The B non-immigrant visa category covers foreign visitors for business (B-1) and pleasure (B-2). The vast majority of visitors to the U.S. come in the B visa category. Generally, visits in the B category are brief, and involve sightseeing, visiting family, obtaining health care, or conducting business on behalf of an oversees employer. It is possible to obtain a period of admission of one year in the B category, but six months is much more likely. The visa may be extended for period of no more than six months.
Visits in this category are temporary, and may not be used to attend school in the U.S. or be employed by a U.S. employer.
There are 5 requirements that must be met to obtain B status:
- Foreign national must be entering the U.S. for a limited period of time
- Foreign national must intend to depart the U.S. upon expiration
- While in the U.S., the foreign national maintains a residence in the U.S. which s/he has no intention of abandoning
- Foreign national has adequate financial arrangements to travel to, spend time in, and depart the U.S.
- the alien will engage solely in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure
It is possible to obtain a B visa abroad, at a consular post in the home country, or here in the U.S. through a Change of Status application.