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B-1 & B-2 Visitor Visas

Family members of International students may enter the United States using a B Visa or ‘Visitor for Business or Pleasure’ Visa. This status includes the following classifications: B-1 visitor for business, B-2 visitor for pleasure, WB (visa waiver for business) and WT (visa waiver for pleasure.) One of these notations will be written on the visitor’s I-94 arrival/departure record, the small card that is normally stapled to the passport.

Qualifying for a Visa

Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as visitors under U.S. law.

The presumption in the law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
  • That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
  • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States;
  • Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and
  • That they have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

Where Do I Apply for a Visitor Visa?

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the American Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.