B-2  Tourist Visitor

B-2 Visa


Tourist Visitor

What is B-2 visa?

The B-2 visa is a tourist visa.  It allows foreigners to come to the United States for visiting and pleasure.  It is authorized under the Immigration and Naturalization Act Section 101(a)(15)(B).   The B-2 visa has several criteria: (a) The applicant has a foreign residence; (b) The applicant has no intention to abandon foreign residence; and (c) the visit is temporary.

How to use B-2 visa?

B-2 visa can be used for many purposes.  The following are common uses of B-2 visa:

• For tourists to travel in the U.S.

• Visiting friends and relatives in the U.S.

• Visiting for health and medical purposes.

• Participating in conventions of social organizations in the U.S.

• Dependents of U.S. armed forces personnel.

• Accompanying D-1, D-2 or B-1 visa holders.

• For foreigners to accompany principal  E, H, or L visa holders  when corresponding dependent E, H, or L visa is not available to the dependent spouse or child.

• For foreigners to come the U.S. to marry non-immigrant and then must change to spouse’s dependent status.

• Parents accompanying F-1 child may use B-2 visa. 

Limitations of B-2 visa:

• B-2 visa holders can legally stay in the United States only up to the expiration date on the I-94 form or extensions approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

• B-2 visa holders are not allowed to engage in employment activities in the U.S.

• B-2 visa holders are not allowed to begin to study in the U.S. unless a change of status application is approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to change to another non-immigration status that allows studying in the United States.

How to apply for B-2  visa?

• If you are not in the United States at this time, you should use forms DS-156 and DS-157 to apply for B-2 visa with a U.S. Consulate office.

• If you are currently in the United States and in a status other than B-2, you should use form I-539 to apply for the B-2 status.

• If you are already in the United States and in the B-2 status and wish to extend the period of stay, you should use form I-539 to apply for an extension.

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