Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are non-immigrant 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).
Here are some examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa:
- Business (B-1)
- Consult with business associates
- Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
- Settle an estate
- Negotiate a contract
- Tourism and Visit (B-2)
- Vacation (holiday)
- Visit with friends or relatives
- Medical treatment
- Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
- Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
- Enrolment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation).