This guidance relates to USA B1/B2 visa applications for business, tourists and family visitors. Accordingly, covers the requirements and faqs for successfully applying 5 and 10-year USA visitor visa applications. Moreover, provides the details of the adjusted USA visa rejection rate by country for the B1/B2 visa from 2016 to 2018. Accordingly, the post covers the following topics:
- B-type USA visitor visa for business and recreation
- Is the USA B1 visa for business visitors?
- Which USA visitor visa is for recreational purpose?
- So, then what’s the use of the USA B1/B2 visa?
- Who can apply for B1/B2/BCC or BVC combination cards?
- USA visitor visa requirements and how to apply?
- How to apply for USA visitor visa?
- What is the assurance of getting a USA visitor visa?
- What is the validity of the USA B1/B2 visitor visa?
- Can I reapply after USA visitor visa denial?
- How popular is USA B1/B2 visa in your country?
- What is the USA B1/B2 visitor visa rejection rate by country?
1) B-type USA visitor visa for business and recreation
Apparently, the USA B-type visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa (NIV). And it is a non-petition based visa for entering the USA temporarily for business (B1), recreation or medical treatment (B2), or a combination of these purposes (B1/B2).
How many people get a B-type USA visitor visa in a year?
All in all, during the preceding three years, a total of 8.07m, 7.43m and 6.81m US B-type visas issued. And also 3.18m, 3.01m and 3.17m applications refused. Apparently, during the period there has been a marked decrease (approx 1.26m ) in the of B-type visa issuance. However, the total number of refused applications have remained the same. Therefore, the USA visitor visa refusal rate has increased from 28.29% (in FY 2016) to 31.82% (in FY 2018).
|US B-type visa||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018|
|USA visitor visa refusal rate||28.29%||28.89%||31.82%|
Are there any subclasses of B-type USA visitor visa?
Yes, apparently, the B-type USA visitor visa has 5 subclasses viz.
- B1 visa for business visitors
- B2 visa for recreation and medical visitors
- The B1/B2 combination visa for business and recreation
- B1/B2/BCC combination cards for business and recreation
- B1/B2/BCV combination cards (Lincoln Foil) for business and recreation
Perhaps, the USA B1/B2 visitor visa is the most popular US nonimmigrant visa. Accordingly, the share of B1/B2 subclass has remained fairly consistent at 85% of all the B-type visa and cards issued during the preceding three years. Accordingly, the share of other subclasses of other B-type visit visas is quite nominal. Therefore, when we talk about USA visitor visa, we actually are referring to USA B1/B2 combination visa.
Is the USA B1 visa for business visitors?
Yes, the B1 subclass is for business visitors. Accordingly, a visitor on a USA B1 business visitor visa can:
- attend a business meeting and consult with associates
- attend a professional, scientific, business or educational convention or conference
- settle a real estate in the USA
- negotiate a trade, supply, or any other business contract
Can visitor do work on a B1 business visa in the USA?
No, a business visitor cannot do paid work on B1 visa. And also cannot study and take employment. Moreover, a visitor cannot also undertake paid performances or any professional performance before a paying audience.
Can a domestic employee apply as a business visitor?
Yes, a qualified personal or domestic employee can apply for USA B1 business visitor visa if the domestic employee is accompanying an employer, who is a US citizen but either permanently live outside the USA or is stationed in a foreign country and is visiting or is assigned to the US temporarily.
Moreover, a domestic employee of a foreign citizen who is in the USA on a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q nonimmigrant visa (NIV) can also apply for USA B1 business visitor visa.
How many applicants get USA b1 business visitor visa?
Perhaps, the US consular offices and embassies nearly make 55K decisions relating to B1 business visit visa every year. Apparently, during the preceding three years, a total of 40K, 39.7K and 38.7K USA B1 business visitor visa issued. And also 14.9K, 15.2K and 14.9K applications refused. Moreover, the USA B1 business visitor visa refusal rate has slightly increased from 27.15% (FY 2016) to 27.92% (FY 2018).
|US B1 visa||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018|
|US B1 business visa refusal rate||27.15%||27.75%||27.92%|
Which USA visitor visa is for recreational purpose?
Perhaps, if the purpose of travel is recreational in nature then an applicant needs to apply for USA B2 visitor visa. Apparently, recreational activities may include:
- tourism and experiencing the sights and sounds of the USA
- visiting friends or relatives
- private medical treatment in the USA
- fraternal or social activities
- amateurs participating in musical, sports and similar contests without receiving any remunerations
How many applicants get USA b2 tourist visitor visa?
