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How to Get a US Tourist Visa
If you want to visit the United States, you need a visa that gives you permission to enter the country. Visa requirements vary depending on your citizenship and the purpose of your travel. Before you schedule your vacation, learn about the requirements for a visitor visa.
Complete a Visa Application
All foreign nationals who want tourist visas must complete Form DS-160, also called the nonimmigrant visa application. You can complete this form online. After filling out the application, you upload a photograph of yourself. Then print the confirmation page to bring to the visa interview. If you’re requesting a tourist visa for more than one person in your family, each individual must complete an application.
Schedule an Interview
Applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must go through an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the countries where they live. Before the interview, you need to pay the non-refundable visa application fee. At the interview, you provide digital fingerprints.
You also need to provide supporting documents for the visa. These include the confirmation page that you printed when you submitted the application. You also have to bring the printed copy of the photo you uploaded. The embassy will also ask to see that your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned visit to the U.S. In some cases, you need to provide proof of the purpose of your trip, ties to your home country and your ability to cover your expenses while in the U.S.
Entering the U.S.
Having a visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S. When you arrive at the port of entry, the Customs and Border Patrol officer makes the decision whether to let you enter. If you get approval, the officer stamps your entry date in your passport, along with a stamp that shows the date you must leave.
You should leave the country before this date. Failing to do so can lead to denials on future visa and immigration applications. If you stay in the country after the date stamped in your passport, you are out of status. It may be possible to extend your stay.
Travel Without a Visa
Citizens of certain countries can enter the United States without a visa. This includes citizens of Canada, Bermuda, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
However, this still does not guarantee entry to the U.S. Border patrol officials can deny entry to anyone who has previously violated immigration laws or has a criminal history.
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Restrictions, visa types and application fee amounts, visa types and conditions with no fee required, nonimmigrant visa issuance ("reciprocity") fees, blanket l fees (fraud prevention and detection fee).
Visa applicants, including children, are required to pay a non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee, sometimes referred to as the MRV fee, before applying for a nonimmigrant visa. The visa application fee must be paid whether a visa is issued or not. The type of visa for which you apply determines the fee amount. Depending on your citizenship and the type of visa you are applying for, you may also have to pay a visa issuance or "reciprocity" fee. This webpage lists visa application fees associated with each nonimmigrant visa type.
Please note that only the application fees for nonimmigrant visas are listed here.
Although fees are listed in U.S. dollars, payment must be made using local currency. You can pay your fee at any major bank location. More information about payment options is here .
Your visa application fee is non-refundable and you cannot transfer it to another person. You will receive a receipt after paying the application fee. All nonimmigrant visa application fee (also known as the MRV fee) payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days from the date a receipt is issued for payment of the MRV fee. Applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application during this 365-day period. Please note applicants must only schedule their interview or submit their waiver application within the 365-day period. There is no requirement the interview must occur during the 365-day period. All receipts for payment of MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, were extended until September 30, 2023, and remain valid until this date.
The application fees are listed below and apply to one visa application. The application fee for the most common nonimmigrant visa types is US$185. This includes tourist, business, student, and exchange visas. Most petition-based visas, such as work and religious visas, are US$315. K visas cost US$265 and the fee amount for E visas is US$315 The tables below have a more comprehensive list of visa types and fee amounts.
- Applicants for A, G, C-2, C-3, NATO, and diplomatic visas (as defined in 22 CFR 41.26);
- Applicants holding J visas and who are participating in certain official U.S. Government-sponsored educational and cultural exchanges;
- Replacement of a machine-readable visa within one year of visa issuance, when the original visa was not properly affixed or the visa needs to be reissued through no fault of the applicant;
- Applicants exempted by international agreement, including members and staff of an observer mission to United Nations Headquarters recognized by the UN General Assembly, and their immediate families;
- Applicants traveling to provide certain charitable services;
- U.S. Government employees traveling on official business; and,
- A parent, sibling, spouse or child of a U.S. Government employee killed in the line of duty who is traveling to attend the employee's funeral and/or burial; or a parent, sibling, spouse, son or daughter of a U.S. Government employee critically injured in the line of duty for visitation during urgent treatment and convalescence.
In some cases, additional visa fees are paid directly to the National Visa Center, to the U.S. Embassy or to the Department of Homeland Security.
