When traveling to the United States for tourism, there are several ways to obtain a visitor’s visa to enter the country. The tourist reason for a trip indicates the type of visa that the traveler must apply for from the U.S. government. The American tourist visa is applied for online via the Internet.
For a stay of less than 90 days in the United States: It is not necessary to apply for a U.S. tourist visa, you can complete your formalities directly online and obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization ESTA in a few minutes by clicking on the online form.
The American tourist visa for a stay of more than 90 consecutive days is the B2 visa. This visitor visa allows a traveler to stay in the United States for tourism, leisure, or to visit family living in the United States.
What is the B2 tourist visa for the USA
The B2 visa is a tourist visa obtained by foreign travelers from the U.S. government in their country of residence. This visa allows travelers to stay more than 90 days consecutively in the United States. This type of USA tourist visa is less in demand since the United States implemented the Electronic Travel Authorization in 2009 which exempts travelers from obtaining a visa for a stay of less than 90 days.
Who can apply for a USA tourist visa?
A B2 tourist visa can be applied for by all travelers wishing to stay in the USA for 6 months. Nationals of VWP (US Visa Waiver Program) member countries can also apply for a visa when their tourist stay in the US is longer than 90 days.
What are the eligibility criteria?
The main criteria for applying for a USA tourist visa are
- You must be able to prove that you have sufficient financial means to pay for your entire stay in the United States;
- You should not plan to work in the USA, nor should you look for work while you are there;
- You must also prove that you plan to return to your home country at the end of your stay in the USA.
What activities are allowed with the B2 tourist visa
Once you have obtained a B2 tourist visa, you are allowed to perform the following activities:
- You will be able to have a tourist stay in the whole country, carry out any kind of leisure activities on the spot;
- You will be able to attend sports and music events in the USA;
- It will also be possible to have a medical treatment if necessary;
- You can visit your family in the United States or your friends.
photo of a usa tourist visa B2
USA Tourist Visa Application
The application for a B2 visa is made through the Internet on the official website uscis.gov. At the end of the online U.S. visa application process, travelers must complete an interview by visiting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country of residence.
A request for a tourist visa for the USA is carried out in the following way:
- The traveler must first complete the DS-160 form online;
- At the end of the online form, the visa applicant is asked to pay the administrative fee for processing the visa application in the amount of $160 ;
- To finalize the application, the traveler must scan and attach supporting documents to the online visa application;
- Once the online application is complete, the visa applicant must schedule an interview with the U.S. Consulate;
What are the supporting documents for a tourist visa
All supporting documents to be attached to a visa application must be scanned. These documents are essential for the visa application to be processed.
The complete list of documents required for a US tourist visa is as follows:
- You must prove that you have a passport with more than 6 months of validity remaining;
- You must attach a passport photograph that complies with U.S. visa regulations;
- You must attach documents proving that you have submitted the DS-160 form and paid the administrative fee for the visa ($160);
- You must have scheduled your interview with the U.S. Consulate;
- You will also need to attach a personal letter describing your reason for traveling to the US;
- You will have to prove your financial capacity to cover the whole trip to the USA, which is almost $300 per day per person.
- You will also have to prove that your ties to your country of origin are real and that they will allow you to return to the United States at the end of your stay;
- Finally, you must provide a clean criminal record proving that you have no recent convictions.
Time to obtain a tourist visa for the USA
The processing time of a tourist visa is very variable: It can take 1 week or sometimes several months. The time frame will depend on the consulate you are applying to and their workload at the time you apply.
Duration of validity and extension of a B2 tourist visa
A USA B2 tourist visa is valid for 5 years. However, you cannot exceed 6 months as a consecutive stay. You must leave the U.S. after 6 months and return to your home country.
You can obtain an extension of your tourist visa to stay for an additional 6 months after the initial validity date of your visa. To obtain an extension, you must apply for one no later than 8 weeks before the expiration of your B2 visa.