How to differentiate types of US tourist visas B-1 and B-2?

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Not sure which type of visa to get for your upcoming trip to America? You’re in the right place. Read on to learn about different types of US tourist visa to ensure you’ve got all the documents you’ll need for your visa application.

Types of US Tourist Visa: What Are They?

Whether you come to the US on business or for a fun trip, you’ll need to apply for a US visa. There are two types of visas: non-immigrant visas for temporary visits and immigrant visas for permanent residency.

US tourist visas are non-immigrant visas. They are categorized based on the intended purpose of the trips: for business (B-1), for recreational purposes (B-2). In most cases, these are combined and issued as one: B-1/B-2 visa.

To apply for a US visa, you must have at least 2 blank pages in your passport. In addition, your passport must be valid for another 6 months before you depart from the United States.

US tourist visas do not impose limitations on the number of entries but the length of stay for each entry is specified on the visa. Therefore, keep in mind your designated duration to plan your trip accordingly.

B-1 vs. B-2 Visitor Visas Explained

US tourist visas come in 2 types, but what are the differences? And which is the right one for you? Let’s find out with Thao & Co.!

B-1 Temporary Business Visitor Visa

Definition: You may be approved for a B-1 visa if you intend to participate in business activities in the US.

Commonly accepted purposes:

  1. ● Consulting with business partners
  2. ● Attending scientific, educational, specialized or commercial conferences or seminars
  3. ● Addressing real estate issues
  4. ● Negotiating contracts

Visa validity: 12 months

Duration of stay: no more than 6 months

However, it’s best to avoid overstaying the duration you have stated in the application form. Exceeding the duration stated in your visa application can raise doubts about your travel intentions for consular officers and potentially jeopardize future visa approvals.

Additional considerations:

Beyond the required documents, bringing additional materials can strengthen your visa interview. These supplementary documents can bolster confidence in a traveler’s genuine intentions to return after their US trip.

For B-1 business visas, supplementary documents may include:

  1. ● Invitation letter from enterprises or agencies holding conferences, seminars
  2. ● Business plan
  3. ● Proof of your partnership with American partners
  4. ● Round-trip ticket
  5. ● Employment contracts
  6. ● Certificate of land use rights in Vietnam
  7. ● Saving books in Vietnam
B1/B2 Visa and What you need to know

B-2 tourist visa

Definition: The B-2 visa allows non-immigrant visitors to enjoy short-term stays in the US for activities like traveling and seeking medical treatment

Commonly accepted purposes:

  1. ● Traveling
  2. ● Vacations
  3. ● Visiting family and friends
  4. ● Seeking medical treatment
  5. ● Attending social events
  6. ● Participating in events, musical or sports contests, etc.
  7. ● Enrolling in non-degree short-term courses

Visa validity: 12 months

Duration of stay: no more than 6 months

Overstaying the time stated in visa interviews should be avoided. Exceeding the duration stated in your visa application can raise doubts about your travel intentions for consular officers and potentially jeopardize future visa approvals.

Additional considerations:

To increase your visa approval chances, provide supplementary documents to demonstrate your intention to depart the US after your visit.

Here are some documents to bring to your visa interview:

  1. ● If you are a student, prepare your academic transcriptcertificates, and latest study results
  2. ● For visiting relatives, bring a photocopy of your green card, certificate of naturalization, valid visa, etc. of the visited relative(s)
  3. ● For previous US visitors: documents certifying settled status or visas
  4. ● If you previously overstayed a US visa, provide proof of USCIS-approved extensions.

If you intend to travel for medical treatment, prepare the following documents:

  1. ● Provide a detailed diagnosis from your doctor and their explanation for why you need treatment in the US
  2. ● Include a letter from the designated healthcare facility confirming your acceptance as a patient, expected treatment timeline, and cost estimate.
  3. ●Demonstrate your ability to cover trip expenses in the US by submitting bank statements, hospital fee sponsorship letters

During your visa interview, the U.S. Department of State may request notarization of translated documents for certain papers:

  1. ● Labor contract
  2. ● Bank statements
  3. ● Saving books, tax returns
  4. ● Marriage certificate
  5. ● Travel itinerary
  6. ● And others.
Notarized translation Marriage certificate example
Sample English Translation of Marriage Certificate

For accurate and stress-free visa applications, a reputable translation company with certified and notarized translation services is your best bet. Contact Thao & Co. for top-notch translations (plus our free certificate of translation accuracy)!

