B-1 visas are for people who are entering the U.S. to engage in short-term business activities, and not to seek permanent employment. B-1 visas can be issued to foreign corporate personnel coming to the United States to set up a subsidiary, as well as to persons who are thinking about making an E-2 investment. Religious workers, professional athletes and domestic servants can also qualify for B-1 visas. A B-1 visa holder can negotiate contacts, participate in conferences or seminars, and consult with business associates.
B-2 visas are for people who are entering the U.S. for pleasure or tourism. Foreign students entering the United States visit prospective schools may also qualify for a B-2 visa, so long as the embassy or consulate issuing the visa is informed of the prospective student's plans at the time the B-2 visas is granted. B-2 visas may also be issued to foreign nationals coming to the United States for medical treatment.
B visa holders may extend or change their status without leaving the U.S.