B visa

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B1/B2 visa for an Argentinian citizen

A B visa is one of a category of visas issued by the United States government to foreign citizens seeking entry for a temporary period. The two types of B visa are the B-1 visa, issued to those seeking entry for business purposes, and the B-2 visa, issued to those seeking entry for tourism or other non-business purposes. In practice, the two visa categories are usually combined together and issued as a "B1/B2 visa" valid for a temporary visit for either business or pleasure, or a combination of the two. Visitors from some countries do not need to obtain a visa for these purposes (see United States visas).

In FY-2012, out of 6.7 million applications for a B visa, 5.3 million were approved (80%).[1]


The cost of a B visa consists of the application fee, which all applicants must pay (currently 160 USD[2]), and the issuance fee, which varies by nation, based on a fee reciprocity table.[3]

Validity period and duration of stay[edit]

As with other non-immigrant U.S. visas, a B1/B2 visa has a validity period (from 1 to 10 years), allows for either one or multiple entries into the U.S, and elicits a period of stay (3–6 months) recorded by the Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry on the individual's form I-94.[4]

Validity periods per country are listed in the U.S. Department of State Visa Reciprocity Tables and vary from 3 months for Iran, 1 year multientry for China,[5] 3 years for Russia, and 5 years for Australia, to 10 years for Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, Tunisia and most European Countries.

Periods of stay for B-1 visas may be granted initially for a duration long enough to allow the visitor to conduct their business, up to a maximum of 6 months, and can be extended for another 6 months;[6] B-1 visas usually granted for three months or less, while B-2 visas are generally granted for six months.[7] Extensions are possible, provided the individual has not violated the conditions of their admission.[8]

A Border Crossing Card (BCC), also called a laser visa, has a 10-year validity and functions as both a BCC and a B1/B2 visitor's visa.[9]

Requirement to overcome presumption of intending immigrant[edit]

Under section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a foreigner must prove to the satisfaction of the Consular officer his or her intent to return to his home country after visiting the United States. The act specifically states:

Every alien (other than a nonimmigrant described in subparagraph (L) or (V) of section 101(a)(15), and other than a nonimmigrant described in any provision of section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) except subclause (b1) of such section) shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, and the immigration officers, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)


In practice, this means that consular officers have wide discretion to deny a visa application. Once refused, there is no judicial or other means to challenge a visa decision. The foreigner, however, is free to apply for a visa again, particularly if circumstances have changed that might show to the consular officer that the applicant overcomes the presumption of being an intending immigrant.[11]

Uses of a B1/B2 visa[edit]

Business or pleasure cover a wide variety of possible reasons to visit the United States. Under the category of temporary visitor for business, it can be used to:

  • Negotiate and sign contracts
  • Purchase supplies or materials
  • Hold business meetings or attend/exhibit at a convention
  • Settle an estate
  • Sit different types of exams and tests held inside the United States
  • Perform certain professional services.[12]

Under the category of temporary visitor for pleasure, a B2 visa can be used to:

  • Travel within the US
  • Visit family or friends
  • Participate in activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature
  • Obtain medical treatment

The B2 visa can also be used by cohabiting (unmarried) partners of non-immigrant visa holders.[13]

Adjusted Visa Refusal Rate[edit]

The Adjusted Visa Refusal Rate for fiscal year 2013 for B visas were:[14]