Perhaps, during FY 2018, the number of decisions relating to B2 visit visa has decreased considerably from 99.9K (FY 2017) to 46K (FY 2018). However, the USA B2 visitor visa refusal rate has also considerably decreased from 59.10% (FY 2016) to 29.54% (FY 2018). Apparently, during the preceding three years, a total of 43.5K, 42K and 32.4K USA B2 visitor visa issued.
|US B2 visa||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018|
|US B2 tourist visa refusal rate||59.10%||57.96%||29.54%|
So, then what’s the use of the USA B1/B2 visa?
Well, as a matter of fact, the B1/B2 visa is a combination of B1 and B2 visas. Therefore, the USA B1/B2 visitor visa enables an applicant to undertake all the eligible business and recreational activities. Apparently, the application form (DS-160) and fee (US$160) for B1 (business), B2 (recreational) and B1/B2 combination visa are the same. Therefore, most of the applicants deem expedient to apply for B1/B2 combination visa instead of B1 (for business) and B2 (for recreations).
Is it expedient for a business visitor to apply for a B1/B2 visa?
Perhaps, a businessperson going to the US for an official meeting may also like to experience the sights and sounds of the US. Therefore, in case of a business visit, there is no harm in applying for B1/B2 instead of B1 visa.
Should a recreational visitor apply for B1/B2 instead of B2 visa?
Apparently, if an applicant is intending to visit the US for a recreational activity then the correct choice is to apply for a USA B2 visitor visa. Perhaps, there is no cogent reason to apply for a B1/B2 visit visa, if the purpose of visiting the USA is purely tourism or meeting family.
How many applicants get USA b1/b2 visitor visa every year?
Perhaps, the US consular offices and embassies nearly made 8.4m decisions relating to B1/B2 visitor visa during FY 2018. Apparently, during the preceding three years, a total of 6.88m, 6.27m and 5.7m USA B1/B2 visitor visa issued. And also 2.69m, 2.56m and 2.73m applications refused. Moreover, the USA B1/B2 visitor visa refusal rate has increased from 28.12% (in FY 2016) to 32.39% (in FY 2018).
|US B1/B2 combination visa||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018|
|US B1/B2 visitor visa refusal rate||28.12%||29.04%||32.39%|
B1/B2/BCC combination cards for Mexicans
The B1/B2/border crossing cards are only for Mexican Citizens. Apparently, during the preceding three years, a total of 1.06m, 1.03m and 0.96m USA B1/B2/BCC combination cards issued to Mexican citizens. And also 407K, 373K and 404K applications refused. Moreover, the USA B1/B2/BCC combination cards refusal rate has increased from 26.58% (in FY 2017) to 29.56% (in FY 2018).
|B1/B2/BCC Combination Card||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018|
|USA B1/B2/BCC card refusal rate||27.77%||26.58%||29.56%|
B1/B2/BCV combination cards (Lincoln Foil) for Mexicans
B1/B2 and Border Crossing Cards (Lincoln Foil) are only for Mexican Citizens. Apparently, during the preceding three years, a total of 46K, 43K and 69K USA B1/B2/BCV cards (Lincoln Foil) issued to Mexican citizens. And also 7.4K, 3.9K and 10.7K applications refused. Moreover, the USA B1/B2/BCV cards (Lincoln Foil) refusal rate has increased from 8.27% (in FY 2016) to 13.34% (in FY 2018).
|B1/B2/BCV (Lincoln Foil)||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018|
|USA B1/B2/BCV refusal rate||13.81%||8.27%||13.34%|
Do Canadian citizens need USA B1/B2 visa?
No, apparently, Canadian citizens usually don’t require a B1/B2 visitor visa for travelling to the USA.
What is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?
Apparently, the visa waiver program (VWP) enables the nationals of 38 participating countries to travel to the US for tourism or business for up to 90 days. However, travellers need to have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval.
2) B-type USA visitor visa requirements and how to apply?
Apparently, the USA immigration law presumes that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant until the applicant demonstrates otherwise. Therefore, an applicant needs to overcome the presumption by demonstrating that
- the purpose of the trip is only to enter the USA temporarily for business or pleasure. Accordingly, an applicant needs to identify and explain the purpose. Perhaps, by furnishing an invitation letter, trip itinerary etc.
- the applicant plans to remain in the USA only for a specific limited period. Accordingly, the applicant needs to furnish evidence, which may establish the arrival and departure dates. For instance, attending a business meeting or a friend’s wedding on Sept 1, 2019. In the case of tourism, a specific trip-itinerary. Perhaps, along with a hotel and ticket booking for specific dates!
- evidence of maintenance funds to cover the travel and cost of living in the USA. Accordingly, the applicant needs to provide evidence of funds such as personal bank statement.
