Digging Deeper:

B-2 Tourist Visas and the B-1/B-2 combination visa



B-2 visas are available for tourists and never authorize employment in the United States.13 The U.S. State Department issues a combination visa labeled B-1/B-2 to the vast majority of short-term business visitor applicants because many of them also plan to travel within the U.S. as tourists during their stay.14 In the State Department’s data, the B-1/B-2 visa is counted as a category separate from the B-1 and B-2 categories.15 However, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only counts two separate classes for purposes of admissions: B-1 and B-2.16 When an individual presents for admission at a port of entry with a combination B-1/B-2 visa, the DHS’s U.S. Customs and Border Patrol inspector will ask about the purpose of the visit. Based on the information gathered at that time the individual will be admitted as either a B-1 business or a B-2 tourist.17