US B2 Tourist VISA
Apart from Studying or working in the United States of America, you can also visit the USA for pleasure, Medical treatments, Business trips and Holidays.
The B2 VISA is a US Visitor VISA, which allows you to enter the US for Tourism, pleasure, or visit friends and family.
What You Can Do With The US Tourist VISA
As a holder of the USA Tourist VISA, there are limited activities you have to engage in,
- Have a holiday in the US.
- Tour various cities in the US.
- Visit friends or family.
- Participate in social events hosted by various organizations.
- Visit the US for medical treatment.
- Participate in events or contests related to music or sports, for which you will not receive payment.
- Enroll in short study courses for which you will not receive credit (ex. cooking classes).
Note: If you don’t fall into any of the categories above, you cannot get a B2 VISA. You should look into other types of US non-immigrant VISAs, to see for which ones you qualify.
Eligibility Check For US Tourist VISA
Before you qualify to go to the US with a B2 VISA, you have to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Your intention for visiting is compliant with the B2 VISA allowed purposes of visit.
- You must have enough financial means to cover your stay in the US.
- You will have to return to your Home Country as soon as your VISA expires, as you do not intend to stay in the US.
Apply For US Tourist VISA
After you’ve checked your eligibility, and confirmed that you are qualified to apply for the US Tourist VISA, you can then proceed to apply for the VISA.
The following steps will be taken for a successful application.
- Submit Form DS-160: You can fill the DS-160 form online through the Consular Electronic Application Center. Fill in the sections for your US Tourist VISA and then submit it online. After you submit it, you will get a verification page and code, which you would need for your documents file.
- Pay VISA Fees: To continue with your application, you must pay the US Tourist VISA fee. The application fee for the US Tourist VISA is $160. You might have to pay other fees, depending on your Country’s relationship with the US. These are known as VISA issuance fees and they vary from Country to Country.
Note: When you pay all the applicable fees, make sure to save the receipts and add them to your B2 VISA documents file.
- Schedule Your US Tourist VISA interview: Every applicant that is between 14 and 79 years of age, must go through a US Tourist VISA interview, at the US Embassy they are applying in. To get this interview, you must schedule it through your Country’s US Embassy. Due to the high workload that they have, make sure you schedule it as soon as possible. When this procedure is done, you will get an interview confirmation letter, which you need to bring to the interview.
- Compile your B2 VISA Document File: You need to get your documents ready for the B2 Tourist VISA application. Here is the list of documents you will need.
- Valid passport.
- A US VISA Photo.
- Form DS-160 confirmation page and code.
- Receipt of paid VISA fees.
- Interview confirmation page.
- A letter that describes the purpose of your trip.
- Proof of financial means; Financial or Bank statements to prove you have the finances to stay in the US, of at least $266 for each day of your planned stay.
- Ties to your Home Country; Family, Job Contract, lease, or property deed, which prove you will return.
- Optional US visitor VISA invitation letter from friends or family in the US.
- Criminal records or letter from authorities, stating that you do not have prior convictions.
- Documents relevant to your prior visits; This only applies if you have visited the US before.
- Transcripts or Diploma; This only applies to students.
- A letter from your employer and pay-slips for the last three months, if you are a worker
- Photocopies of your relative’s status in the US.
- Letters from Doctors on your diagnosis and treatment, if you are visiting for medical purposes.
- Social media details, A list of the social media that you use, and the name of your account in each.
- Attend the VISA interview: During the interview session, a US Embassy official will ask you questions about your background, and why you want to go to the US. They will go through your documents, to ensure that everything is in order.
Note: The interviews will not last long, but make sure to disclose all necessary information to avoid problems later on.
What You Should Also Know About The US Tourist VISA
- Processing times for B2 tourist VISAs and US visitor VISAs, differ from Country to Country. It depends on the workload that the US Embassy, where you applied has. The B2 VISA may take a few weeks up to a few months to process. But if you do not hear from the Embassy, exercise patience and wait for them to inform you on whether you got the VISA or not.
- The maximum duration of stay on a B2 VISA is 6 months. During that time, you can travel throughout the US, or for any other purpose. But know that as soon as your VISA expires, you must return to your Home Country.
US B2 VISA Extension
You can apply for the B2 VISA extension for additional 6 months, if you wish to prolong your stay. Apply for the B2 VISA extension at least 42 days before the expiration of your I-94 card.
Note: You are not allowed to apply within three months of arrival in the US.
Here are The Required Documents for US B2 VISA Extension
- Completed form I-539.
- Your valid passport.
- A written statement on the reason behind the requested extension.
- Evidence of financial support.
- Payment of B2 VISA extension fee, which is $370.
- Original or photocopy of I-94 card.
What if My Parents Wants to Visit Me With The B2 VISA?
If you are working or studying in the US, you can invite your Parents to visit you.
They can enter the US under a B2 VISA, and they will need to follow all the steps explained above in this article.
The only difference is the required B2 VISA documents for Parents, as you are responsible for collecting some of the documents for your parents.
They will also need to collect some extra in their Home Country.
Required B2 VISA documents for Parents are;
- Passports; Your parents should have valid passports
- Completed DS-160 Form.
- Bank Verification Letter; You should present proof you are capable of financially supporting your parents while they are in the US.
- Employment Verification; You should ask your current employer for this letter.
- Invitation Letter; You should write a letter to your Parents, inviting them to visit you in the US.
Note: It is not easy, and not permitted to get permanent residence or a Green Card from a US Tourist VISA. This is because the B2 VISA is a temporary US VISA.