- the applicant has a residence outside the US as well as other binding ties that will ensure his/her departure from the USA at the end of the visit. Perhaps, this relates to a strong family, social and economic ties with the home country.
How to apply for USA visitor visa?
Apparently, an applicant can apply at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where he/she lives. Perhaps, it is important to apply for a USA visitor visa well in advance of the travel departure date due to interview wait time and administrative processing time, which may at times take up to 3-6 months or even more. However, in most of the cases, 4-12 weeks is the minimum possible time to complete the whole process. Therefore, if an applicant intends to celebrate Christmas and winter holidays in the US. And the interview wait time for the relevant US embassy or consulate is 6 weeks days then perhaps it is expedient to add a min of 4-6 weeks for administrative processing. Accordingly, an applicant will be better off if he/she applies for USA B1/B2 visitor visa in mid-Sept.
Step # 1: Fill and complete the DS-160 Form
Step # 2: Pay the UK visitor visa application fee
Once an applicant completes and submits the DS-160 form then usually needs to pay the fee. Perhaps, there are different country-specific payment methods. Usually, the most widely used method is to pay the application fee in the designated bank. After payment of the application fee, an applicant needs to take print of the confirmation page, which an applicant needs to bring to the interview.
Step # 3: Make an appointment for an interview
After making the payment, the applicant can make an appointment for an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. Please note the wait time for an interview appointment varies. Therefore, it is expedient to make an early application. For instance, as on August 5, 2019, the USA visitor visa interview wait time for top 10 most busy posts ranges from 2 days (for applicants in Buenos Aires, Argentina) to 76 days (for applicants in Bogotá, Columbia). Therefore, it is expedient that even before starting to fill a DS-160 form, an applicant should keep an eye on interview wait time.
|US Embassy or Consulate in City/Country||B1/B2 visas issued in June 2019||Interview wait time as on Aug 5, 2019|
|Shanghai, China||29,674||4 calendar days|
|São Paulo, Brazil||20,055||18|
|Buenos Aires, Argentina||16,806||2|
|Mumbai (Bombay), India||11,146||52|
|Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel||9,302||38|
|New Delhi, India||9,137||50|
|Manila, The Philippines||8,683||32|
Step # 4: Supporting documents checklists
For USA B1/B2 visa interview, an applicant needs to take the following mandatory supporting documents:
- A valid passport with at least six months beyond the period of stay in the USA
- Confirmation page of DS-160 Form
- Application fee US$160/- payment receipt
- A 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) photo – if an applicant is not able to upload the photo on DS-160 Form
- Some posts also require a curriculum vitae (CV), which is a brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous occupations
However, apart from the aforesaid mandatory documents, an applicant should take documents to explain:
- the purpose of the planned trip such as an invitation, trip itinerary etc.
- the intent of the applicant to return to the home country once the journey is complete. Perhaps, these documents relate to family, social and economic ties of an applicant to the country of residence. For instance, employment letter, tax certificate, marriage and children certificates, property documents, rental agreements, payment contracts, salary slips, business bank account statement etc.
- availability of maintenance funds to bear the trip expenses such as personal bank account statement for the last six months.
Step # 5: Attending the interview
An applicant needs to reach the respective US embassy or consulate on time to attend the interview. Accordingly, during the application process, the US embassy or consulate takes an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan of the USA visitor visa applicant. And afterwards, on his/her turn a consular officer interviews the applicant. Perhaps, in most of the cases, the interview is quite straightforward. The consular officer may start with asking very simple questions such as:
- What is the reason or purpose of going to the USA?
- Why you have not applied for the USA visitor visa before?
- What you intend to do during your trip?
- Do you have family in the home country?
- What is your income and how much you will be spending on the trip?
Accordingly, in the light of replies of the applicant, the consular may extend the interview. Perhaps, up-to 30-45 mins to probe further about the intent of the applicant. However, in most of the denial cases, the interview hardly goes beyond 5-10 mins. And the consular hands over a preprinted refusal letter usually with refusal under paragraph 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act due to the failure of an applicant to establish entitlement to nonimmigrant status i.e. failure to establish strong ties to the home country. Put simply, this means that the applicant will not return to his/her home country!
Step # 6: Administrative processing
However, the consular officer does not decide all the application in the interview. Perhaps, some USA visitor visa applications require additional time after the visa interview. However, there are no standard processing times and varies on a case to case basis. Accordingly, an applicant should not make an enquiry about the USA visitor visa case status before 60 days.
What is the assurance of getting a USA visitor visa?
Certainly, after the interview, there are no assurances regarding the issuance of visas. Therefore, an applicant needs to wait for the decision before finalizing travel plans or the purchasing air tickets.
