What is a Tourist Visa?
The US Tourist Visa is granted by the Department of State for temporary travel. The Tourist Visa is designated as the B-2 visa and is in the Visitor Visa category. The B-2 Tourist Visa is a nonimmigrant visa meant for temporary stay in the United States and is granted for up to 90 days.
You may be eligible for a B-2 Tourist Visa if you are travelling to the United States for the purpose of: tourism; vacation; amusement; visiting friends or relatives; rest; medical treatment; or participating in a recreational event for which you will receive no remuneration.
If you are national of Canada, Bermuda, or a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program, then you may not need a visa to visit the United States.
While it is possible to apply for a B-2 Visa at any U.S. consulate or embassy abroad, it is recommended that you apply at the consulate or embassy under whose jurisdiction you reside so as not to over-complicate the process. Follow the steps below to apply for a B-2 Visa.
- Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160.
- Ensure you have a passport that is valid at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
- Attend your visa interview at your local U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Travel to a United States Port of Entry.
- Enter the United States.
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program allows nationals of participating countries to travel the US without a visa. If you are a national of a participating country, then you do not need a visa to visit the United States as long as your intended stay will be 90 days or less. The following countries participate in the Program:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
Medical treatment in the US?
If you wish to receive medical treatment in the United States and you are a not a national of country participating in the Visa Waiver Program, Canada, or Bermuda, then you will need a B-2 visa to visit the United States. You will need to provide special documentation for a Medical Treatment B-2 Visa:
- A medical diagnoses from a local physician explaining why you require treatment in the United States;
- A letter from a US physician or medical facility expressing their willingness to treat your condition and outlining the details of the intended procedure including its projected length and cost; and
- A statement of financial responsibility from the individual or organization that intends to pay for you transportation, medical and living expenses while you are in the United States. The statement must include proof that the individual or organization is financially able to pay. Such proof can be in the form of bank statements or certified copies of income tax returns.
How to extend visa?
If you wish to extend your stay in the United States, you will need to file a request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The application to extend stay is Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. It is recommended to apply for an extension of stay at least 45 days before your visa expires.
How do I change my status?
If you are in the United States on a B-2 visa and wish to change your nonimmigrant status from temporary visitor into another category such as an employment category, you will need to file a request to do so with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The application you will submit varies depending on the status you are changing to.