Immigration Lawyers Los Angeles: Non Immigrant Visas: B-2

NON IMMIGRANT B-2 VISA

B2 Tourist Visa

General Overview of B-2 Visa

A B-2 visa, which is also known as tourist visa, is issued to foreign nationals who wish to temporarily visit the United States on a short term basis for recreational purposes. A typical length of the visit is a few weeks. The maximum during of the visit is decided by an immigration officer at the time of the entry into the United States. It is not uncommon for immigration officers to grant an initial period of entry of six months. B-2 visa holders may apply for an extension and if approved, the extension may not exceed six months.

Most people visit the United States with B2 visas for tourism, but there are many other reasons foreign nationals may visit the U.S. for a short term with B2 tourist visas. Some of the reasons include:
  • Tourism for sightseeing, concerts and musical events, rest, etc.
  • Visits on a short term basis with friends or family who are:
    • U.S. Citizens
    • Green Card holders
    • Foreign nationals in the United States on non-immigrant visas

    • (Note: Visitors who are dependents of immigrants who are in the United States on non-immigrant visas may not need B-2 visas for their visit because many visa categories have their own dependent visas.)
  • Visit the United States to get married
  • Visit the United States to seek medical treatment
  • Amateurs who wish to participate in their respective field of activities (sports, music, etc.)
    (Note: Professional athletes who wish to visit the United States to compete with other sports teams must obtain b1 visas.)
  • Visit the United States for social conventions
  • Dependents of foreign nationals who are members of the U.S. armed forces and temporarily assigned for duties the United States
  • Dependents of certain visa holders (B-1 Visa, D Visa, etc.) for which dependent visa classifications are not available
  • Foreign nationals who are members of the U.S. armed forces may visit the United States with B-2 visas to apply for special naturalization benefits

Visit the United States on a B2 Tourist Visa to Get Married

Immigrants may visit the United States on a B2 tourist visa to get married to a citizen or a green card holder. Even though they may later immigrate to the U.S., immigrants can obtain B-2 visas if they agree with the Consular Officer at the U.S. embassies or consulates that they will depart the United States prior to the expiration of their visa periods.

Study in the United States

Immigrants who seek to enter the United States to pursue education must be accepted by an approved school and apply for an F-1 Student Visa or an M-1 Visa. However, students may obtain a B-2 visa to visit a prospective school before deciding to apply at the school and for a Student Visa. Visitors may study in the United States on a B2 visa if their studies are short term and casual in nature. The courses must be less than 18 hours per week and cannot have credits that can be applied toward a degree. Some examples include English classes, cooking classes, etc.
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