B-2 Visitor for Pleasure

You may be eligible for a B-2 visa to visit the U.S. for the following purposes:

  • 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)
  • Coming to the U.S. to marry U.S. Citizen, but will return to a residence abroad soon after the marriage

Eligibility Criteria

You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible to obtain a B-2 visa:

  • The purpose of your trip is to enter the U.S. to engage in legitimate activities related to pleasure
  • You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time
  • You have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the U.S.
  • You have a residence outside the U.S. in which you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties which will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit
  • You are otherwise admissible to the U.S.

Application Process

If you are outside the U.S., you should first consult the instructions on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply for your visa.  Generally, you will complete the online Form DS-160, schedule an interview, pay the application fee (currently $160), gather the documents as instructed on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website, attend your interview where the consular officer will determine whether you are qualified for the visa, and obtain a B-2 (or B-1/B-2) visa stamp in your passport.

Travelers seeking a B-2 visa from certain countries may be able to enter the U.S. without a visa through the Visa Waiver Program.

If you are in the U.S.  in another valid nonimmigrant status, you may apply to change status to B-2 by submitting Form I-539 along with required documents.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

The initial period of stay is 1 – 6 months.  You can apply to extend your stay for up to another 6 months (total of one year generally allowed on any one trip) by submitting Form I-539 to USCIS.

Family Members

Your spouse and children are not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. Each of your dependents who will be accompanying or following to join you must apply separately for a B-2 visa and must follow the regulations for that visa.

Sources: USCIS.gov, Travel.state.gov