Apply for a B Visa or ESTA Visa Waiver?

B visa or ESTAIf you plan to come to the United States on a temporary basis, it is important to determine whether you should apply for a B visa or and ESTA visa waiver as soon as possible.

A B visa is a temporary visa that allows foreign nationals to remain in the United States for 6 months out of the year for the duration of their visa, which can be up to 10 years at the discretion of the issuing officer.

Although nationals of many countries qualify for the visa waiver program, also known as ESTA, it is often a better idea to obtain a B visa over simply applying for the visa waiver. This is especially true if you are coming to the United States in order to prepare for the opening of a business, such as is often the case when applying for an E-2 investor’s visa.

If you are coming to the United States to scout for a location for your business and to begin operations, then you must be very careful to ensure that you are not working illegally. It is a much safer plan of action to apply for B-visa and state in the application that you are coming to the United States to prepare for an E-2 visa rather than applying for an ESTA visa waiver, in which case you would not have specific permission to perform certain acts to begin your business operation during that trip.

If you work in the United States and you are not a Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, then you must have a work permit to legally work in the United States. This may or may not apply to the actions you take while preparing to open a business for an E-2 visa depending on the activities in which you engage while you are here.

The purpose of your trip to the United States will determine whether you should apply for a B visa or ESTA visa waiver.

If you are interested in applying for a B visa or an E2 visa, or if you are currently in the United States and need to apply for a work permit, then contact Boyer Law Firm, P.L. today to see how we can assist you.

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