What is the validity of the USA B1/B2 visitor visa?
Usually, the validity period of the USA B1/B2 visa is 5-years. Perhaps, in some cases, the validity is also for 10-years. However, the US immigration authorities can cancel or revoke the visitor visa during the validity period- if an applicant does not adhere to the conditions of the visa.
What if my passport expires before the visa validity date?
In case the passport expires before the validity period of the USA visitor visa then an applicant can use the valid visa for travel and admission to the US with the new passport containing the same biographic data. Perhaps, it is important that the applicant should not remove the visa page from the precious passport, but should carry both passports together.
Can I reapply after refusal?
Yes, an applicant can reapply USA visitor visa after rejection without any restrictions i.e. an applicant can reapply as many times as he/she may deem appropriate. However, it is important that before reapplying an applicant should have appropriate evidence and reasons to overcome the basis for the USA visitor visa rejection. Moreover, there is no point in reapplying for more than 2-3 times, if the result is a denial decision. Perhaps, it is better to discuss with an immigration specialist.
Can I reapply within six months of refusal?
Perhaps, this is a general misconception. Apparently, there is no time restriction before reapplying after USA visitor visa denial. For instance, if an applicant gets a refusal on Aug 5, 2019, and then can immediately repeat the process i.e. complete the online application, pay the fee and book the next available interview appointment! Apparently, there are no legal or administrative bindings and no one is stopping the applicant. However, the applicant should realistically evaluate the chances of success. Perhaps, there is no point in getting impatient and making an impetuous decision!
3) How popular is USA B1/B2 visa in your country?
Apparently, the overall share of B-type visa in the total US nonimmigrant visas (NIV) issued in 2018 is approx 75%. However, for the 38 countries eligible under the visa waiver program (VWP), the ratio of USA B1/B2 visa in the total NIV is less than 25-40%. Accordingly, the ratio of USA B1/B2 visa, for countries not under the VWP, is usually more than 75%-90%. Perhaps, with a few exceptions such as the Philippines (54.89%), India (61.79%), Jamaica (63.48%) etc where the ratio is less than 75%.
|B-type and Nonimmigrant visa (NIV) issued by country in FY 2018|
|Total B-type and Other NIVs 2018||6,811,878||9,028,026||75.45%|
|S No||Country of Nationality||B-type visa issued in FY 2018||Total NIV issued in FY 2018||%age share of B-type visa|
|15||Great Britain and N Ireland - VWP||29,752||95,908||31.02%|
|20||Japan - VWP||5,648||76,506||7.38%|
|21||Korea, South - VWP||15,819||74,988||21.10%|
|24||Germany - VWP||22,077||70,560||31.29%|
|25||Hong Kong S. A. R.||62,207||69,450||89.57%|
|32||France - VWP||11,364||49,891||22.78%|
|38||Italy - VWP||9,407||34,670||27.13%|
|39||Spain - VWP||6,806||33,557||20.28%|
|42||China - Taiwan - VWP||6,908||29,244||23.62%|
|45||Trinidad and Tobago||24,756||26,937||91.90%|
|48||Netherlands - VWP||8,145||22,711||35.86%|
|60||United Arab Emirates||15,151||17,708||85.56%|
|62||Ireland - VWP||2,486||16,047||15.49%|
|64||Sweden - VWP||5,229||15,087||34.66%|
|70||Chile - VWP||2,853||12,774||22.33%|
|74||Switzerland - VWP||3,537||10,823||32.68%|
|76||Singapore - VWP||713||10,494||6.79%|
|80||New Zealand - VWP||2,669||9,889||26.99%|
|81||Denmark - VWP||2,757||9,559||28.84%|
|82||Congo, DR of the||7,490||9,231||81.14%|
|85||Belgium - VWP||2,501||8,817||28.37%|
|87||Norway - VWP||2,577||8,492||30.35%|
|90||Austria - VWP||2,785||8,109||34.34%|
|92||Greece - VWP||1,811||7,498||24.15%|
|93||Portugal - VWP||2,450||7,386||33.17%|
|95||Czech Republic - VWP||1,739||7,260||23.95%|
|97||Palestinian Authority Travel Doc||6,347||7,061||89.89%|
|103||Bosnia and Herzegovina||3,906||6,551||59.62%|
|104||Hungary - VWP||1,190||6,444||18.47%|
|110||Finland - VWP||915||5,726||15.98%|
|115||Slovakia - VWP||660||4,822||13.69%|
|122||Lithuania - VWP||464||3,725||12.46%|
|129||Antigua and Barbuda||2,718||2,939||92.48%|
|134||St. Vincent and the Grenadines||2,076||2,398||86.57%|
|135||Latvia - VWP||394||2,362||16.68%|
|138||Iceland - VWP||844||2,249||37.53%|
|147||St. Kitts and Nevis||1,649||1,794||91.92%|
|153||Estonia - VWP||220||1,547||14.22%|
|158||Slovenia - VWP||327||1,230||26.59%|
|167||Papua New Guinea||535||812||65.89%|
|170||Eswatini- pre Swaziland||493||723||68.19%|
|173||Luxembourg - VWP||127||412||30.83%|
|174||Malta - VWP||138||399||34.59%|
|177||Central African Republic||163||336||48.51%|
|181||Brunei - VWP||22||189||11.64%|
|185||Guinea - Bissau||55||129||42.64%|
|189||Sao Tome and Principe||17||66||25.76%|
|190||Liechtenstein - VWP||13||54||24.07%|
|193||Andorra - VWP||7||41||17.07%|
|194||Monaco - VWP||3||35||8.57%|
|196||Republic of Palau||5||25||20.00%|
|197||Fed States of Micronesia||2||24||8.33%|
|198||San Marino - VWP||3||18||16.67%|
4) What is the USA visa rejection rate by country?
