B-2 Visa: Tourist Visa

The B-2 visa is for individuals visiting the U.S. temporarily for pleasure, tourism or to visit family or friends , to seek medical help, or to participate in a sports or music performance.

To qualify for a B-2 visa, an individual must demonstrate that:

  • The visit is for pleasure (tourists) or for medical reasons
  • The individual has a permanent residence abroad that he or she has no intention of abandoning
  • The individual has ties to his or her home country in the form of a job, property, or family
  • The individual is not entering the U.S. to seek gainful employment or participate in business activities that are primarily for the benefit of a U.S. employer
  • The individual has sufficient financial resources to cover the expenses of the trip.

To apply for the visitor visa is the American Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over their permanent residence

To Apply for a B-2 Visa

  • Submit Form DS-160.
  • Pay visa fees.
  • Schedule your US Tourist Visa interview.
  • Compile your B-2 Visa document file.
  • Attend the visa interview.

Terms of Stay and B-2 Visa Extensions

Tourist visas generally have an allotted time of six months. In some cases, the visa can be extended to periods of up to six months as well. However, if applicable, the visa holder’s spouse and/or children must independently qualify for the B-2 program if they plan to extend their stay.

The granting of a B-2 visa does not guarantee that the applicant may enter the United States. The immigration authorities have the right to deny admission into the U.S. as well as determine the period of time that a person can legally stay in the country. At the port of entry, the immigration officials must verify the visa holder’s admission to the United States. During this time, Form I-94 will be stamped, showing the legal length of the stay for the visa holder. Any B-2 visa visitors intending to stay beyond the allotted time must contact the USCIS to request an application for Form I-539. The USCIS has sole discretion of granting or denying a request for the extension of a B-2 visa holder’s stay.

Document checklist for B-2 visa

The following documents are required for visa interview.

  • Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application;
  • Visa application and processing fees;
  • A valid passport with a validity date at least 6 months beyond your intended stay.
  • Passport-style photos;
  • An invitation letter from your relative or business partner in the U.S. to demonstrate the purpose of your trip;
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover the trip and living expenses in the U.S.;
  • Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, signed and notarized if a third party, such as your adult son or daughter, will provide financial support for your visit;
  • Travel arrangement, such as round-trip tickets, if available;
  • Evidence of home ownership (or for other real estate properties) in your home country;
  • Monthly bank statements and balance verification letters;
  • Evidence of regular income, medical insurance, and other documents that may demonstrate your binding economic ties;
  • Proof of other family members not traveling with you (several family photos and vacation photos may help in certain cases);
  • Proof of owning a local business, if applicable;
  • Copies of your previous visas, approval/denial notices for extension requests, boarding passes, etc., that demonstrate you have not violated immigration regulations on your previous visits;
  • If your child is inviting you, his or her immigration status documents, employment verification letter, bank account verification letter, W-2 forms, etc.;
  • A cover letter to explain the purpose of your trip and any specific issues;
  • Other documents required by specific consulates.
The information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before making any decision, consult with the appropriate professionals. Please refer our Disclaimer for details.

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