Visitor visa for business and pleasure

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the US must first obtain a visa, either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.

Non-immigrant visa consist of Business Visa (B-1), Pleasure or Medical Treatment (B-2) or combination of both (B-1/B-2) purposes.
Business Visitor Visas (B-1) 
Business Visa is a non-immigrant visa to the USA.It is called B1 Visa. Those who would like to travel to the U.S. for a short duration for business related reasons that do not require actual labor work or receiving payment from U.S. source can apply for a Business Visa. It is appropriate for a variety of business related activities such as attending a conference, business meetings & several other purposes but not for conducting business.You should apply for a visa as soon as possible, and no later than 60 days before the travel date.The lenght of your visa stamp allows you to enter the U.S. at any time within that duration.However, the actual duration of your stay during a particular visit is determined by the date in the form I-94 , stamped at the port of entry by the immigration officer.There is no dependent visa catagory for business visa applicants.
Pleasure, Tourism, Medical Treatment - Visitor Visas (B-2)
This visitor visa is a non-immigrant visa for individuals desiring to enter the US on a temporary basis for pleasure or medical treatment.The B2 visitor visa is also referred to as the "tourist visa". B2 visa may also be used to enter the US for certain type of study.For example, if one is taking a vacation to US, and during that time they wish to take a two-day cooking class for their enjoyment and no credit is earned, then this would be permittedon a B2 visa.It is important to remember that a B-2 visa is only for people who intend to stay for a short and return home.The maximum stay is a year, with a six month extension possible. In almost every case, B-2 will bw admitted for six months.
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Wavier Program enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the US for tourism or business for stay of 90 days or less without a visa.
Not all countries participate in the VWP , not all travelers from VWP countries are eligible to use the program . Currently, 35 countries participate in the Visa Wavier Program.

