B1 and B2 visas are common visas that are usually simple to apply for and quick to receive. With a B1 or B2 visa, you are allowed to enter the United States multiple times as there are no restrictions on the number of times you can visit. However, if you travel frequently to the U.S. for long periods, you might need to prove that you do not intend to immigrate there. The maximum B1/B2 duration is one year. The duration of your stay in the U.S. is determined by an immigration officer at the port of entry. The officer will make a judgment of an appropriate period for you to stay for the purpose of your visit. If you end up wanting to stay longer than your initial stay, you can apply for an extension while you are visiting the U.S. If you are approved, your stay will usually be renewed for six months.
The B1 visa is generally for short-term business trips, while the B2 visa is for tourism. A B1/B2 Tourist visa is a temporary, non-immigrant visa. It allows you to travel to the United States for business or tourism. To attend to short-term business discussions, negotiations, meetings, and site inspections are common reasons to apply for a B1 visa, while to visit family, relatives, or friends are common reasons to apply for a B2 visa. Both B1 and B2 visas prohibit you from working while visiting. If you have a B1 visa, then you are only permitted to the business activities previously stated. The B1/B2 visa allows you to stay for a maximum of 180 days per entry.
If you are traveling with a B1 visa you may engage in the following activities:
· Business-related contractual negotiations
· Business discussions, conferences, meetings, etc. with trading partners
· Attendance in specialized business-related meetings, conferences, etc.
· Research, tours, inspections, etc. for business purposes
· Buying products, materials, etc.
· Testifying in U.S. courts of law
If you are traveling with a B2 visa you may engage in the following activities:
· Tourism and related activities in the U.S. and U.S. islands
· Staying in the homes of family, relatives, friends, or acquaintances in the U.S.
· Undergoing examination, treatment, surgery, etc. at medical institutions in the U.S.
· Participating in trade shows, exhibitions, and other events in the U.S.
· Participating in meetings, exchange programs, etc. in the U.S. organized by social organizations, friendly organizations, etc.
While you are visiting, you may decide you would like to take a short or part-time academic course. If so, you can enroll in a class as long as it does not exceed 18 hours a week. If you decide you would like to study full time, you can apply for an F-1 visa. Unlike with a B1/B2 visa, an F-1 visa allows you to study full-time (more than 18 hours a week).
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