Applicants from certain countries may be required to pay a visa issuance fee after their application is approved. These fees are based on "reciprocity" (what another country charges a U.S. citizen for a similar-type of visa). The United States strives to eliminate visa issuance fees whenever possible, however, when a foreign government imposes these fees on U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the United States will impose a "reciprocal" fee on citizens of that country for similar types of visas. The Department of State's website has more information about visa issuance fees and can help you determine if an issuance fee applies to your nationality.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an Internet-based system that tracks F, M, and J visa participants (and their family members) from the time they receive their initial documentation (either an I-20 or a DS-2019) until they graduate/leave school or conclude/leave program.
F, M and J visa principal applicants: Check with your U.S. school to make sure your information has been entered into SEVIS. You will need to pay a separate SEVIS fee in addition to the visa application fee. For nonimmigrant students with Form I-20, the SEVIS fee is US$350. For most exchange visitors with Form DS-2019, the SEVIS fee is US$220. . Payment cannot be made at the U.S. Embassy . Instructions for paying the SEVIS fee can be found here .
SEVIS Fee Exception
Applicants participating in a U.S. Government sponsored program (programs whose codes begin with G-1, G-2, G-3, G-7) are not required to pay the SEVIS fee.
First-time principal applicants who are covered under a blanket petition for L status must pay a Fraud Prevention and Detection fee of US $500. This fee should be paid to the cashier at the Consular Section on the day of the interview. If a subsequent L-1 visa application is based on a new Form I-129S, the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee must be collected again.
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On June 17, 2023, the nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application processing fee for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s and BCCs), and other non-petition based NIVs such as student and exchange visitor visas (F, M, and J visas), will increase from $160 to $185. The fee for certain petition-based NIVs for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 to $205. The fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (nonimmigrant E category) visa will increase from $205 to $315. NIV fees paid prior to June 17, 2023, will remain valid through the expiration date of the fee receipt.
NIV fees are set based on the actual cost of providing NIV services and are determined after conducting a study of the cost of these services. The Department uses an Activity-Based Costing (ABC) methodology to calculate, annually, the cost of providing consular services, including visa services. The fees for most non-petition based NIVs were last updated in 2012, and certain other visa fees were last updated in 2014.
This rule does not change any other fees, including the fee to apply for a waiver of the two-year residency requirement for certain exchange visitors, which remains at $120.
Fee information can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/fees-visa-services.html , and on the websites of U.S. embassies and consulates.
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Social / search, nonimmigrant visas: fees.
Nonimmigrant visa applicants are required to pay an MRV fee unless exempt from the fee requirement .
The MRV application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. There will be no refund of the fee, regardless of whether the visa is ultimately issued or refused.
The MRV application fee for visitor and certain other nonimmigrant visa categories will increase from $160 to $185, effective June 17, 2023 . Similarly, the MRV application fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from $190 to $205. The fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (E category) will increase from $205 to $315. Applicants who paid for their visa application before June 17, 2023 will not be charged any additional fees. For more information click here .
The fee is paid through the Visa Appointment Service website.
Blanket L-1 Visa Applicants are required to pay a Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee of $500.00, and for those who are subject to it, a Border Security Act fee of $4,500. Please check with your employer to see if the Border Security Act fee applies in your case. The fee(s) will be paid to the Embassy’s cashier on the day of the visa interview. Fees may be paid in cash – sterling or dollar equivalent, or by Credit Card – Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover or American Express. The Embassy does not accept any other credit or debit cards, or personal checks.
Nationals of certain countries are required to pay an issuance fee in order for an approved visa to be issued. Fees are based on reciprocity and reflect the charges levied by the applicant’s government to a U.S. citizen for a similar service. Note: The only issuance fees charged to a British Citizen passport holder is for the L-2 visa.
Applying in person : Those applying for a visa in person through a pre-arranged appointment, will be advised whether or not an issuance fee is required. Issuance fees are paid to the Embassy cashier. Fees may be paid in cash – dollars or sterling equivalent, by Credit Card – Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover or American Express or Debit Card – Visa. The Embassy does not accept any other credit or debit cards, or personal checks.
Applying for a visa through the Courier Service : If your application is successful, the Embassy will notify you by mail of the issuance fee and methods of payment.
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U.S. Embassy in Trinidad & Tobago
Updated on June 5, 2023
The Department of State is committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the United States for both immigrant and nonimmigrant travelers.