Trust Thao & Co.‘s native linguists and rigorous processes for exceptional visa translations. Get your free quote and experience worry-free travel today!

Which type of US tourist visa is right for you?

Navigating US tourist visas can seem complex, but it boils down to matching your trip purpose with the corresponding visa category.

For detailed regulations in Vietnamese, head to the official website of the US Consulate in Vietnam. Once you’ve chosen the right visa, delve into the specific application procedures and required documents.

To maximize your chances of a successful US visa application, showcase your clear intention to depart after your trip, your ability to cover all expenses, and your significant ties to assets or family in your home country.

Convincingly demonstrate your intention to depart the US by showcasing both a detailed travel plan with specific dates and locations, and strong ties to your home country through evidence like documents of valuable asset ownership like land or houses.

Frequently asked questions about different types of US visitor visas

Have questions about the various categories of US tourist visas? Check out our answers to these FAQs.

How long can you stay on a visitor visa?

While B-1/B-2 visas have a 10-year validity period, your authorized stay on each visit can be up to 6 months. However, the final decision on your stay duration rests with the CBP officer at your port of entry.

How much does a US tourist visa cost?

The current application fee for US visitor visas is 185 USD, which is approximately 4,440,000 VND.

Should I apply for a US tourist visa on my own?

While less common knowledge, relying on third-party assistance for your visa application can raise concerns for consular officers about the authenticity of your information. This has fueled a noticeable rise in independent US tourist visa applications. Many people choose to apply for US tourist visas on their own for several reasons:

  1. ● Taking ownership of the process and having complete control over your application details
  2. ● Saving money on application fees compared to using third-party visa services
  3. ● Gaining in-depth knowledge of all visa requirements to navigate the process with confidence and avoid unnecessary delays
  4. ● Mastering document preparation enhances your interview skills and allows you to explain your application confidently.
  5. ●Presenting a well-prepared application strengthens your case and boosts your chances of approval.
  6. ● Building transferable skills for other travel opportunities.
  7. ● Mitigating the risk of losing money and time to an untrustworthy agency.

Applying independently puts you in control of your application, potentially strengthening its clarity and credibility, which can contribute favorably to the approval process.

Is a tourist visa holder allowed to work in the US?

US visitor visas are strictly for short-term tourism or leisure purposes. Engaging in any form of employment while holding a visitor visa is strictly prohibited.

How long does it take to get approval for a U.S. tourist visa?

Processing times for US tourist visas can range from one week to several months, depending on your location, appointment availability, and current application volume.

Do documents for US tourist visa applications need to be translated into English?

From Facebook groups to Reddit threads, the question “Do I need English translations for my visa interview?” haunts US travel communities.

While most consular officers are proficient in your native language, reading documents in unfamiliar languages can significantly slow down the visa processing and potentially lead to misunderstandings. Due to time constraints, interviewers may not have the opportunity to fully review all documents in detail, including those in Vietnamese. Visa interviews hold significant weight in the application process. To showcase your professionalism and goodwill, presenting English-translated documents is highly recommended.

Ensure a smooth visa interview and leave a lasting impression with Thao & Co.’s certified English translations of your documents.

  1. ● Free consultation with our dedicated support team
  2. ● High-quality translations by native linguists with US visa expertise, ensuring accuracy and acceptance
  3. ● Rigorous process, transparent costs and no hidden fees
  4. ● Free Certificate of Translation Accuracy from Thao & Co.
  5. ● Hard copy and soft copy available on demand for your convenience
  6. ● Thao & Co.’s proprietary platform allows you to easily monitor your project progress
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Source: Thao & Company
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