B-2 Visa: Temporary Tourist/Visitor

If you are planning to travel to the United States on a temporary basis, it is important to have information about the type of non-immigrant visa you will need. This article discusses the specific non-immigrant visa for travel and tourism. For other activities, read about B-1 Business Visa, and other Non-immigrant Visas. A B-2 visitor visa is required if the purpose of the planned travel is:

  • Tourism

  • vacation (holiday)

  • visit with friends or relatives

  • medical treatment

  • participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations

  • participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating

  • enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

What are some activities that I am not allowed to participate in under the B-2 visa?

These are some examples of activities that require different categories of visas and cannot be done while on a visitor visa:

  • study

  • employment

  • paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience

  • arrival as a crew member on a ship or aircraft

  • work as foreign press, radio, film, journalists, and other information media

  • permanent residence in the United States

If you are interested in any of the above mentioned activities while in the United States, contact our immigration attorney now for a FREE consultation and see which other visas you may qualify for.

What are the requirements for obtaining a B-2 visa?

The required presumption under U.S. law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant until they demonstrate otherwise. Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating:

  • that the purpose of their trip is to enter the United States temporarily for business or pleasure;

  • that they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;

  • evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States;

  • that they have a residence outside the United States as well as other binding ties that will ensure their departure from the U.S. at the end of the visit.

How to apply for your B-2 visa with USCIS

There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you apply. Generally, you must complete and submit a Non-immigrant Visa Application. You will need to print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview. You will also need to submit your photo, in the approved passport format. While interviews are generally not required for applicants who are younger than 13 years of age, or older than 80 years of age, consular officers have the discretion to require an interview of any applicant, regardless of age.