Who is it for: B-2 visas are also known as Temporary Visitor visas and are issued to foreign nationals who will be visiting the United States for short-term tourism and non-business activities. A B-2 visa may be issued for the following types of reasons:
- Tourism and vacations, including visits with family members or friends
- The treatment of medical issues
- Attendance at social events hosted by social, charitable, fraternal or non-profit organizations.
- Participation in amateur sporting, musical or similar performance events.
A B-2 visa will also typically be issued to family members who accompany a principal B-1 visa holder traveling to the United States for business purposes.
A B-2 visa cannot be used for ongoing employment or academic reasons, or for a paid performance in front of an audience. The B-2 visa is also not valid for foreign print or electronic media journalists.
Check Your Eligibility
Immigrant or Nonimmigrant visa: Nonimmigrant visa
Duration: The B-2 visa can be valid for between one and up to 10 years and may allow for a single or multiple entries into the United States for a maximum of up to six months at a time. The duration of each stay will be determined by a Customs and Border Protection agent at a port of entry and duly noted on a Form I-94. In some instances, the six month period can be extended for up to an additional six months as long as terms of the visa have not been violated.
Details: If you are traveling to the United States for medical treatment reasons under a B-2 visa, U.S. officials may ask for additional medical information, such as a diagnosis from a native country medical professional and the reason why medical treatment is being sought in America. In this instance, you may also be asked to provide proof that you have the necessary means to pay for transportation, living and medical expenses why in the United States.
To apply: To be eligible for a B-2 visa, an applicant must demonstrate:
- That the nature of their trip and that it will be for a fixed amount of time.
- That the applicant can cover the cost of their travel and tourism activities in the U.S.
- That the applicant has full intent to return to the applicant’s native country.
- That the applicant is of good moral character and meets all requirements for entry into the United States.
To apply for a B-2 visa, the applicant must complete an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160. Once completed, the applicant will be able to print out an application confirmation page and bring it to their visa interview. Applicants will also need to bring a proof of payment for their application as well. Currently, the fee to apply for a B-2 visa is $160.
Check Your Eligibility
Applicants must schedule an interview at their native country’s U.S. embassy or consulate. Waiting times will vary by country, so it is best to plan as far in advance of an intended travel date. At the interview, a consular official will determine if a visa should be issued or if more documentation or administrative processing is required.
For more information: More information on B-2 visas are available at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
For visa questions specific to your native country, visit the website of U.S. Embassies.