The visitor visa is a good way to come to the United States for a limited time for business purposes (B-1) or for tourist purposes (B-2). The visa is initially applied for at a U.S. foreign consulate and is issued as a B-1/B-2 visa. Once it is issued and a person enters the United States on the visa, the B-1 or B-2 status may be extended in the United States without having to leave the country. People who are citizens of the following countries have the option of not applying for a visitor visa but rather coming to the Unite d States for business or pleasure on a Visa Waiver:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
If you are traveling on one of these passports you are likely to be eligible for a visa waiver unless you have previously violated immigration status, if you are coming to the U.S. temporarily for either business or pleasure, and you have no intent to work in the United States. The disadvantage of the visa waiver is that it allows only a maximum of a 90 day stay which cannot be extended except temporarily for emergency reasons. On the other hand a B-2 visitor visa permits a stay of up to 6 months and this can be extended in the United States while a B-1 is generally granted for a shorter period of stay but may also be extended in the United States.
To qualify for a visitor visa you must demonstrate to the U.S. Consulate in your home country that you maintain a residence outside the U.S., that you intend to stay in the U.S. for a limited time, and that you have the wherewithal so that you can remain in the United States without have to be employed in the U.S. in order to support yourself, and that your reason in coming fits within the categories of either business or tourist purposes.
If you have relatives, friends, or business contacts considering a visit to the U.S. on a B-1 or B-2 visa, Landau, Hess, Simon & Choi can assist you in documenting their case and maximizing their chances of being approved for the visa.
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