B Visa for Visitors for Business (B-1) or Pleasure (B-2)
The B visa allows a person to enter the US temporarily for business, (B-1), or for pleasure or medical consultation/treatment, (B-2). It is similar to the visa waiver program in terms of eligibility and permissible activities but application at a U.S. embassy and interview are required. Irish and UK nationals are generally eligible for 10-year multiple entry visas in straightforward cases. Entry on B visa is usually for 6 months though lengthy periods of time spent in the U.S. without an appropriate work visa will heighten scrutiny by Customs and Border Protection. Clearly permissible business activities for visa waiver/B visitors include attending meetings, conferences and trade shows, engaging in negotiations, litigation, independent research, and taking the necessary steps to facilitate investment in the U.S. leading to an E-2 (investor) visa. Generally, work is not permissible though what constitutes ‘work’ is not always clear as case law in this area is conflicting. Download our eGuide for more details.
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