Difference Between B1 and B2 Visa

Main Difference – B1 vs B2 Visa

B1 and B2 Visas are temporary, nonimmigrant visas that allow you to visit the US for a short time period. The key difference between B1 and B2 visa is that B1 visa is issued for people who want to visit the US for business purposes whereas B2 visa is issued for people who want to visit the US for tourism, pleasure or visiting. Sometimes, the visa may be issued as B1/B2; this is a combination of B1 and B2 visa and is intended for those who want to visit the US for both business and pleasure.  

Key Areas Covered

1. What is B1 Visa
     – Definition, Purpose, Activities, Proof
2. What is B2 Visa
     – Definition, Purpose, Activities
3. What are the Similarities Between B1 and B2 Visa
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between B1 and B2 Visa
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Difference Between B1 and B2 Visa - Comparison Summary

What is B1 Visa

B1 Visa, also known as Business Visa, is issued for those visiting USA for business purposes. This visa allows visitors following business activities:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Attending a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Participating in a short-time training

However, you cannot use this visa for the following purposes as these are covered under other visa categories:

  • Gainful employment
  • Running a business
  • Getting paid by an organization within the United States
  • Participating in entertainment or sporting events as a professional.

Difference Between B1 and B2 Visa

You have to demonstrate the following in order to prove that you are eligible for the B1 visa status:

  • The purpose of your visit is to enter the USA for a business of a legitimate nature.
  • You have sufficient funds to cover your expenses during the stay.
  • You plan to remain in the US for a limited period of time.
  • You have a residence outside the US and other binding ties which will ensure your return at the end of the visit.
  • You are otherwise admissible to the United States

What is B2 Visa

B2 Visa is a visa category that allows you to travel to the US temporarily for tourism, pleasure or visiting. This is generally known as tourist visa. Those traveling to the US for medical treatments can also use B2 visa category.

This visa is suitable for:

  • Vacation
  • Visiting friends or relatives
  • Getting medical treatment
  • Participating in social events hosted by social or service organizations
  • Participating in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • Enrolling in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day writing workshop while on vacation)
Main Difference - B1 vs B2 Visa

B1/B2 Visa

Similarities Between B1 and B2 Visa

  • Both B1 and B2 visa are nonimmigrant visas.
  • Both visa types allow visitors to stay in the US for a short period.

Difference Between B1 and B2 Visa

Definition

B1 Visa: B1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for persons entering the U.S. for business purposes.

B2 Visa: B2 visa is a non-immigrant visa for persons entering the U.S. for pleasure or medical treatment.

Activities

B1 Visa: B1 visa allows visitors to consult with business associates, attend scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions or conferences, negotiate contracts, participate in short-term training, etc.

B2 Visa: B2 visa allows visitors to visit with friends or relatives, get medical treatment, spend the vacation in the US, enroll in short recreational actives, participate in social events hosted by various organizations, etc.

Conclusion

B1 and B2 are non-immigrant visas that allow citizens of foreign countries to enter the US temporarily. The difference between B1 and B2 is the visitor’s purpose for entering the US; B1 is for those who enter the US for business purposes while B2 is for those who enter the US for pleasure and tourism.  B1/B2 is a combination of both these visa categories.

Image Courtesy:

1. “USA Visa – Arg” By Pmt7ar – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “2733068” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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