Visa Waiver Program - Participating Countries 

Andorra Hungary New Zealand
Australia Iceland Norway
Austria Ireland Portugal
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brunei Japan Singapore
Czech Republic Latvia Slovakia
Denmark Liechtenstein Slovenia
Estonia Lithuania South Korea
Finland Luxembourg Spain
France Malta Sweden
Germany Monaco Switzerland
Greece the Netherlands  United Kingdom
Qualifying for a Visitor Visa
There are specific requirements which must be met by applicants to qualify for a visitor visa under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The consular officer at the embassy or consulate will determine whether you qualify for the visa. 
 Applicants for B visitor visas must show that:
-The purpose of their trip is to enter the US for business, pleasure or medical treatment
-They plan to remain for a specific, limited period
-They have funds to cover expenses in the US
-They have compelling social and economic ties abroad
-They have a residence outside the US as well as other binding ties that will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit
Applying for a Visior Visa
Applicants for visitors visa should generally apply the U.S Embassy or consult with authority of the place of their permanent residence. Although visa applicant may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad. It may be difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger, and age 80 and older, generally do not require an interview, unless requested by embassy or consulate. Making your appointment for an interview is the first step in the visa application process. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged. 
Learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview, pay the application processing fee, review embassy specific instructions, and much more by visiting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply.
During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. 
Required Documentation
Must have Documents for US Visitor Visa interview
- Confirmation of US visa application form (DS-160), with CEAC Barcode printout. This is the document you will get once you complete US Visa application form DS-160 online.
- Receipt proof of the visa application fee payment.
- Proof / Copy of Visa interview appointment letter.
- Each applicant irrespective of their age , must possess and carry an individual passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond the intended period of stay.
- Demand draft or cash for visa issuance fee.( If applicable in your case)
What are the Required VIsa Fees?
a) Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee - For current fees for Department of State government services select Fees. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid, when you come for your visa interview.
b) Visa issuance fee – Additionally, if the visa is issued, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.
Additional Documentation
It is important that you refer to the Embassy Consular Section web site to determine visa processing timeframes and instructions, learn about interview scheduling, and find out if there are any additional documentation items required. Learn more by contacting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as visitors under U.S. law by:
- Evidence which shows the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the United States, and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip may be provided. It is impossible to specify the exact form the documentation should take since applicants' circumstances vary greatly.
- Those applicants who do not have sufficient funds to support themselves while in the U.S. must present convincing evidence that an interested person will provide support.
- Depending on individual circumstances, applicants may provide other documentation substantiating the trip's purpose and specifying the nature of binding obligations, such as family ties or employment, which would compel their return abroad.
Do I need a Visa if I have an APEC Business Travelers Card?
Yes, you will still need a visa to travel to the United States unless you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. Travelers are advised that possession of the APEC Business Travelers Card (ABTC) will not change visa requirements, your visa status, or the visa process for travel to the U.S. Review the Frequently Asked Questions for participants in APEC meetings in the United States. 
How can I use my ABTC whien I apply for my Visa?
You will still need to be interviewed, since U.S. law requires visa interviews in most cases and having the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travelers Card (ABTC) does not exempt travelers from this requirement. Holders of the ABTC will be eligible to participate in the U.S. Embassy or Consulate business facilitation programs, which offer expedited visa interview appointments.       
Visa Annotation for Certain Maritime Industry Workers
Effective February 1, 2011, the Departments of State and Homeland Security introduced an annotated version of the B-1 visa, issued to foreign citizens visiting the United States for business purposes that will make foreign maritime workers eligible to apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). Maritime industry workers who will perform services in secure port areas must have their visas annotated “TWIC Letter Received.” Maritime industry workers whose visas are not annotated will not be permitted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to apply for a TWIC. In order for the visa to be annotated, a maritime industry worker must obtain a letter from his/her employer explaining the need for a TWIC and that he/she is a potential TWIC applicant. The maritime industry worker must present this letter when he/she applies for the B-1 visa. Visa applicants must meet all other eligibility requirements for B-1 visas.
Documentation Needed - When Seeking to Travel for Medical Treatment
Persons desiring to travel to the U.S. for medical treatment should be prepared to present the following, in addition to any other documentation the consular officer may require:
- Medical diagnosis from a local physician, explaining the nature of the ailment and the reason the applicant requires treatment in the United States.
 - Letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States, expressing a willingness to treat this specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including doctors’ fees, hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).
- Statement of financial responsibility from the individuals or an organization that will pay for the patient’s transportation, medical and living expenses. The individuals guaranteeing payment of these expenses must provide proof of ability to do so, often in the form of bank or other statements of income/savings or certified copies of income tax returns.
Persons traveling to the U.S. for medical treatment should have a statement from a doctor or institution concerning proposed medical treatment. 
Misrepresentation of a Material Facts, or Fraud
Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States. Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas provides important information about ineligibilities. 
Visa Ineligibility / Waiver
Certain activities can make you ineligible for a U.S. visa. The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-156 lists categories persons who are ineligible under U.S. law to receive visas. In some instances an applicant who is ineligible, but who is otherwise properly classifiable as a visitor, may apply for a waiver of ineligibility and be issued a visa if the waiver is approved. Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas provides important information about ineligibilities, by reviewing sections of the law taken from the Immigration and Nationality Act. 
Additional Information
-Final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued. 
-If the traveler has a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport, do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States. 
- Visitors are not permitted to accept employment during their stay in U.S.
Visa Denials 
If the consular officer should find it necessary to deny the issuance of a visitor visa, the applicant may apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not obliged to re-examine such cases. 
Entering th U.S. -Port of Entry
A Visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the U.S. port-of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it’s very important to keep in your passport. In advance of travel, prospective travelers should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program.
Staying Beyound Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status
- It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Failure to depart the U.S. will cause you to be out-of-status. 
- Beyond the period of time authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and being out-of-status in the United States is a violation of U.S. immigration laws, and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travels to the U.S. 
- According to INA 222 (g) ,if you stay on your non-immigrant authorized stay in the U.S.,your visa will be automatically voided. In this situation, you are required to re-apply for a new non-immigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality.
How Do I Extend My Stay? 
Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS. See Extend Your Stay on the USCIS website. 
How Do I Change My Status?
Some nonimmigrant visa holders, while present in the U.S., are able to file a request which must be approved by USCIS to change to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website.
Important Note: Filing a request with USCIS for approval of change of status before your authorized stay expires, while you remain in the U.S., does not by itself require the visa holder to apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the U.S. while USCIS processes your change of status request, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. 
Further Visa Inquiries
- Questions on visa application procedures and visa ineligibilities should be made to the American consular office abroad by the applicant. Before submitting your inquiry, we request that you carefully review this web site and also the Embassy Consular web site abroad. Very often you will find the information you need.
- If your inquiry concerns a visa case in progress overseas, you should first contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your case for status information. Select U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and you can choose the Embassy or Consulate Internet site you need to contact