Country Rate
Afghanistan 62.7%
Albania 40.4%
Algeria 28.3%
Angola 24.8%
Antigua and Barbuda 18.1%
Argentina 1.7%
Armenia 37.9%
Australia 16.6%
Azerbaijan 9.4%
Bahrain 4.1%
Bangladesh 43.5%
Barbados 9.9%
Belarus 20.7%
Belize 19.7%
Benin 34.6%
Bhutan 42.0%
Bosnia-Herzegovina 26.5%
Botswana 17.3%
Brazil 3.5%
Brunei 20.7%
Bulgaria 19.9%
Burkina Faso 31.7%
Burma 23.5%
Burundi 52.7%
Cambodia 28.9%
Cameroon 37.3%
Cape Verde 36.4%
Central African Republic 46.4%
Chad 36.3%
Chile 1.6%
China 8.5%
Colombia 10.4%
Comoros 32.6%
Congo (Brazzaville) 27.5%
Congo (Kinshasa) 41.9%
Costa Rica 13.7%
Côte d'Ivoire 30.3%
Croatia 5.9%
Cuba 61.1%
Cyprus 4%
Djibouti 62.6%
Dominica 30.2%
Dominican Republic 41.3%
Ecuador 16.9%
Egypt 39.5%
El Salvador 45.1%
Equatorial Guinea 16.2%
Eritrea 40.5%
Estonia 13.6%
Ethiopia 35.6%
Federated States of Micronesia 100%
Fiji 27.2%
France 13.0%
Gabon 20.3%
Georgia 38.3%
Germany 12.8%
Ghana 61.8%
Great Britain and Northern Ireland 16.9%
Greece 26%
Grenada 25.8%
Guatemala 37.7%
Guinea 52.5%
Guinea - Bissau 43.6%
Guyana 52.7%
Haiti 47.1%
Honduras 37.0%
Hong Kong 1.8%
Hungary 31.6%
Iceland 7.1%
India 18.7%
Indonesia 8%
Iran 48.2%
Iraq 39.2%
Ireland 16.9%
Israel 9.7%
Italy 15.2%
Jamaica 35.3%
Japan 10.9%
Jordan 32.6%
Kazakhstan 8.0%
Kenya 28.3%
Kiribati 27.3%
Kosovo 40%
Kuwait 10.3%
Kyrgyzstan 24.9%
Laos 61.4%
Latvia 20.4%
Lebanon 15.1%
Lesotho 19.4%
Liberia 59.0%
Libya 33.8%
Liechtenstein 10%
Lithuania 33.1%
Luxembourg 8.3%
Macau 3.1%
Macedonia 27.0%
Madagascar 9.3%
Malawi 13.8%
Malaysia 5.0%
Maldives 22.9%
Mali 47.7%
Malta 6.6%
Mauritania 50.0%
Mauritius 4.7%
Mexico 12.1%
Moldova 33.6%
Mongolia 30.6%
Montenegro 32.6%
Morocco 23.3%
Mozambique 2.2%
Namibia 6.2%
Nauru 0.0%
Nepal 46.4%
New Zealand 14.0%
Nicaragua 26.7%
Niger 27.5%
Nigeria 35.1%
Norway 19.1%
Oman 2.3%
Pakistan 38.5%
Palestinian Authority 37.6%
Panama 8.0%
Papua New Guinea 3.1%
Paraguay 4.4%
North Korea 28.6%
Peru 16.1%
Philippines 24.1%
Poland 10.8%
Portugal 9.9%
Qatar 1.8%
Palau 29.2%
Marshall Islands 22.7%
South Korea 18.1%
Romania 11.5%
Russia 10.2%
Rwanda 44.9%
Samoa 22.1%
San Marino 0.0%
Sao Tome And Principe 22.2%
Saudi Arabia 7.8%
Senegal 53.2%
Serbia 14.7%
Seychelles 4.3%
Sierra Leone 46.5%
Singapore 25.0%
Solomon Islands 12.7%
Somalia 65.8%
South Africa 2.6%
South Sudan 41.9%
Spain 16.0%
Sri Lanka 20.6%
St. Kitts And Nevis 30.7%
St. Lucia 22.5%
St. Vincent And The Grenadines 22.5%
Sudan 47.9%
Suriname 9.6%
Swaziland 4.5%
Sweden 21.0%
Switzerland 4.4%
Syria 46.1%
Tajikistan 53.7%
Tanzania 25.7%
Thailand 11.1%
The Bahamas 11.6%
The Gambia 74.5%
Timor-Leste 5.6%
Togo 44.0%
Tonga 42.1%
Trinidad And Tobago 20.6%
Tunisia 17.0%
Turkey 10.3%
Turkmenistan 16.3%
Tuvalu 71.4%
Uganda 32.7%
Ukraine 26.7%
United Arab Emirates 8.0%
Uruguay 2.8%
Uzbekistan 44.3%
Vanuatu 14.9%
Vatican City 33.3%
Venezuela 13.8%
Vietnam 20.3%
Yemen 44.0%
Zambia 26.2%
Zimbabwe 19.7%

See also[edit]

External links[edit]