I have a currently valid "B1 in lieu of H1B" visa, which I previously used to enter the US for a temporary business assignment. To be specific, the class is B1, and the annotation is "B-1 IN LIEU of H, PER 9 FAM 402.2-5(F)".

I wish to travel to the US for tourism purposes. Is this visa valid for a non-business trip? There are plenty of answers that say this is possible with a B1/B2 visa, but I was unable to find anything about using a B1 or a "B1 in lieu of H1B" for a tourism visit.

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't risk it. The correct class for tourism is B-2. If your visa is not a combination B-1/B-2 visa then it should not be used for tourism.

If you're eligible for the visa waiver program, you can use that, which means applying for ESTA. Normally you wouldn't apply for ESTA if you have a visa, but for this tourist trip you don't actually have a visa, so ESTA would be indicated if you qualify. If not, you'll need to apply for a B-2 visa.

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