B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa
This is the most widely used visa for pleasure for entry into the US. The B-1 classification is appropriate when a foreign employer requires an alien employee to work temporarily in the United States to further the foreign employer's international transactions. The alien employee may not be employed in activities that are domestic in nature or to hold positions that are most often held by U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and non-immigrant workers. No U.S. employer may employ a business visitor in the U.S. There may be the opportunity for a business visitor to perform services on the premises of a U.S. company if there exists an international relationship between the U.S. company and the alien's foreign employer.
The alien business visitor must intend on leaving the U.S. at the end of the temporary stay and must be seeking admission for the sole purpose of engaging in business activities that have a specific and realistic plan. Most importantly, the foreign business employee must have sufficient financial resources to carry out the purpose of the visit to the U.S. and have a residence abroad that he or she does not intend to abandon.
While the business visitor may not receive remuneration from U.S. sources for services rendered in connection with activities in the U.S., it may be possible for a U.S. business to provide alien business visitors with expense allowances or reimbursement for expenses. The length of stay in the U.S. is usually not more than six months, but the actual period of time would be that which would be fair and reasonable in order to accomplish the purpose of any business trip. Examples of business visitor activities include: commercial transactions; contract negotiations; installation/service/repair of equipment purchased outside the U.S.; consultation with business associates; litigation; certain types of athletes; certain religious and charitable activities; and perhaps investors seeking investments that may qualify them for immigrant or E-2 non-immigrant status.
Turning to the B-2 visitor for pleasure, it is commonly used for tourist activity or social visits. Other types of visits under the B-2 visitor status include: medical treatment; participation in conferences; short courses of study that are incidental to tourist or social activities (e.g., community education, ESL, short certificate programs); and perhaps amateur entertainers or athletes in a non-profit context.
The length of stay is usually no more than 6 months but extensions are some times granted if the purpose of the visit has not yet been fulfilled. A great number of foreigners use a B-2 visa to visit the U.S. if their country of origin is not a member of the Visa Waiver program or if they plan to stay in excess of three months.