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US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa: B1 Visa, B2 Visa
B-1 Visa, B-2 Visa for USA Tourism, Business, or Medical Visits

US Visas - Nonimmigrant Visas

US Tourist Visa US Visitor Visa B1 Visa B2 Visa B-1 Visa B-2 Visa

International Money Transfer - International Money Order

What is a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B1 Visa, B2 Visa?
If you desire to visit the United States as a tourist (for pleasure), for business, or for medical treatment, a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa is generally required. A US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa for business "B-1 Visa" or "B1 Visa", or for tourism or medical treatment "B-2 Visa" or "B2 Visa". However, if you are from a qualified country, you may be able to visit the U.S. without a visa, through the Visa Waiver Program.

Persons planning to travel to the U.S. for a different purpose, such as students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists, etc, must apply for a different visa; see US Visas (Nonimmigrant Visas).

Visa Waiver Program
If you are coming to the USA as a tourist, or for business, for 90 days or less from a qualified country, you may be eligible to visit the U.S. without a visa. Currently, 35 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, New Zealand.

If you enter on the Visa Waiver Program, you are not allowed to work or study while in the U.S., and you cannot stay longer than 90 days or change your status to another visa category.  For more information, please see Visa Waiver Program.

Am I Eligible for a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa, B-2 Visa?

To be eligible for a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa / B-2 Visa you must overcome the presumption that you are actually an intending immigrant by demonstrating:

  • The purpose of your trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
  • You plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
  • You have evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States;
  • You have evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and
  • You have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit.

How Do I Apply for a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B1 Visa, B2 Visa?

Generally you should apply for the US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B1 Visa / B2 Visa at the US Embassy or US Consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. Although you may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa / B-2 Visa outside your country of permanent residence.

As part of the US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa / B-2 Visa application process, you must have an interview at the US Embassy consular section if you are from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger, and age 80 and older, generally do not require an interview, unless requested by the US Embassy or US Consulate. The waiting time for an interview appointment can vary, so apply for your US Visitor Visa early. Visa wait times for interview appointments, and visa processing time information for each U.S. Embassy or Consulate worldwide, is available on our website at Visa Wait Times. Learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview, pay the application processing fee, review embassy specific instructions, and much more by visiting the US Embassy or US Consulate website where you will apply.

During the US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa / B-2 Visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will quickly be taken. Some US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa / B-2 Visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the interview by a Consular Officer.

Documents Required for a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa, B-2 Visa
As an applicant for a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa / B-2 Visa you must submit these forms and documentation:

  • Online Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application. Some US Embassies and US Consulates that have not converted to this new online process may require older nonimmigrant application forms. See Form DS-160 for more information.

  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must complete an application.

  • One (1) 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in Nonimmigrant Visa Photograph Requirements;

  • You must demonstrate that you are properly classifiable as a visitor under U.S. law. You may provide evidence that shows the purpose of your trip, your intent to depart the United States, and arrangements you have made to cover the costs of your trip. It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence should take since circumstances vary greatly.

    • If you are traveling to the U.S. on business, you may present a letter from the U.S. business firm indicating the purpose of your trip, your intended length of stay, and the firm's intent to cover travel costs.

    • If you are traveling to the U.S. for pleasure, you may use letters from relatives or friends in the U.S. whom you plan to visit, or confirmation of participation in a planned tour.

    • If you do not have sufficient funds to support yourself while in the U.S., you must present convincing evidence that an interested person will provide support. You are not permitted to accept employment during your stay in the U.S. Depending on individual circumstances, you may provide other evidence substantiating your trip's purpose and specifying the nature of binding obligations, such as family ties or employment, which would compel your return abroad.

  • If you are seeking medical treatment in the U.S., you should also be prepared to present the following:

    • Medical diagnosis from a local physician, explaining the nature of the ailment and the reason you require treatment in the United States.

    • Letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States, expressing a willingness to treat this specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including doctors’ fees, hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).

    • Statement of financial responsibility from the individuals or an organization that will pay for your transportation, medical and living expenses. The individuals guaranteeing payment of these expenses must provide proof of ability to do so, often in the form of bank or other statements of income/savings or certified copies of income tax returns.

