U.S. Visitor Visas: B-1 / B-2 for the USA

Visa for business travelers and tourists

B-1 / B-2 visa (Temporary Visitor for Business & Pleasure) is a visa category specifically for vacations and business trips. We explain how these popular visitor visas exactly work and who can apply for one. If you need any help with your B-1 / B-1 visa application, do not hesitate to contact us.


What are U.S. visitor visas?

Like the name says, visitor visa holders are allowed to visit the United States for business purposes or vacation.

B-1 / B-2 visa are by far the most requested U.S. visa category. About 65% of all U.S. visa applications were B visa applications.

Hint: Travelers from specific countries, who want to travel to the U.S. for business or pleasure, should check whether they qualify for the visa-free entry under the Visa Waiver Program, also known as ESTA.

Image of a B-1 B-2 visa

Visa Type / Class: B-1 / B-2




Who can apply for a B-1 / B-2 visa for the USA?

There are two different types of B visa:

Visa type Purpose of stay
B-1 Visa (Temporary Visitor for Business) for business trips B-1 visa allow for a stay up to 180 days (per entry) for limited business purposes
B-2 Visa (Temporary Visitor for Pleasure) for tourists B-2 visa allow for a stay up to 180 days (per entry) for touristic activities

The following group of persons can apply for a U.S. visitor visa:

  • Business travelers (B-1)
    A business trip allows you to tend to your business interests in the United States, but you are not allowed to work or get paid in the U.S. Usual reasons for business trips with B-1 visa include meetings, conferences, trade shows and after-sales services.
  • Tourists (B-2)
    Travelers who want to visit the United States for touristic activities or private reasons can apply for a B-2 visa. This visa is mainly used for vacations, family visits and medical treatments.

Be aware: Both visa types mentioned here are nonimmigrant visas. They only allow temporary stays in the USA. If you want to permanently live and work in the USA, you have to apply for an immigrant visa (Green Card).

What is the difference between a B-1 and B-2 visa?

The B catagory is divided in business travels (B-1) and touristic stays (B-2).

However: When visitor visas are issued, there is typically no differentiation between B-1 and B-2 visa. U.S. Consulates usually issue a combined B-1 / B-1 visa, because business trips are often mixed with vacations. Such a combined B visa allows visits for pleasure as well as business.

We would gladly assist you with the B-1 / B-2 visa application process.
Get in touch with our visa consultants now!