B Visas for Tourists and Business Visitors to the USAB visas are issued for short visits to the United States for business or pleasure. B visa holders may not work or study in the United States while in this status. Citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries are generally permitted to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, but need to complete an ESTA application prior to entering the U.S.

Tourist Visa (B-2)

  • The B-2 visa allows individuals to visit the United States temporarily for up to six months for pleasure, including tourism, social visits to family and friends, and certain medical treatment. No U.S. sponsor is required, but applicants must show they have the financial resources to travel to and from the U.S. for their visit in the country. This visa does not allow for a work permit or employment authorization in the United States, but visitors may be able to adjust their immigration status as a result of changed circumstances after their admission to the U.S. Depending on the circumstances, B-2 visa holders may request an extension.

Temporary Business Visa (B-1)

  • The B-1 visa allows individuals to visit the United States for temporary business-related activities including conferences, conventions, consultations, and other professional or commercial activities. However, B-1 visa holders are generally not allowed to be employed in productive work for pay in the United States. Some acceptable activities for a B-1 visa holder include meeting with business associates, attending professional conferences, or conducting business-related legal proceedings. B-1 visa applicants must show that their intended activities in the United States will primarily benefit a foreign-based business.

B1 in Lieu of H-1B

  • As an exception to the bar on working in the United States for B visa holders, individuals may apply for and receive a special “B-1 in lieu of H-1B” visa as opposed to a normal B-1 visa. The “B-1 in lieu of H-1B” visa allows skilled workers to enter the U.S. and work on short-term projects for a foreign employer, but the individual must only receive compensation from the foreign employer and not from any U.S. entity.


Moro Legal, LLC, advises and assists individuals through legal issues related to B visas, including application issues, adjustment of status, and extensions. Contact us today for more information or schedule an attorney consultation online.


The content of this website is for general informational purposes only and is not a replacement for legal advice. Immigration law is a complex area of law that is constantly changing and this website cannot cover every facet of the law. Every case is different, and all individuals and businesses should consult with an immigration lawyer prior to filing any petition or application.