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Travel Visas for Business or Pleasure

11 October 2010 | News

Travel Visas for Business or Pleasure

If you are planning on traveling to the United States, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must generally first obtain a visa, either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the United States port of entry and request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to enter the U.S.

The “visitor” visa is a non-immigrant visa for a person that desires to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), for pleasure, or medical Treatment (B-2) or a combination of both (B-1/B-2).

Business Visitor Visas (B-1)

For example, if the purpose for your planned travel is to consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention or conference on specific dates, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business visitor visa (B-1) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel.

Pleasure, Tourism, Medical Treatment -Visitor Visas (B-2)

If your planned travel is pleasure in nature, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, and participation by amateurs, who will receive no remuneration, in musical, sports and similar events or contests, then a visitor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel. If you are going to the U.S. primarily for tourism, but want to take a short course of study which is recreational (and not for credit towards a degree), and the course is less than 18 hours per week, this is permitted on a visitor visa. As an example, if you are taking a vacation to the U.S., and during this vacation you would like to take a two-day cooking class for your enjoyment, and there is no credit earned, then this would be permitted on a visitor visa.

Visa Waiver Program

Travelers coming to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the U.S. without a visa if they meet the visa waiver program requirements.

Currently, 35 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:

Andorra Iceland Norway
Australia Ireland Portugal
Austria Italy San Marino
Belgium Japan Singapore
Brunei Latvia Slovakia
Czech Republic Liechtenstein Slovenia
Denmark Lithuania South Korea
Estonia Luxembourg Spain
Finland Malta Sweden
France Monaco Switzerland
Germany the Netherlands United Kingdom
Hungary New Zealand  

Source for this information  is State.Gov.Org.

At Washington Express Visas our visa, passport, document translation and legalization specialist can answer any questions or comments and guide you through the complex visa and passport rules and regulations.   You can reach us at (202) 393-3030.