The B-1/B-2 visitor or tourist visa is for people who want to visit the United States for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical reasons (B-2). The B-1 visa is generally approved to travellers who would be traveling to the US for business, educational, professional or other reasons. On the other hand, people who would be travelling to the US for tourism purposes or meeting with friends or family members, they would be granted the B-2 visa. But, these two visas are combined and issued as one visa.

The B-1 visa is for those people who wish to travel to the US for any of the following purposes:

  • Consult with business associates
  • Attend a professional, scientific, educational or business convention or conference
  • Settle an estate
  • Negotiate a contract

The B-2 visa is for those people who wish to travel to the US for any of the following purposes:

  • Tourism
  • Vacation (holiday)
  • Visit with friends or relatives
  • Medical treatment
  • Joining in social events presented by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • Admission to a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)
Source: U.S. Department of State

If you want to travel to the US with B-1/B-2 visitor visa, you must demonstrate to an embassy consular officer that you meet all the requirements for a U.S. visa in accordance with the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 214(b) of the INA presumes that every B-1/B-2 applicant is an intending immigrant. You must overcome this legal presumption by showing:

  • Clear purpose(s) of your travel to the United States for business, tourist or medical service.
  • That you intend to remain in the United States for a short time and return back to your home country.
  • Your funds to cover all your expenses while in the United States
  • That you have a strong family ties in your country
Source: U.S. Department of State

How to get a B1/B2 visitor visa?

If you apply for a business/tourist visa, you must submit the following:

Step 1

Complete the B1-B2 application form – Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2

Pay the visa application fee

Step 3

  • Schedule your appointment on their specific web page. You will need the following information in order to schedule your appointment:
  • Your passport number
  • The receipt number from your Visa Fee receipt.
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page

Step 4

Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate office on the date and time to face an interview.

Source: U.S. Department of State

B1/B2 visa for USA application should have the following documents before your visa interview:

  • A valid passport for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States
  • confirmation page of Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will be required to upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160.
Source: U.S. Department of State

The visa application fee for the B1/B2 visa is $160.

Source: U.S. Department of State

During the interview, the consular officer might be asking for some more documents that may include the following:

  • evidence of your source of income
  • evidence of your financial capability, show your property or business ownership, or assets.
  • Your travel itinerary and/or other explanation about your planned trip.
  • If you are a service holder then you must have a letter from your employer detailing your position, salary, duration of employment, and the business purpose, if any, of your U.S. travel.
  • Details of your criminal records if you were ever arrested and imprisoned in any country

You may also need Additionally, based on your purpose of travel, you should consider bringing the following:


Bring your recent school results, transcripts and degrees/diplomas. Also bring evidence of financial support such as monthly bank statements, fixed deposit slips, or other evidence.

Working adults

Arrange an employment letter from your employer and salary pay slips from the most recent three months.

Businessmen and company directors

Bring sufficient evidence of your position in the company and remuneration.

Visiting a relative

Bring all kinds of documents proving your relationship with your US living relatives. Also, show copies of important documents like Passport and ID of your relatives.

Previous visitors to the United States

If you travelled to the US before, bring your previous visa documents.

Source: U.S. Department of State