Business/Tourist - Visitor (B1/B2)
The B1/B2 visa, for short visits for business or tourism, is the most common visa type issued in Israel. The visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to enter the U.S.
U.S. law requires that people who apply for nonimmigrant visas provide evidence that they do not intend to immigrate to the United States. Consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates determine eligibility on an individual basis on the merits of each case. Because each person's personal situation is different, people applying for the same visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different documents. Applicants should bring at least the required documents listed below as proof of their ties to Israel, but consular officers may also request additional information or documentation depending on their assessment of each person's situation.
For Tourist Purposes
A B1/B2 visa also allows you to travel to the United States as a tourist or for short visits, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature. If you plan to visit family or friends in the United States, please provide their address in the United States on your visa application form.
Please note: You are not allowed to work in the United States on a B1/B2 visa, whether you are being paid or not. You are also not allowed to attend school or university, or full-time English language courses, or take care of children as an au-pair. Applicants who plan to work in the United States, including professional performances, must apply for a petition-based visa.
For Business Purposes
A B1/B2 visa allows you to travel to the United States for a short period to conduct certain kinds of business or business-related activities. This can include, but is not limited to, visiting clients; conducting business meetings and negotiations; attending a conference; participating in a convention or trade show; settling an estate; installing, servicing, or repairing equipment for clients in the United States; certain speaking engagements; and some short term research for which the applicant does not receive pay. To be sure that your purpose of travel is included under a B1/B2 visa, confirm with the company or institution that is inviting you or that is sending you. For example, while short term training, such as a three-week course, may be included under a B1/B2 visa, a longer course lasting nine months would not.
Applicants with a technical or scientific background, working in certain high tech professions or engaged in certain scientific research, may require additional processing before receiving a visa. You should schedule your interview at least 30-45 days before you plan to travel and bring with you as much information as possible on your field of work or research and your intended visit to the United States. See Applicants with Scientific Background for more details on what kind of documents to bring to your interview.
Applicants must come to the visa interview with required visa application forms and photo, a current passport valid for at least six months after your entry to the United States, and the receipt for the processing fee from the post office. In addition, you should bring the following documents proving economic and family ties in Israel and any previous passports with U.S. visas.
We recommend that applicants who are employed bring:
- A typed, original letter from your current employer on company stationary stating the length of time you have worked for the company, the period of time given for business or tourist trip, and information concerning the employee's future employment with the company; and
- The three most recent salary slips from the current job. Bank statements cannot be substituted for proof of regular income from current employment.
We recommend that applicants who are self employed bring:
- A copy of the business incorporation document, a copy of the business license, copies of sales receipts and payroll records; and
- A typed, signed letter from the business's accountant that details the type of business, years in operation and net monthly profit.
Applicants who are students must bring:
- Receipt of tuition payment;
- Letter of enrollment or acceptance; and
- Academic transcripts.
Other proof of ties to Israel includes proof of army service or exemption from army service; Bituach Leumi statements for proof of pension, welfare, or disability payments; and a marriage certificate or Teudat Zehut for proof of family ties.
- Domestic employees seeking a Visitor Visa in order to accompany their employer to the U.S. must present a copy of their employment contract along with the application documents. The employee must also provide evidence of how long he/she has worked for the employer. Consular officers may also request additional information or documentation depending on their assessment of each person's situation.
Please note: Presenting fraudulent documents, or making false or misleading statements on the application form or to the interviewing officer, can result in you becoming permanently ineligible for any type of U.S. visa.
If you are traveling to the United States to receive medical treatment, you must request and be found eligible for a B1/B2 visa. In addition to the required forms and documents listed above in Required Documents , please bring the following documents to your interview:
- Medical records of the treatment you have already received in Israel, and a letter from your doctor providing the reason that you have been referred for further treatment in the United States;
- A letter from the doctor and hospital or medical center in the United States that will treat you, including estimated length of treatment and estimated cost; and
- Letters from your medical insurance company in Israel demonstrating that your insurance will cover the cost of the treatment in the United States; or
- If you do not have insurance, or it will not cover the full cost of the treatment, we must see proof that you will be able to cover all related U.S. medical expenses. Please bring detailed letters from all the sources of funding that will help pay for the treatment. You must understand that doctor's fees and hospital or clinic costs may be two separate bills.
Applicants with a Technical or Scientific Background
Visa applications for persons who work or study in certain sensitive scientific and technical fields may be subject to additional processing. The process, on average, takes approximately three to four weeks to complete. Applicants with scientific or technical backgrounds may be affected by these clearance procedures.
Applicants who present detailed information at the time of interview help us process their cases more expeditiously and efficiently. Information that the officer will need in order to process the case will vary from applicant to applicant, but generally we suggest that applicants be prepared to present the following detailed information, in writing, to the officer at the time of interview:
- A detailed description of applicant’s current business, research or study program interests.
- Applicant’s current position and location of current work (including address and phone number).
- The address, website addresses, and contact information of the company and/or institution that the applicant intends to visit in the U.S.
- The point of contact at the company and/or institution.
- Details about the business, research or studies the applicant plans to conduct in the U.S.
- Details about the source of funding for the trip.
- Location of continuing work upon return from the U.S.
- Location and manner in which the applicant will use the goods or knowledge acquired in the U.S.
- Complete CV/resume for applicant.
- List of the applicant’s publications, if any.
- Letter(s) of invitation from U.S. sponsor(s).
- Letter of support from the financial sponsor.
- Export license numbers covering the activity, if relevant.
If traveling to the United States in service of an Active Contract or Subcontract between your company and the U.S. Government, please contact the U.S. Defense Contract Management Agency prior to the visa interview, at 09-960-1234 and request a letter of confirmation from them. Non-refundable flight reservations and other travel plans should not be made until you receive a visa to the United States.