B1/B2 Business Visitors and Tourists
With the focus of U.S. immigration policy shifting to “Homeland Security,” visitors to the United States may face heightened scrutiny even over a simple business trip or visit. According to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”), millions of visitors are admitted to the United States each year under business visitor (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas. Previously, visitors with B1/B2 status were automatically allowed to stay six months in most cases. Now, the policy is shifting from automatically granting visitors six-month visits, to limiting the stay to “a period of time that is fair and reasonable for completion of the purpose of the visit.” The de facto limit appears to be 30 days, unless the person can provide evidence of a need to remain in the U.S. longer. Persons from friendly “visa waiver” countries (described below) might be able to stay for up to 90 days, although the policy is currently unclear.