What is a B Visa?

A B visa, is a visa used to enter the United States either for visiting or for business. Most commonly, people come in on a B-2 visa, which is the visiting type of visa. You need to apply for either visa at the US Consulate and explain your intended purpose. A B-2 visa is generally to come for vacation, to see family, or to see New York for the first time. You want to demonstrate to an officer at the consulate that you have the means to come to New York or to the United States for a visit, you have money; you have every intention of returning back to your home country, usually done by showing evidence of employment through a job letter; or family.

A B-1 visa is generally used for people who are coming into the US for business. They want to come for a conference, for meetings, or for some type of contract negotiation. On both visas, either the B-1 or the B-2, you cannot be coming in to work. You are not allowed to work in the United States on either one of those visas. You also cannot be coming into the United States to live here. It’s purely a temporary visa for either traveling for visiting or for business.

Once you come into the United States at the airport, in general, CBP will allow you to come in for six months. Most visas that are issued from the consulate are good for ten years. It doesn’t mean that you can stay in the United States for ten years; it just means that the visa is good for ten years. Immigration at the airport is going to give you a time period of how long you can remain in the United States, and you must abide by that. If you stay a day over that authorization that they give you at the airport, then you automatically cancel that visa and you’ll have to apply for a new one. If you have questions relating to a B-1 or a B-2 visa, or you’ve overstayed the B-1 or B-2 visa and have concerns about that as well, please contact my office and I’d be happy to discuss that situation with you.

Cheryl David is an experienced immigration attorney in New York City. Contact the office to set up your free initial consultation and get any questions you may have answered.