American visas type B
Even if a business trip and a tourist trip to the United States seem antagonistic at first, a mandatory visa brings them together. Among all US visas , the B visa, divided into two categories (B1 and B2) allows you to stay 6 months in the US during a temporary stay that has a specific purpose. Who is the B1 visa and B2 visa intended for? What are the conditions of obtaining? Our answers below.
What is the purpose of B1 and B2 visas?
If you plan to stay in the US for a long time (at least 6 months), then you will need to consider applying for a visa. There are a multitude of visas adapted to various travel reasons and situations ( J1 visa, F1 visa , O and P visas, L1 visa …). It is commonly referred to as a “B1 / B2 visa” but these are in fact two distinct visas: if you want to go to the US for business reasons, it is called business visa B1. As part of a tourist visit, you will need to obtain the B2 tourist visa.
The business visa B1:
This visa allows individuals to stay in the United States up to 6 months maximum for professional reasons. It has a validity of 1, 3 or 10 years. Attention, when we talk about professional reasons, it is not here a work permit (visa H1B) but an authorization to do business with American companies or other commercial partners:
- Meet with US partners
- Attend conferences or seminars
- Attend meetings with associates if you work for a US company;
- Represent a company during a negotiation, sign a contract or make an order for goods.
Under no circumstances can you carry out a remunerated activity or collect a sum of money from a US entity during your stay with the B1 visa (you will need to obtain a work visa for this).
The tourist visa B2:
As the name suggests, this visa is for anyone wishing to visit the United States for more than 90 days. The B-2 visa is also used by people who need to travel in the United States to receive medical services:
- To visit relatives in the country;
- Attend a cultural, sporting, musical event or participate on a voluntary basis;
- Sightseeing, visiting monuments, exploring national parks, discovering historic sites, etc. ;
- Get to know American culture, learn good manners, etc;
- Undertake a road trip of several weeks;
- Camping in the nature;
- Benefit from medical care.
As for the business visa, the B-2 visa does not allow you to participate in paid activities.
How to obtain the B1 / B2 visa?
The B-1 and B-2 visas are temporary authorizations which do not allow in any case to immigrate or to settle permanently in the United States. With this in mind, the first thing to do before applying for a visa is to gather all of your administrative papers allowing you to relate to your country of origin but above all to prove your strong attachment to your country of residence: employment contract, family record, title deed, marriage certificate, etc.
To begin your request, it is first necessary to fill out the form DS-160. This represents a first selection because the information provided will be forwarded directly to the consular services of the US Embassy. Once the form is sent, you can then make an appointment at the embassy to have an interview. This step is mandatory and will allow a US representative to verify your identity and the reason for your trip. The latter will then decide on your eligibility to obtain the desired visa. The fee for a B-1 or B-2 visa is 120 euros, to be paid on the day of the request.
For travelers wishing to make a shorter stay than the 6 months covered by B1 and B2 visas, the ESTA travel authorization is a simpler and more economical solution. In fact, the application fee is only 14 dollars minimum and the processing of your application takes only a few hours. With ESTA, you can make stays of 90 consecutive days for both tourist and business reasons, so you benefit from the advantages of a B1 and B2 visa combined in one document!
To get your ESTA today, simply send your information via our simplified form and in French. Our team will take charge of your entire process in order to save you time. No need to spend an interview at the embassy, we take care of everything! Our online support is also at your disposal to answer any questions you may have.