
  • Wear your normal everyday clothes.
  • No uniforms, only religious clothing is allowed.
  • Hats should not be worn unless for religious purposes.
  • Headphones, ear pieces etc. should not be worn.
  • Glasses should not be worn, unless there are exceptional medical reasons.



In certain circumstances an interview may be required. If this is needed, then you will have to make arrangements to go to the American Embassy or Consulate in your home country.


Visa Ineligibility

There could be a number of reasons for this.

This may be due to communicable diseases and showing you have the necessary immunization. Another factor could be someone with a history of behavioral disorders, which could be a risk to others.

This could be for a major crime that involved a prison sentence, the use of narcotics, terrorist or hate crimes.

It is worth stating that for the bulk of tourists or visitors wishing to go to the United States, should not be too concerned by medical or criminal issues, if they do not apply to you.



Most of the United States procedures are very straight forward. If you are going on an organized holiday through a tour agency, then a lot of the work will be done for you. Alternatively, you can call on the help of an experienced and trusted visa application agency. They will help you with all the necessary work needed in getting a Visitor visa to the United States of America.

What to do next


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