Visitor Visa: What is the Difference Between B-1 and B-2 visas?

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Visitor visas are one of the most popular forms of legal travel authorization. The difference between B-1 and B-2 visas is important when determining which you should apply for.

It all comes down to what you plan on doing while you’re in the United States.

The B-1 Business Visitor Visa

If you’re coming to the United States to perform any kind of business-related activities, the B-1 visa is the right choice.

Some of the most common business activities include:

  • Negotiating or signing contracts
  • Purchasing business supplies
  • Attending a business meeting, exhibit or convention
  • Settling an estate
  • Taking an exam held in the United States
  • Performing professional services
  • Competing in a non-professional sporting event
  • Conducting independent research

 difference between b-1 and b-2 visas CTA

The B-2 Tourist Visitor Visa

If you’re coming to the United States for personal activities, apply for the B-2 visitor visa.

This may include coming to the United States to:

  • Visit family or friends
  • Go to a wedding, reunion or ceremony
  • Get medical treatment
  • Visit tourist attractions
  • Take a short recreational class (like a two-day cooking class)

Now that you know what visa is right for your trip, simply apply. Need help? Follow this link to learn more about non-employment-based immigration services for individuals.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-retained attorney or another qualified professional.