B-2 (Tourist Visa)

The most commonly used visa for entry to the U.S. is the B-2, visitor for pleasure. This visa is for visitors to enter temporarily for touring, to visit family and friends, to obtain medical treatment, or to attend conferences of social or service organizations. It does not permit the visitor to work or to attend school.

The B-2 visa is obtained at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas. Applicants should be expected to show evidence of maintaining an address or other ties to the home country, and financial resources to stay in the U.S. without working. Each Consulate has its own web page that provides information regarding any special procedures for obtaining a visa. U.S. Embassy and Consulate web pages can be found through the link at www.travel.state.gov. Many U.S. Embassies and Consulates will issue the B-1 visa with the B-2 visa, even though they are for different purposes.

Upon entry to the U.S., an INS inspecting officer will question the visitor regarding the nature of the proposed activity in the U.S. to determine how long to admit the visitor. The maximum length of stay is six months. The INS officer will issue the visitor an I-94 card indicating that the visitor is entering in B-2 status, and indicating the date by which the visitor must depart.