There are two types of B-Visas: B-1 and B-2. The B-1 Visitor Visa is for business professionals or those traveling to the U.S. for a business-like purpose (like settling an estate). The B-2 Visitor Visa is for individuals traveling to the U.S. for pleasure. The B-2 Visa is basically a tourist visa. Compared to the visa waiver program, the Temporary B-Visa allows for smoother entry into the U.S. and saves time and energy by limiting the number of applications you have to fill out and submit. Even though the visa waiver program allows individuals from certain countries to enter the U.S. with only a passport, the risk of being stopped and questioned at customs has dramatically increased due to current events.
1. Don’t get mistaken for a terrorist
In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks in November, the U.S. has tightened the visa waiver program. This is partly because most of the assailants involved in the recent attacks were of European nationality. The effect is that now less visa waiver applicants are being accepted for entry into the U.S. and more of them are being stopped at the border for questioning. When a customs officer sees a B-Visa he knows that individual is safe for entry, because the application process involves an in-depth background check. This allows smooth entry for the B-Visa holder at the border.
2. Fewer applications to file
A Temporary B-Visa saves time and energy on the application process compared to the visa waiver program. Visa waiver applicants must submit a separate application and fee every time they enter the U.S. In contrast, one B-Visa application allows re-entry until it expires.
3. Lasts longer
Visa waiver only lasts for 90 days of travel in U.S., and it expires once you leave the country. This means you must re-apply for a visa waiver every time you enter the U.S. A Temporary B-Visa lasts for 180 days of travel, and one application can last for up to 10 years, at the discretion of the immigration officer. This long expiration date makes the B-Visa an especially good option for frequent travelers to the U.S.
If you have any questions about the process of obtaining a B-Visa or the effects of having one, please contact Boyer Law Firm today.