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B-1 and B-2 visas are for temporary visitors wishing to visit the U.S. for one year or less for business or leisure, but not employment. Individuals must prove that they are entering the U.S. on a temporary basis and will return to their residing country once their activities in the U.S. are completed.
B-1 visas are issued to those looking to conduct certain business activities on behalf of a foreign company. B-1 visa holders may not, however, “work” or engage in paid employment for a U.S. entity nor freelance/independent contract work.
B-2 visas are issued to those looking to temporarily enter the U.S. for reasons other than business. Reasons for obtaining a B-2 visa may include: tending to a sick family member, seeking medical treatment, participation in social events or contests, or tourism. Foreign nationals who do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program must obtain a B-2 visa before visiting the U.S. for any reason. Foreign nationals who do qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, but wish to remain in the U.S. for longer than 90 days must obtain a B-2 visa.