B1 and B2 visas are relatively straightforward and apply to business travelers coming to the United States. The B1 visa is a designation Visitor for Business visa and the B2 is the Visitor for Pleasure visa. More often than not, both these visas are issued at the same time, jointly, largely because many people coming to the US for business reasons are also planning some personal, pleasure time. This means that if an individual comes to the US on an old tourist visa, it may also be valid for a planned business trip.
If individuals enter the US under the visa waiver scheme, they do not need to apply for a visit visa if they are staying in the US for three months or less. A business guest may buy or make investments, hold meetings to discuss investment or purchases, solicit business or investment opportunities, negotiate contracts, interview and hire staff and carry out research.
Other business activities require a working visa, and may not be done by business visitors. These may include running a company, seeking gainful employment, being paid by an organization in the US and professionally taking part in sporting events or entertainment. There are gray areas in this area of immigration law and to clarify them, it is best to discuss visa requirements with an immigration lawyer.