On March 28, 2023, the Department of State published in the Federal Register a final rule regarding increases to certain nonimmigrant visa application (NIV) processing fees and the Border Crossing Card (BCC) for Mexican citizens age 15 and over. The fee increases take effect on June 17, 2023. The fee for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s and BCCs), and other non-petition based NIVs such as student and exchange visitor visas, will increase from US$160 to US$185. The fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will increase from US$190 to US$205. The fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicants in a specialty occupation (E category) will increase from US$205 to US$315.
NIV fees are set based on the actual cost of providing NIV services and are determined after conducting a study of the cost of these services. The Department of State uses an activity-based costing methodology to calculate, annually, the cost of providing consular services, including visa services. The fees for most non-petition based NIVs were last updated in 2012, and certain other NIV fees were last updated in 2014.
Other consular fees are not affected by this rule, including the waiver of the two-year residency required fee for certain exchange visitors.
All fee payments for visa interviews made on or after October 1, 2022 are valid for 365 days from the date a receipt is issued for payment of the fee. Applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application within 365 days of paying the fee. There is no requirement for the interview to occur during the 365-day period.
Receipts for fees paid prior to October 1, 2022 will continue to be valid until September 30, 2023. These applicants must schedule an interview or submit an interview waiver application before September 30, 2023. The interview need not occur before that date.
Visas for work and tourism are essential to President Biden’s foreign policy, and the U.S. Embassy recognizes the critical role international travel plays in the U.S. economy.
Please call: 1-868-622-6371
Outside of Office Hours, contact: 1-868-622-6371
Outside of Trinidad & Tobago: 1-868-622-6371
Visa application fees
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How to apply for or renew a U.S. tourist visa
If you visit the U.S. for tourism or business, you may need a visitor visa, also known as a tourist visa. Learn how to get and renew this type of nonimmigrant visa.
To enter the U.S., you must bring a passport issued by your country of citizenship along with your visa. Officials at your port of entry into the U.S. will also issue you a Form I-94, which electronically records your arrival and departure dates. Learn more about Form I-94 and how to apply .
Find out if you need a visa to visit the U.S.
Check to see if your country participates in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) . If it does, you can get a waiver and will not need a visa. If you do not see your country listed, you will need a visitor visa.
Visitor (tourist) visa
The visitor visa, also known as a tourist visa, is a type of nonimmigrant visa for people who wish to temporarily enter the U.S. There are two categories:
- B-1 for business travel
- B-2 for tourism and medical treatment
Learn about B-1 and B-2 visas , including:
- Reasons you would need each type of visitor visa
- How to apply
- What documents you will need
- Application fees
- How to prepare for your interview at your U.S. embassy or consulate
How to renew a visitor visa
You must renew your visitor visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Only diplomatic visa holders and their dependents can renew their visas within the U.S.
The process to renew a visitor visa is the same as getting one for the first time. Follow the process to apply for a visitor visa from the Department of State.
Find the contact information for your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and contact them for visa renewal information.
LAST UPDATED: October 31, 2023
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B2 Visa - Tourist Visa USA
The US Tourist Visa, more commonly known as the B-2 Visa, is among the most sought-after visas. However, getting a B-2 Visa can be quite tricky without the help of experienced and well-informed visa solicitors.
Legal experts and knowledgeable visa solicitors at IAS can make the process of obtaining a B-2 Visa quick and seamless. If you wish to seek our advice, please feel free to contact us via the online chat or you can also call us at +1 844 290 6312 .
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Page contents:, do you need a visa to visit the usa, what is a b-2 visitor visa, checklist of required documentation for us tourist visa, special documents needed for patients seeking medical treatment through b-2 visa, how to apply for a us b2 visa, preparation for the us b2 visa interview, b-2 visa cost, processing time for b-2 visa, additional information for potential visa applicants, traveling to the usa without a b-2 visa, what happens if my tourist visa expires, how can ias help, frequently asked questions.
Yes, anyone who wishes to enter the US must possess a visa or a similar document that proves that they have been allowed to enter the country by the US government. However, the process, eligibility requirements and documents required for each individual might vary based on their country of origin.
For example, people from 40 countries are allowed to enter the US if they possess an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visa waiver. This is an alternative to the conventional visa, and under this program, people belonging to any of the countries on the list can reside in the US for up to 90 days without a visa if they provide the necessary supporting documents and pay any associated fees.
In general, you will definitely need prior approval or a B2 Visa to enter the US for tourism, visiting family and friends, getting medical treatment and participating in or attending any kind of social events that are conducted in the US.
The B2 Visitor Visa allows visitors to reside temporarily in the US. At maximum, visitors can be allowed to stay for up to 180 on the B2 Visa, solely based upon the discretion of the US government.
The following are the justifications for traveling on a B2 Visa:
- Taking a vacation or taking part in tourism activities
- Visiting relatives
- Getting medical treatment based on a diagnosis by a local physician in the home country
- Participating in or attending activities, such as concerts or classes, without being compensated or receiving credit
- Taking a quick leisurely study session, like a culinary class
Applicants are not allowed to use this visa to travel for any of the following purposes:
- Long-term undergraduate and graduate studies
- A long-term job with a US company
- Any professional performance, either for money or in front of an audience that is paying
- Joining ship or aircraft work
- Working in journalism, radio, cinema, print, or other informational media as a foreign press reporter.
- Living permanently in the United States
- A passport that is still valid six months after the expected date of return. If it expires any earlier, you will need to first apply for a new passport and then initiate your visa process.
- A current (i.e., not older than six months) and acceptable government-required digital image
- Documentation showing the last five travels, and the visa applications made to the US, if any.
- Evidence showing sufficient finances to pay for the whole trip’s expenditures, including transport, lodging, and living costs
- Evidence of the applicant’s strong links to their nation of origin, such as a job, property, or family members
- Present evidence of income, pay slips, tax payments, ownership of real estate, businesses, or assets
- A medical diagnosis outlining the nature of your condition and why you need treatment in the USA from a local doctor.
- An official letter stating that a doctor or medical facility in the US is willing to treat this particular condition and outlining the expected time and cost of care (including doctor’s fees, hospital fees, and any medical-related costs).
- A declaration of financial accountability from the people or group covering your living, medical, and transportation costs. The parties ensuring payment of these costs must demonstrate their financial stability, frequently by submitting certified copies of their income tax returns or bank or other proofs of income or savings.
Contact our expert immigration lawyers to get assistance for applying your B2 Tourist Visitor Visa Today! Contact Us
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Application for a US Tourist Visa can be challenging for passport holders of certain countries but quite seamless for others. The application process for getting the US B-2 Visa entails the following steps:
Filling out the online application
Applicants must first go to the online website of the US Embassy, find the DS-160 form online, and fill it out.
This is a prerequisite, as all applicants must bring a duly filled and printed application form to their interview.
It is also important to bring along a passport-sized photograph that is in line with the requirements, which state that all photographs submitted must be colored and taken within the last six months, with a white background, and 5×5 cm in size.
Booking an interview
Each visa applicant will be given a visa appointment once all the required documents are uploaded.
For individuals who are below the age of 13 and above the age of 80, visa interviews are often not required.
Applicants will be shown a list of available time slots for the interview and they can choose one that suits their needs. It is important to note that the appointment wait time can vary based on the location, the time of year and the kind of visa being applied for. Hence, it is advised to apply for the visa in advance and before booking any travel to the US.
Submitting additional documents
Visa applicants must also present additional documents at the visa interview, which must be prepared in advance. These documents include bank statements, visa application fee payment receipts, invitation letters, a NOC from the current employer and a valid passport.
In some cases, applicants will also be asked to submit their complete itinerary stating the purpose of the visit, when they will depart, when they will return and where they will stay during the entire trip.
The US Tourist Visa interview can be the most intimidating aspect of the entire visa application process, and it is conducted at the local US embassy or the consulate office.
It is advised for applicants to prepare themselves in advance before going to the interview venue so that they are ready to speak with the consular officer and respond to their questions. Provided below are a series of most frequently asked questions by the consular officers.
- How long do you plan to stay?
- Have you been to the US before?
- Where is your permanent residence?
- What is the purpose of your visit?
- Do you currently have friends or family living in the US? If so, where do they live, and what do they do?
- Who will be traveling with you?
- How do you plan to cover the cost of your trip and living expenses during your stay? Will you do it yourself, or will someone sponsor your stay?
- Have you booked your return tickets?
- How can you guarantee that you’ll go back to your own country within the visa validity period?
These are just a few of the possible questions that the consular officer might ask the visa applicant. Based on his or her own understanding, they might ask other questions and request more documents.
In case thinking about such an interview intimidates you, and you feel that you need additional guidance, please feel free to contact our visa advisors at IAS. Use the online chat feature to reach out to us at any time. If you would like to talk with one of our agents right away, you may also phone us at +1 844 290 6312 .
A B-2 Visa requires a $160 filing fee from the government. Visa applicants must note that this cost does not cover the price of compiling additional paperwork and evidence requested by the government or the consular officer, as well as getting passport photographs.
Reach out to our team of experts to discuss your B2 Tourist Visitor Visa requirements and the level of assistance you desire. Contact Us
Currently, there is a two-month wait period for individuals applying for the B-2 Visa. However, the exact waiting period for the interview appointment can vary significantly based on the country and city of the applicant’s residence. Be aware that wait times could be greater if you are applying for an interview in a nation other than your native country.
You can take help to get estimated answers using the State Department Tool offered by the US government’s official website. You can also contact IAS to help you out with managing your US Tourist Visa application to make the whole process effortless. Reach out to us using the live chat or call us at +1 844 290 6312 .
The Visa Waiver Program for Applicants From 40 Countries
Passport holders of around 40 countries have been allowed to enter the US to visit or tour the country without a visa. This program is called the Visa Waiver Program. This means that these individuals will not need to apply for the B-2 Visa and go through the process explained in the previous sections of this article. The complete list of the participating countries can be found on the official website of the US government.
However, these individuals must also provide certain supporting documents that must be submitted no later than 72 hours before the expected date of travel, which include:
- A machine-readable passport that consists of biographical and other information, a digital chip and biometric information
- A return ticket from the airline approved by the Visa Waiver Program
- Proof of payment of $21 is required for receiving the ESTA.
The entire application process should not take more than 20 to 30 minutes if you have all the documents ready beforehand. Visitors must also remember that they cannot use this service if they wish to stay for longer than 90 days in the US.
Electronic Visa Update System for Chinese Passport Holders
Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) was created to enable visitors visiting the United States to give immigration officials their most up-to-date personal data, such as name, passport number, residence and employment status.
Chinese nationals with a 10-year B1, B2 (Visit Visa), or both (B1 & B2) visas frequently update their basic biographic information on the EVUS in order to speed up their journey to the US. Such travelers will need to join the EVUS in order to enter the United States, in addition to having a passport, valid visa and other required documents.
To enroll in the EVUS, the applicant must have a passport issued by the People’s Republic of China, a valid B1/B2 Visa 10-year visa and internet access.
The traveler must fill out an EVUS enrollment form with their name, birthdate, emergency contact information, passport information, biographical information, and employment information. Additionally, queries on eligibility for travel will be asked of travelers. A traveler’s EVUS enrolment can, however, be submitted on their behalf by a friend, relative, member of the travel industry, or other third party. Travelers are accountable for the veracity and accuracy of any information provided on their behalf.
Begin your journey to the USA today! Contact IAS to discuss your B2 Tourist Visa application. Contact Us
In order to travel to the United States, you must possess a valid visa or similar permission from the government that allows you to enter and remain in the country for tourism purposes.
Only visa holders and individuals with an ESTA will be allowed to enter the country. If you travel without a valid visa or ESTA, you will be denied boarding by the airline crew at the airport.
There are multiple situations in which this can happen. Your visa can expire before you even travel to the US. In most cases, the B2 visa is valid for up to 10 years. This means that once you get the visa, you can enter the country anytime within the 10-year time frame. However, you can only stay in the country for a period of six months.
However, certain unforeseen incidents can cause you to delay your trip. In that case, if you exceed the given 10-year period, you will have to re-apply for the new visa and go through the entire visa process again.
Another situation is where you might enter the US with a valid B2 Visa, but you overstay due to one or more valid reasons. In such a case, you must apply to extend visa validity.
B2 Visa holders may apply for a continuance of stay to remain in the United States past the initial visa’s expiration date. You are allowed to request an extension for a maximum of six months. The Form I-539 must be presented in order to request an extension or modify the status.
Acquiring a US Tourist Visa undoubtedly entails a lengthy and intimidating process that can make one feel hopeless or lost. In such a scenario, it is always advisable to take help from experienced visa solicitors to make the entire process easy and hassle-free. IAS offers detailed help for our customers who are trying to apply for a US Tourist Visa.
Our consultants will make sure that all your documents are complete and that you are completely ready for the interview so that you are not denied the visa. IAS can also help with applying for visa extensions and addressing other similar legal matters. Reach out to us using the live chat or call us at +1 844 290 6312 .
Last modified on August 29th, 2023 at 9:20 am
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The cost of a visa extension is $370 and an additional fee of $85 must also be paid as a biometric service fee.
What is the difference between a US Tourist Visa and a Student Visa?
The US Tourist Visa is for people who wish to visit the country for a short duration (i.e., six months). On the contrary, the student visa allows people to pursue educational courses, and the validity of the student visa depends on the duration of the course.
Which of the visas is best for me: B1 or B2 or the ESTA?
You can only apply for the ESTA if you are eligible for it based on the list of participating countries. You may, however, apply for a B1 visa if you are going for a business trip or a B2 visa if you are going for a short visit or for tourism purposes.
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B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa, Explained
Understanding the b temporary travel visa, in this guide.
- What Is a B1/B2 Visa?
- How Long Does It Take To Get a B1/B2 Visa?
- How Many Times Can You Visit the U.S. With a B1 B2 Visa?
- B-1/B-2 Visa Cost
- B Visa Requirements
- Can You Change Status From B1/B2?
- Required Documents For a Travel Visa
- B1/B2 Visa Application Process
- Frequently Asked Questions
- B1/B2 Visas
The B1 visa and B2 visa are temporary, non-immigrant , multiple-entry visas that allow the holder to travel to the United States for either business or tourism purposes. Though B Visas cover many reasons for travel to the U.S., there are different nonimmigrant visas (travel) visas that allow people to temporarily visit the U.S., such as K1 (fiancé) visas , F1 (student) visas , H1B visas , and more.
Learn how to increase your chance of travel visa approval, and get unlimited, live application support from start to finish. Take our 5-minute quiz to check your eligibility.
What’s the difference between a B1 visa and a B2 visa?
The B1 is for people who need to travel to the U.S. for business-related work such as attending a work conference, business consultations, settling an estate, negotiating contracts, or professional examinations and licensing. A B1 visa is specifically for business-related activities and does not permit formal employment or long-term work in the U.S., however in March 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that those with B1 or B2 visas can apply for jobs in the U.S. and attend interviews.
The B2 (tourist) is for tourism, vacation, or visiting friends and family. It also covers certain medical treatments and participation in social events or contests, like music or sports, without receiving pay. In most cases, a B1/B2 visa is issued together, allowing the holder to travel for both business and pleasure.
How Long Does It Take To Get a B1/B2 Visa?
The average wait time (processing time) for a B1/B2 visa interview appointment is currently two months. To check the wait time for your specific embassy or consulate, enter your city in this handy State Department tool under the section “Appointment Wait Time.” Note that if you are applying for an interview in a country other than your home country, wait times may be longer.
How Long Can You Stay in the USA on a B1 B2 Visa?
The B1/B2 visa is a multiple-entry visa, which means you can use it to enter the U.S. more than once. There’s no set limit to the number of times you can visit the U.S. in a year, and it really depends on the specific circumstances and discretion of the CBP officers who review your case each time you enter.
It’s important to remember that the B1/B2 visa is intended for temporary, occasional visits for business, tourism, or medical treatment. It’s not meant to be used for living long-term in the U.S. or spending the majority of your time in the country.
If officers think you’re trying to live in the U.S. through frequent or extended visits, or if you’re not maintaining significant ties to your home country, they may suspect you’re misusing the visa, which could lead to denial of entry or future visa issues.
How Many Times Can You Visit the U.S. With a B1 B2 Visa?
It depends. The B1/B2 visa is a multiple-entry visa, which means you can use it to enter the U.S. more than once. There’s no set limit to the number of times you can visit the U.S. in a year, and it really depends on the specific circumstances and discretion of the CBP officers who review your case each time you enter.
While there’s no official limit, it’s vital to respect the purpose and restrictions of your visa to avoid any problems. If you need guidance on your specific situation, it’s a good idea to consult with an immigration expert.
Currently, the government filing fee for a B visa is $185, which does not include the cost of gathering documents and evidence and acquiring passport photos.
Can a U.S. Sponsor Pay for a B1B2?
Yes, a U.S. sponsor can help cover the costs for someone applying for a B1/B2 visa. The sponsor needs to show they’re financially stable and able to cover the visitor’s expenses during their stay in the U.S. by filing an I-134 “Declaration of Support.”
- When to file Form I-134: The sponsor can file Form I-134 at any time, but it is often best to do so early in the visa process to ensure that all required documents are in order.
- What information is required: The sponsor must provide personal information, proof of U.S. citizenship or green card status, information about the visa applicant, employment and financial information, dependent and marital information, and a signed page promising to support the beneficiary.
- Proof of financial assets: The sponsor must submit photocopies of documents that prove their financial assets, such as bank statements, tax returns, and employment verification letters.
- Translations: All documents must be in English or must be accompanied by a full English translation.
- Review process: Once the visa applicant submits their application, USCIS will review the sponsor’s information along with the application. If necessary, USCIS may contact the applicant for additional evidence or clarification.
Once the I-134 form is submitted, USCIS will review it to determine if the sponsor can financially support the applicant. If USCIS approves the I-134, the applicant will be issued a B1/B2 visa.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind:
- The sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- The sponsor must be able to provide evidence of their income, assets, and debts.
- The sponsor must be willing to financially support the applicant for their stay in the United States.
- The sponsor must be able to travel to the United States to meet with the applicant if necessary.
Also, remember to consult with an immigration expert if you have any doubts or need personalized support. Boundless has helped more than 100,000 people navigate the visa application process, and we’ll help you make a travel visa plan based on your unique situation. Get started today!
A B1/B2 visitor visa is for many types of trips to the U.S., including business and non-business activities like tourism. If you want to apply for a B1 or B2 visa, you need to prove that your trip to the U.S. is only for a short time.
You must also show proof that you plan to return to your home country after your visit, and that you have a place to live outside the U.S. that you will not leave for good. These points help show that you will follow the rules of the B1/B2 visa.
Reasons for travel under a B1 visitor visa include:
- Business consultations : This might include meetings, negotiations, or discussions with business associates in the U.S.
- Attending conferences or seminars : This can cover professional, educational, scientific, or business conventions.
- Settling an estate : If someone inherits property or assets in the U.S., a B1 visa can allow them to handle these matters legally.
- Contract negotiations : If a person needs to sign or negotiate a contract with a U.S. company, a B1 visa is often the correct choice.
- Professional examination and licensing : Some professionals must be in the U.S. to take exams or get licenses only available there.
Reasons for travel under a B2 tourist visa include:
- Tourism : This could be sightseeing, visiting famous landmarks, exploring cities, or simply enjoying the country’s culture and atmosphere.
- Visiting family or friends : Many people use a B2 visa to visit their loved ones living in the U.S.
- Medical treatment : If someone requires medical treatment or a procedure that’s available in the U.S., they might apply for a B2 visa.
- Social events : Attending events like concerts, cooking classes, conventions, festivals, or other social gatherings can be another reason for using a B2 visa.
- Participation in events or contests : If the event doesn’t involve professional participation (like amateur tournaments or contests), a B2 visa could be suitable.
- Short courses of study : If the course duration is less than 18 hours per week, this falls under B2 visa regulations.
You cannot travel under this visa to engage any of the following:
- Long-term employment by a U.S. firm
- Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
- Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
- Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
- Permanent residence in the United States
Boundless has helped more than 100,000 people with their immigration and U.S. travel plans. We’ll be your partner from beginning to end. Get started today!
The Visa Waiver Program allows nationals from certain countries to travel to the United States without a visa for business, tourism, or while in transit for up to 90 days. The program currently covers 38 countries and territories, including most countries in the European Union.
Canadian nationals also typically do not need a visa to enter the US for tourism purposes. Canadian nationals will need the appropriate visa if they have specific plans to study, work, or move permanently to the U.S.
Different entry requirements also apply to Canadian nationals, depending on whether they plan to work, study, invest, or immigrate. The maximum length of stay can vary, depending on circumstances, between 6 months and 1 year.
The B1 visa and B2 visa do not grant permanent resident status — they are temporary visas – but you can adjust your status from a B1/B2 visa to another type of visa while you are in the U.S., as long as you meet certain requirements. This process involves submitting a change of status application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Here are a few key points to consider:
- Purpose of stay : Your reason for wanting to stay in the U.S. should match the new visa type. For example, if you wish to study, you may apply to change to a student visa (F-1). If you find an employer willing to sponsor you, you could apply to change to a work visa (like H-1B).
- Timing : You should apply before your current status expires, typically indicated on the I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. USCIS recommends applying at least 45 days before your current status expires.
- Eligibility : Not everyone can change their status. For example, you cannot change your status if you entered the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program, unless it is due to marriage to a U.S. citizen.
- Status violation : If you’ve violated the terms of your current status (for instance, if you’ve started working while on a B1/B2 visa without authorization), you usually can’t change your status.
- Approval : Even if you meet all conditions and file an application, the final decision is up to USCIS.
