(NOT a duplicate of Tourist Visa B1/B2)

Earlier last year, I went to the US for a business trip. In preparation for it, even though I applied for a B1/B2 visa, I was granted a (seemingly rare) straight B1 visa.

That visa was granted for 3 years and is going to be valid for a long time. Right now, however, I'm looking to make another trip to the US, this time to visit a friend (so, no business intentions). Does this mean I have to explicitly apply for another, B2, visa all over again? Or, if I do travel with my current B1, I can avoid the problem somehow?

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    Mark Mayo, no, it isn't. Once again, my visa is a straight B1 (business), NOT a B1/B2 (business/tourism). From my research, it is extremely uncommon and seems to imply I have to have a business purpose for my visit no matter what. But it doesn't seem right that I have to apply for whole new visa for a non-business visit. – Arnold Jan 8 '15 at 3:08
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    Intresting. I read that as B1 OR B2, rather than the combo, but yeah, yours is pretty unusual. I suppose nothing's stopping you just turning up 'for business' and doing no business? It'd be like having a business meeting cancelled when you arrive. Of course, telling the CBP you're there for a different reason may not go down well. I'll leave it to someone else to answer. @Doc perhaps? – Mark Mayo Jan 8 '15 at 3:30
  • @Karlson also seems to know about this stuff. – Mark Mayo Jan 8 '15 at 3:43
  • @MarkMayo Never seen B1 straight visa. – Karlson Jan 8 '15 at 15:12

There would be no point in having B-1 and B-2 were there no difference between them. Strictly speaking I believe you are supposed to apply for a B-2 visa if you (a) have left USA since visiting on your B-1 visa, (b) you wish to revisit but for tourism and similar purposes and (c) your circumstances have not meanwhile materially changed.

However, there may be some common sense in all this. It seems your visa qualifies you to return on business (quite a broad category*) and having had that reason before it may not be difficult for you to find a further such requirement. The point being, that you arrive with the intention of doing some business.

Once there:

You do not need to apply to change your nonimmigrant status if you were admitted into the United States for business reasons (B-1 visa category) and you wish to remain in the United States for pleasure before your authorized stay expires.


  • Conduct Negotiations.
  • Solicit sales or investment.
  • Discuss planned investment or purchases.
  • Make investments or purchases.
  • Attend Meetings, and participate in them fully.
  • Interview and hire staff.
  • Conduct research.

That last entry looks promising.

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    It would seem that the logical solution would be to find someone willing to have a business meeting with you (possibly the same people you met with before). Have a meeting, agree that nothing needs to be done at this time, and go off on your tourist visit that you are allowed to have after concluding your business. – DJClayworth Jan 8 '15 at 21:04
  • "Make purchases" also seems good, since it's difficult to visit a country for a significant length of time without doing that – Max Aug 5 '15 at 0:31
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    Any business-to-business purchase is fine here. For example, buying a large quantity of widgets from a US widget wholesaler. – Michael Hampton Aug 5 '15 at 17:36

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