Scope of the B1 / B2 Tourism / Business Visa

The United States is an open country, but above all with clear principles and rules, it is a country that supports tourism but above all its national security. Obtaining the B1 / B2 Visa is for many a goal and consequently an important achievement. In Beltrán Brito Immigration Attorneys we want to explain in a simple way everything related to the B1 / B2 visa:

You are at the airport and the customs officer asks you: “What is the purpose of your entry to the US?” And while you think about it (very carefully) timidly you say: “vacations”. The officer looks you up and down, five seconds pass (an eternity), he asks you: “How long are you going to stay?” And you say: “two weeks.” Another five eternal seconds and tells you: “Welcome, have a nice trip.”

This scenario happens every 30 seconds at US airports. But do all people really come only from “vacations”? No, they come to do other activities, can they legally say so? Or is it better to just say that it comes from “vacations”?

Visas B1 and B2 allow many more activities beyond shopping and tourism

Of all the people who enter the US as tourists, the Customs Officer will want to know:

  • If you have residence in your country.
  • If you are going to enter the US for a very limited time.
  • If you enter the US for the purpose of vacation tourism or business.
  • If you have the financial funds to cover the expenses of your stay.

The B1 / B2 is a visa that allows entry to the US for a limited time of no more than 6 months for activities related to tourism and very specific business-related activities. These activities are several and not just vacations.

For example, a Holiday Tourist may come to:

  • Only visit the US or family.
  • Health reasons, to receive medical assistance.
  • Participation in events such as conferences, seminars, conventions and fairs.
  • A very short course of study that does not require an I-20 or student visa, for example a workshop, workshop, training.

(5) Athletes or Amateur Artists (non-professionals) who come to compete in an event, presentation or competition in which no payment or remuneration will be received.

A business tourist can come for these activities:

  • Investor who comes to study the possibility of investing in the US, or to have work and commercial meetings.
  • A commercial transaction, which has nothing to do with employment or compensation in the US. For example, to take orders from an American supplier for your foreign company.
  •  Negotiate contracts.
  • Have meetings with business partners.
  • Litigation.
  • Participate in scientific, professional, business or academic conventions.
  • Do independent research without employment.
  • Pastoral or religious activities.
  • To volunteer in a charitable activity, non-profit activities.
  • Professional athletes or professional teams that come to participate in competitions and tournaments that do not receive a salary. You will only receive what you win from the prize. Examples are horse racing, golf, racing, soccer teams.
  •  some domestic and personal employees.

The B1 / B2 Tourism / Business Visa can be canceled, here are some of the causes:

Stay longer than allowed, even if only for 24 hours. Be careful to confuse the expiration date of the Visa, with the time allowed to be in the US after passing the Customs process, which is usually 3 to 6 months according to the immigration officer.

When the passport page where the visa has been stamped has been torn off.

When permanence is used for a different purpose than the B1 / B2 Tourism / Business Visa , such as studying, working or earning income for any professional activity.

When the customs officer believes that the intention of the visitor is to emigrate and stay in the United States.

Use medical services in case of a health emergency and not pay the bills for said health expenses.

If the person obtains a residence permit or Green Card, they automatically lose the B1 / B2 Tourism / Business Visa .

When asked by a brother, there is a remote possibility, as the case may be, that he is not authorized to enter the United States.

Benefits of having the B1 / B2 Tourism / Business Visa

Cruises and tour packages

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are the major tourist ports for international cruises, as well as a bridge that connects with other countries in the region to get better prices on air packages that use the United States as a stopover, whether for Mexico, Canada or Europe , as well as at the cruise level in the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Professional development

In a world that is becoming increasingly competitive, having a B1 / B2 visa is not only for pleasure, tourism and some businesses, but also to be closer to opportunities. There are many companies that need to interview or convene professionals from other countries in offices located in different cities of the United States. More and more professional events are held that accredit a professional curriculum of excellence. Each time the trips of multinational employees make it necessary to have this visa be an element of value in our resume.

If you plan to know, invest, study or emigrate in the US, a B1 / B2 visa is one of the keys to evaluate your options, horizons and new destinations.


It is no secret to anyone that one of the biggest attractions that the United States has is the large areas dedicated to the Malls, Outlets, where huge department stores receive every day, hundreds of thousands of tourists from abroad. Shopping in places where the big brands are and at the best prices, is undoubtedly one of the main reasons for a pleasure trip to the North American continent.

Invest in Real Estate

Can I buy a house in the United States with a B1 / B2 visa?

Yes, investing in a property as a vacation home is not impeded for people who have a tourist and business visa. Coming on vacation or visiting season, does not violate the terms of said visa.

Can I have a business or branch of my business in the United States?

Yes, you can have a business and run it. The only thing is that you cannot be on payroll and receive a salary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *