Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

What type of U.S. visa will you need? 

If you are planning business-related travel to the United States on a temporary basis, it is important to have information about the type of nonimmigrant visa you will need for travel. The purpose of your intended travel and other facts regarding your plans will determine what type of visa is required under immigration law. This flier is a resource that will help you learn about the visa process in general, so that you will better understand the different steps involved.  

Business Visitor Visa (B-1)  

For business-specific purposes 

  • Purpose of Your Travel  - Conference, meeting, trade show, or business event attendee 
  • About Your Temporary Visit  - Will receive no salary or income from a U.S based company/entity. For scientific, educational, professional or business purposes.  

How to Apply 

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply. 

Complete the Online Visa Application

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview. 

  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements

  • Schedule an interview – While interviews are generally not required for applicants of certain ages, consular officers have the discretion to require an interview of any applicant, regardless of age. 

  • Fees - Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if you are required to pay it before your interview. When your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality. Fee is $160.

Gather Required Documentation

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States - Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country-specific agreements (PDF - 57 KB). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application. 

  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page 

  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview. 

  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements

Additional Documentation May Be Required

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of: 

  • The purpose of your trip; 

  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or 

  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.  

Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip. 

Visa Waiver Program (VWP) 

Citizen or National of VWP Designated Country*

Citizens or nationals of the following countries*  are currently eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP, unless citizens of one of these countries are also a national of Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Sudan. **To be eligible to travel under the VWP, British citizens must have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. 

  • Andorra
  • Australia 
  • Austria 
  • Belgium 
  • Brunei 
  • Chile 
  • Czech Republic 
  • Denmark
  • Estonia 
  • Finland 
  • France 
  • Germany 
  • Greece 
  • Hungary 
  • Iceland 
  • Ireland 
  • Italy 
  • Japan 
  • Latvia 
  • Liechtenstein 
  • Lithuania 
  • Luxembourg 
  • Malta 
  • Monaco 
  • Netherlands 
  • New Zealand 
  • Norway 
  • Portugal 
  • San Marino 
  • Singapore 
  • Slovakia 
  • Slovenia 
  • South Korea 
  • Spain 
  • Sweden 
  • Switzerland 
  • Taiwan* 
  • United Kingdom**