Fees for a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B1 Visa, B2 Visa

  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee. For current fees of State Department government services, see Fees for US Visa Services. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid, when you come for your visa interview.

  • Visa issuance fee. Additionally, if the US Visitor Visa (B-1 or B-2 Visa) is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee. See the US Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the amount is. If there is a fee for issuance for the Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor visa, it is equal as nearly as possible to the fee charged to United States citizens by the applicant's country of nationality.

Visa Ineligibility / Visa Waiver

There are categories of persons ineligible to receive visas under U.S. law. In some instances an applicant who is ineligible, but who is otherwise properly classifiable for a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa / B-2 Visa may apply for a waiver of ineligibility and be issued a visa if the waiver is approved. If you are found to be ineligible, the consular officer will advise you of any waivers.

Visa Denials - US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa, B-2 Visa
If you are denied a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa / B-2 Visa, you may apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not obligated to re-examine such cases. For more information, see Visa Denied, Visa Refused Under 214b (Nonimmigrant Visa Denials, Visa Refusals).

Admission through a U.S. Port of Entry on a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B1 Visa, B2 Visa

You should be aware that a US Visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. A visa is issued by a Department of State Consular Office abroad, but a separate U.S. agency, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has authority to deny admission at the port of entry. Also, the period for which you are authorized to remain in the U.S. is determined by the CBP, not the Department of State Consular Office. At the port of entry, a CBP official must authorize your admission to the U.S. At that time, the CBP official will provide you with a stamped I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card), which will include your admission number to the U.S. and which will note how long you are permitted to stay in the U.S. For more information, see:

Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program. In addition, some travelers will also need to register their entry into and their departure from the U.S. with the Special Registration program.

Note that unless previously canceled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if you have a valid U.S. visitor visa in an expired passport, you may use it (keep it in the old passport) along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

How Do I Extend My Stay on a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B-1 Visa, B-2 Visa?

US visitors seeking to stay beyond the time indicated on their I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card) must have approval from the USCIS to extend their stay. The decision to grant or deny a request for extension of stay is made solely by USCIS. To learn more about how to apply for an extension and its requirements, see Extend US Visa Status (I-94 Form I-94 Card): Visa Extension to Stay Longer on My Visit to USA

Staying Beyond My Authorized Stay in the US and Being Out of Status

You should carefully consider the dates of your authorized stay and make sure you are following the procedures under U.S. immigration laws. It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card). Failure to depart the U.S. will cause you to be out-of-status.

  • Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and being out-of-status in the U.S. is a violation of U.S. immigration law. You may become ineligible for a visa in the future for return travel to the United States.

  • Staying unlawfully in the United States beyond the date Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authorized--even by one day--results in your visa automatically being voided. In this situation, you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality.

  • For nonimmigrants in the U.S. who have an I-94 Arrival-Departure Record with the endorsement of Duration of Status or D/S, but who are no longer performing the same function in the U.S. that they were originally admitted to perform (e.g. you are no longer working for the same employer or you are no longer attending the same school), an official or an immigration judge may make a finding of a status violation, resulting in the termination of the period of authorized stay.

If you forget to turn in your I-94 Arrival-Departure Record, see How to Record Departure from the US After the Fact.

HELP! with a US Tourist Visa / US Visitor Visa / B1 Visa, B2 Visa

  • Have a specific question? To help you find an answer quickly, we have placed "Ask a Visa & Immigration Lawyer" boxes on this page. Simply type a question in any of the boxes to receive a response online from a visa and immigration lawyer.

  • For assistance in your country, contact the nearest U.S. Consulate.

  • For inquiries on visa cases in progress overseas, contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your case.

  • For assistance within the U.S., contact the State Department's Visa Office at 202-663-1225. You may also email a general inquiry to Be sure to indicate the general subject of your inquiry on the subject line (e.g., temporary religious worker visa), and do not expect an immediate reply. You may also write to:
  • U.S. Department of State
    Visa Services
    Washington, DC 20520-0113

  • In the U.S., you may also contact your nearest USCIS District office or Sub Office or call the national USCIS toll-free information service at 1-800-375-5283.
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