If you’ve just married someone who’s a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (they have a green card), you can also apply for a marriage green card. This lets you stay in the U.S. and live with your spouse. You can either apply for a green card while you’re still in the country in a process is called “adjustment of status” (AOS), or you can apply from your home country through what’s called consular processing. To find out if you’re eligible for a B1B2 visa or to change your status from a B1B2 visa, take our eligibility quiz. Get started today!
Documents needed to apply for a B1/B2 visa include:
- A passport valid for six months past the date of return
- A recent digital photograph that meets government requirements
- Documentation of the past five previous trips to the United States, if applicable
- Proof of funds to cover the entire cost of the trip, including travel, accommodation, and living expenses
- Proof of binding ties to the applicant’s home country, such as a job, property, or family
Applications are processed by the United States Embassy or consulate in your country.
You will need to attend an interview before your visa is approved. You can attend an interview at an embassy or consulate in a third country, but you will likely wait longer for a visa appointment.
Steps to getting a B Visa
- First, you must complete the Online Non-Immigrant Application, Form DS-160. File the form online and print the confirmation page as you will need it for your interview.
- Upload your digital photo
- Attend the visa interview
As part of the process, ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken, typically at the interview. After the interview, the consular officer may request additional documents or information to make a decision about your case.
Boundless’ Travel Visa Service makes applying a breeze with online filing, 1:1 interview coaching, interview scheduling, and support if your visa is denied. Take our approval odds quiz to check your eligibility.
B-1 visas are issued for short business trips, while B-2 visas are issued for tourism purposes, such as vacations or visiting family.
If you’re looking to temporarily visit the U.S. for either holiday or work purposes, for example, attending a conference, touring a place or visiting relatives, then you can apply for a B-1/B-2 visa. You may need to show proof that you have ties to your home country, and that you plan on leaving the U.S..
When you enter the U.S., a customs officer will give you authorization to stay in the the country for up to six months . If you’d like to stay for longer, you may be able to apply to extend this for up to one year.
If you are nearing the end of your permitted stay in the U.S., then you may wish to extend it, especially since there can be future consequences if you stay in the U.S. longer than you were allowed to.
If you’re on a B-1 visa or a B-2 visa, you can request to extend your stay up to one year. To do this, you will need to file Form I-539 to extend or change your status. It’s recommended that you apply to extend your status at least 45 days before your authorized stay expires, so make sure you’re thinking ahead.
No. While you can enter the U.S. for business purposes, you cannot work or be employed by a U.S. employer. If you’re interested in working in the U.S. for a U.S. employer, you may be interested in other visa categories, such as the H-1B visa .
How can I renew my B1 visa or B2 visa?
If you would like to renew your B-1/B-2 visa, then you will need to go through the original process. Depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply, you may be able to complete your visa renewal without the need for an interview.
Should I apply for a B-1/B-2 visa or an ESTA?
If you are a citizen of one of the 38 countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program , then you have the option of applying for an ESTA instead of a B1 visa or B2 visa.
Both allow you to enter the U.S. for the same reasons of tourism or business, but you can apply for the ESTA online. Entering the U.S. this way only permits you to stay for up to 90 days, however, so if you would like to stay in the U.S. for travel or business purposes for longer, the B-1/B-2 visitor visa may be an option for you.
Do Canadian citizens need a B-1/B-2 visa?
For casual business or tourism travel, most Canadian citizens don’t need a visa and will automatically be admitted on a B-1 visa or B-2 visa category.
Is the B-1/B-2 visa an immigrant or non-immigrant visa?
The B-1/B-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, but if your circumstances change, for example, you marry a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, there are several paths from a visitor visa to a green card . Learn more to see how Boundless can help you avoid major headaches and make the process easier.
Do I need a certain amount of money in my bank account to be approved for a travel visa?
No. A common misconception about the travel visa process is that in order be approved, you must provide proof of a certain amount of funds in your bank account. Although financial considerations are one aspect of the B-1/B-2 process, and the consular officer may check to see if you are able to support yourself financially during your time in the U.S., there is no minimum required amount of funds that needs to be met. Evaluation of finances will vary from applicant to applicant, depending on a variety of other factors. Learn more common myths about the travel visa process in Boundless’ blog post .
- Renewing a B-1/B-2 Visa
- Boundless’ Travel Visa Approval Odds Quiz
- How To Change Status from B1/B2 Visa to a Green Card
- Help with Form DS-160
- How to Prepare for the Travel Visa Interview
- Average Green Card Processing Times
- I’m a Student — the F1 visa guide
- Tourist Visa for Your Parent
- Tourist Visa Denied? Here’s What to Do
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