Tourist/Business Visas (B1/B2)
In general, travelers not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program seeking admission into the U.S. to conduct business or for tourism require valid B1/B2 visas. For the purpose of the B1/B2 visa "business" generally refers to business activities other than the performance of skilled or unskilled labor.
The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act provides non-immigrant status to qualified persons who wish to visit temporarily the United States. You may qualify for a tourist/business visa if you meet the following criteria:
- You have a residence in a foreign country, which you do not intend to abandon;
- You intend to enter the United States for a period of specifically limited duration; and
- You seek admission for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure. For the purpose of the B1/B2 visa “business” generally refers to business activities other than the performance of skilled or unskilled labor.
Examples of business permitted on B1/B2 visas include: engaging in international commercial transactions, which do not involve gainful employment in the United States (such as a merchant who takes orders in the U.S. for goods manufactured abroad, or who travels to the U.S. to purchase American-made goods for export from the U.S.); negotiating contracts; consulting with business associates; and participating in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences, or seminars.
The performance of any skilled or unskilled labor - even if it is unpaid - is most always prohibited. This includes performing work in the U.S. as a trainer or consultant.
Applicants who wish to apply for tourist/business visa must come in person to the U.S. Embassy. For step by step instructions on how to apply and schedule an appointment please click here.
Documents required for B1/B2 visa are:
- A valid passport that has been signed by the applicant and, where applicable,
- Previous passport with previously issued visa or
- Police report in case of theft or loss of a previous passport with valid visa. The report may be issued by a local police station or consular office or other foreign authority.
- If you have ever been arrested and /or have a criminal conviction, have a medical ineligibility, or have been denied entry into or deported from the United States, you will be required to furnish documents relating to your situation in support of your application.
- The printed confirmation page containing the barcode generated by the DS-160 online application form (How to Apply - Step 3)
- One photograph that meets the required specifications (How to Apply - Step 1). Even if you have successfully uploaded the photo to the DS-160 please bring one with you on the day of your appointment.
Additionally, non-Greek passport holders will have to present:
- Greek residence and work permits and
- Evidence of sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the United States; and evidence to show that the applicant has a residence abroad to which he/she intends to return at the end of the stay in the United States. Such evidence includes family, profession, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the United States that are sufficient enough to cause the applicant to return there at the conclusion of his/her stay.
Reminder: We always recommend that individuals apply for visas well in advance of their proposed date of travel. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable ticket should not be made until a visa has been issued and you are in receipt of the passport.