Temporary Visas

All entries to the United States as a visitor require the applicant to have an unabandoned permanent residence abroad, an intent to return there, specific plans for a temporary stay in the United States which is brief, lawful, and finite, and sufficient funds to support the planned activities during their visit without working or studying in the U.S. This is true whether the visitor has a B-1/B-2 visa stamp, or travels to the US without a visa but with a valid ESTA registration and passport of a country that qualifies for the Visa Waiver Program. B-1 visitors for business are those whose purpose in coming to the U.S. is for legitimate business travel that does not include performing any productive work for a U.S. entity – permissible activities include attending conferences, negotiating contracts on behalf of a company outside the US, and similar pursuits. B-2 visitors for pleasure are those whose temporary trip is for tourism or personal reasons. B visitors are admitted for up to 6 months at a time, but may not work or attend school during their visit.

Nationals of countries who are eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program, who are able to visit for 90 days or less without a visa under a valid ESTA registration, must apply for B visas if they have ever overstayed and had their ESTA cancelled, or if they have a need to stay for longer than 90 days, such as someone accompanying an unmarried partner who has a work visa, or a parent accompanying a child in F-1 student status.

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