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Many foreign nationals seek to enter the United States for a temporary period for tourism or business reasons. Depending on their country of nationality, a foreign national may be able to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.  Other foreign nationals must apply for and receive a B1/B2 Visa in order to travel to the United States for a temporary period of time. 

Foreign nationals seeking to be admitted under the Visa Waiver Program or as a B1/B2 Visitor are not permitted to engage in the following:

  • Study for credit
  • Employment
  • Work as foreign press, radio, film journalists or other information media, or
  • Reside in the United States

Visa Waiver Program

Under the Visa Waiver Program, citizens of participating countries may travel to the United States without a visa for up to 90 days for a temporary visit. In order to travel to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program, a foreign national must first register and obtain a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval.

There are currently 38 participating countries in the Visa Waiver Program.  The U.S. Department of State website maintains a current list of all participating countries.

B-1 Visitor for Business

The B-1 visa is for individuals who wish to visit the United States temporarily for business purposes.  Although the B-1 visa is available to business visitors, it is important to note that this visa does not allow employment in the U.S.  However, business visitors may do the following:

  • attend meetings,
  • consult with business associates, 
  • attend scientific, professional, educational or business conventions and conferences, 
  • attend short-term trainings, and/or 
  • engage in negotiations on behalf of a foreign employer.  

B-2 Visitor for Tourism

The B-2 visa is for individuals who wish to visit the United States temporarily for tourism purposes.

The B-2 visa is appropriate for individuals seeking to enter the United States temporarily for the following purposes:

  • vacation,
  • visit family or friends, 
  • receive medical treatment, 
  • participate in organized social events hosted by fraternal, social or service organizations, and/or
  • participate in amateur musical, sports or similar events/contests (as long as not being paid for participation).

In order to obtain a B1 or B2 Visa, a foreign national must complete and file a Non-Immigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) and attend an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. The Foreign National must provide evidence of his or her ties to their home country and establish that he or she is “admissible” to the United States.

For more information about temporary travel to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program or as a B1/B2 Visitor, please contact Kolko & Casey, P.C. for a consultation.

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Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.