The table below provides the USA visa rejection rate by country for USA B1/B2 visa during FY 2016, 2017 and 2018. And also the country-wise breakdown of the number of B-type visas issued during FY 2018. Accordingly, the information indicates that most number of B-type visas issued to Chinese nationals. Apparently, during FY 2018 more than 50% of the total (6.8m) B-type USA visitor visa issued to nationals of 4 countries i.e. China (18.26%), Mexico (15.38%), India (9.13%) and Brazil (8.55%).
USA B1/B2 visa from China
During FY 2018, the most number (1.24m) of B-type visitor visas issued to Chinese nationals. However, the USA visitor visa rejection rate from China is showing an uptrend during the preceding 3 years. Accordingly, the adjusted USA visa rejection rate by country from China for FY 2018 was 17.00% for B1/B2 visitor visa applications. Perhaps, the USA visa rejection rate by country for China in FY 2018 (17.00%) was higher than that for during FY 2016 (12.35%) and FY 2017 (14.57%).
Apparently, the adjusted B1/B2 visa rejection by country from Mexico for FY 2018 was 24.93% for USA visitor visa applications. Perhaps, the US visa denial from Mexico in FY 2018 (24.93%) was slightly higher than that for during FY 2016 (23.49%) and FY 2017 (22.50%).
USA B1/B2 visa from India
Perhaps, the adjusted USA B1/B2 visa rejection rate by country from India for FY 2018 was 26.07% for B1/B2 visitor visa applications. Perhaps, the USA visa rejection rate by country for India in FY 2018 (26.07%) was higher than that for during FY 2016 (26.02%) and FY 2017 (23.29%).
|USA B1/B2 visa adjusted refusal rate by country|
|Total B-Type Visa Issued During FY 2018|
|S No||Country of Nationality||FY 2016||FY 2017||FY 2018|
|18||Hong Kong S. A. R.||4.61%||3.45%||4.25%|
|32||Great Britain and Northern Ireland||20.42%||20.15%||20.29%|
|36||Trinidad and Tobago||22.70%||22.46%||19.28%|
|49||United Arab emirates||4.02%||5.80%||3.75%|
|70||Congo, Democratic Republic of the||46.55%||49.94%||52.23%|
|74||China - Taiwan||5.36%||5.42%||6.80%|
|77||Palestinian Authority Travel Document||40.64%||50.98%||53.87%|
|99||Bosnia and Herzegovina||19.70%||16.37%||23.50%|
|112||Antigua and Barbuda||22.11%||20.50%||19.07%|
|123||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||28.31%||20.38%||19.77%|
|131||St. Kitts and Nevis||27.16%||26.66%||24.98%|
|141||Congo, Republic of the||45.63%||48.47%||50.56%|
|161||Papua New Guinea||10.56%||9.34%||6.84%|
|162||Eswatini- previously Swaziland||8.03%||12.59%||8.49%|
|174||Central African Republic||35.12%||44.24%||36.03%|
|183||Guinea - Bissau||71.88%||71.61%||76.09%|
|186||Marshall Islands, Republic of the||29.41%||5.88%||17.39%|
|188||Sao Tome and Principe||24.14%||14.81%||26.09%|
|193||Republic of Palau||53.33%||83.33%||71.43%|
|196||Federated states of Micronesia||25%||100%||100%|
|200||*Non-nationality based issuances||28.92%||35.61%||40.27%|
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