All visitors must obtain the proper visa when traveling to the United States. Those wishing to stay in the country longer term will apply for a green card. Those wishing to travel for schooling will need to apply for an F-1 visa. For tourists, the B2 visa is perfect.
The B2 visa is straightforward to obtain, and it is quickly approved. There are various benefits to traveling to the United States with this visa, and one must follow a specific application process. For all information regarding the B2 visa, continue reading.
What Is a B2 Visa?
A B2 visa is more commonly known as a tourist visa. As stated before, these visas are commonly given out and are quickly approved. The B2 visa is a great choice for individuals who wish to do the following within the country:
- Visit friends or family
- Tour different cities in the United States for a longer period of time
- Participate in various contests and events offered
- Take part in any type of social event that a given organization is hosting
B2 Visa Benefits
The reason that B2 visas are so popular is due to the fact that there are benefits associated with receiving this type of visa. Some benefits are:
- The ability to apply for this visa without a sponsor or approved petition from USCIS
- The simple application process
- The quick processing time it takes to hear an approval
- The ability to apply for this visa at the closest consulate or U.S. Embassy
What Are the Requirements for a B2 Visa?
The requirements for applying for a B2 visa have to do with the reason for travel. If you wish to apply for this type of visa, you must ensure you are well within the requirements for the B2 visa. First, you need to make sure that your reasons for travel are within the required purposes.
Again, these reasons for travel can range anywhere from a basic sightseeing trip to taking part in events held by a U.S.-based organization.
Eligibility Criteria to Apply for the B2 Visa
In order to qualify for the B2 visa, the applicant must meet the following criteria. The criteria to apply for this visa and the requirements are varied. Some of the criteria that must be met include the following:
- The intention of your visa is for the above-approved activities
- Your financial means will cover all expenses related to your trip
- You have no intention of staying in the country long term and will return back to your home country within the visa period
If you meet the above criteria, you are able to apply for this type of visa. When it comes to applying for the B2 visa, there are given steps that should be followed. We will explain these steps in more detail below.
Application Procedure for B2 Visa
The application process for applying for a B2 visa is very straightforward. First, you will need to fill out the appropriate forms.
#1: Complete Form DS-160
Form DS-160 is the most important document you need to fill out and is known as the application form. You must ensure that you are filling out only the correct information. Once you have done so, you are able to submit this form.
After submitting the form, a verification code will be sent to you, which takes you to the payment page.
#2: Pay the B2 Visa Fees
With the verification code you receive from filling out the application, you will need to pay the visa fees. This can be paid by money order or electronic transfer. The cost for a B2 visa is $160. This price will only pay for the visa and will not cover any added insurance fees that are associated with the visa.
No matter the way you have paid the fee, it’s crucial that you save the receipt. You will need to include this payment receipt on your finalized application.
#3: Schedule Your Visa Interview
Before receiving your approved visa, it’s mandatory that you attend an interview. After filling out your application and paying the necessary fees, you will need to schedule your visa interview. The interview will need to be scheduled at the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to you.
#4: Prepare Your B2 Visa Documents File
When compiling all the needed documents needed for your B2 visa interview, it’s important to ensure you have everything well in advance. Some documents that are required of you to present at your interview include the following:
- A valid U.S. visa photograph
- Your valid passport
- Your DS-160 visa application form confirmation code
- The receipts of your application forms payment
- Proof of financial stability and financial records
- Evidence for the purpose of your visit
- Confirmation of the return to your home country
#5: Attend the Interview
In this interview, you will be asked about your trip’s true purpose, background, and other questions related to your application.
If you are late to this interview, your application will be rejected on the spot. However, if the interview goes well, it’s expected that you will be there for a total of three hours. Following this interview, you will receive the outcome of your application.
How Long Is the B2 Visa Processing Time?
The processing time for these visas is usually quick as long as the steps are followed and no other information or documentation is required. Generally, B2 visas will take anywhere from 60-90 days to receive a decision.
B2 Visa FAQs
When it comes to the B2 visa, there are questions that many will ask. To save you the hassle of searching for answers, we have compiled a list of the most common questions. Read below for more information about the B2 visa application process.
How Long Can I Stay in the U.S. With a B2 Visa?
If you are approved for the B2 visa, there is a limit on how long you can stay. This visa is valid for up to six months. However, this duration of time is granted for those that have the expected proof of visit.
Luckily, if you wish, you are able to apply for an extension of this visa.
Is There Any Extension for B2 Visa?
The more proof you have of the purpose of the visit, you are able to apply for an extension in the U.S. With one extension, you are able to stay in the country for an additional six months. This would mean that your B2 visa would allow you to be in the country for up to one year.
To extend B2 visa, you must file Form I-539, Change or Extend Nonimmigrant Visa, and pay the B2 visa extension fees. Many will recommend beginning this process up to 45 days in advance from your expiration date. This can be done at a U.S. Embassy or consulate that you are close by while traveling in the United States.
Can I Get a Green Card as a B2 Visa Holder?
The short answer to this question is no; however, it is complicated. You are unable to receive a green card as a B2 visa holder. Nevertheless, you can apply for a green card while on a B2 visa. All you must do is meet the requirements to qualify for a green card.
From there, if you are eligible, you can apply for a green card while on a B2 visa.
Will B2 Visa Holder Get Access to U.S. HealthCare?
No, those on a B2 visa are unable to receive health insurance in the U.S. Health insurance is not available for non-citizens. However, tourists are able to purchase travel insurance so that they are insured while traveling in the country.
Can B2 Visa Holders Bring Their Family Members?
Yes, in some cases, you are able to bring family members to the country while on a B2 visa—and they won’t even need to apply for a B2 visa! A B2 visitor visa will suffice if you are in this type of situation.
If you have eligible family members, they can stay in the country for up to 90 days while you are on a legal B2 visa. Your members will need to hold a valid passport, fill out an application, and pay the fee. If approved, they will be able to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days.
Other Considerations for B2 Visa Holders
It’s important to note that while the B2 visa is a great option to apply for, there are certain things that you are unable to do while traveling on this type of visa. For starters, you are not permitted to work while using a B2 visa. And, you are unable to attend schooling as well.
Additionally, if you have an expired passport that contains a valid B2 visa, it is still valid. Unless it’s canceled or revoked, any current valid visas you have in your passport will still be accepted.
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