What is the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa?
The B2 Tourist Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreigners to visit the US as a tourist or receive medical treatment there. You can apply for the B2 Tourist Visa if you intend to come to the US for one of the following reasons:
- To go on holiday and travel around the US
- To visit family or friends
- To take part in social events
- To attend a cultural event, for example, related to music or sport
- To receive medical treatment that is not available in your home country.
If you would like to come to the US to engage in business activities, you should apply for another visa from the US Visitor Visas category, the B1 Business Visitor Visa.
The B2 Tourist Visitor Visa is one of the most popular US visas. There is no annual cap on the number of B2 Visas that can be granted to applicants each year so the waiting time for it is relatively short.
As the B2 Tourist Visa is a non-immigrant visa, you will only be able to stay in the US for a limited period of time. Once your visa expires, you have to leave the country.
What are the eligibility requirements for the B2 Visa for UK citizens?
To qualify for the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa, you have to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be coming to the US for non-busines purposes
- Be able to prove that you intend to stay in the US for a limited time
- Be able to prove that you have enough finances to cover all your expenses during your stay in the US
- Be able to demonstrate that you have economic and social ties in the UK that will make you and leave the US when your visa expires.
So that an immigration officer can check if you meet these requirements, you will have to attend a visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in the UK or in another country where you are based. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your visa application, your background, and your planned trip to the US. The immigration officer will also check if you have included all the required documents in your portfolio of evidence.
How can UK citizens apply for the B2 Visa?
To apply for the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa, you have to follow these steps:
- File Form DS-160 online – read all the guidelines and seek advice from an immigration lawyer before you submit it as once you do it, you will not be able to make changes. Make sure you keep the confirmation page after submitting the form because you will have to bring it to your visa interview later
- Pay the visa fee of $160 and keep the receipt
- Schedule your visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate – you can do it online and you will need to provide your passport number, the date on which you paid the visa fee, and the barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
- Prepare a portfolio of evidence – you need to gather documentation that proves that you meet the eligibility criteria for the visa. To make sure you are not missing any documents, ask one of our immigration lawyers for assistance
- Attend the visa interview – during the interview you have to answer all questions truthfully and convince the immigration officer that you intend to come back to the UK after your trip.
What documents do UK citizens need to submit with their B2 Visa application?
All UK citizens wanting to apply for the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa have to include the following documents in their application:
- A valid passport
- A confirmation page for Form DS-160
- A receipt for the visa fee
- A passport size photograph
- A letter describing the purpose of the trip to the US
- Proof of having enough finances to cover the expenses during the trip. That can have the form of, for example, bank statements
- Proof of having strong ties in the UK. That can have the form of, for example, a job contract or a flat lease
- A criminal record document showing that you do not have any previous criminal convictions
- Page confirming the visa interview appointment.
An immigration lawyer can help you gather all the necessary documents and ensure that your application is complete.
What documents do I need to seek medical treatment in the US?
In addition to the general supporting documents for the B2 Visa, those who want to come to the US to receive medical treatment have to provide the following evidence:
- A letter from your physician detailing what your condition and the recommended treatment are
- A proof of this treatment not being available in your home country.
- A recommendation from a doctor to seek treatment in the US
- The estimated cost of the treatment.
To be able to receive the B2 Visa and come seek medical treatment in the US, you have to prove that you can afford to pay for it. Moreover, you have to demonstrate that you cannot receive this treatment in the UK.
How much does the B2 Tourist Visa cost?
Those who want to apply for the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa have to pay the application fee of $160. Until you pay it, you will not be able to proceed with your application. This fee does not include the cost of gathering all the documents and acquiring passport size photographs. Depending on where you are applying from, you might also have to pay additional visa issuance fees.
When you attend your visa interview, you have to show the receipt confirming that you have paid the visa fee. Without it, the application process cannot be finalised.
What is the processing time of the B2 Tourist Visa?
How long you will have to wait for your B2 Tourist Visa to be processed depends on the workload of the US Embassy or Consulate you are applying from. There is no specific processing timeframe for the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa.
Most applicants receive the decision within a few weeks but in some cases, the processing can take several months. If there are mistakes in your application or you did not include some of the required evidence, the processing of your application will be delayed.
How can Total Law help?
Here at Total Law, our team is made up of highly qualified lawyers who have expert knowledge of US immigration law. They have helped many clients successfully apply for all kinds of US visas, including the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa.
If you get in touch with our immigration lawyers, they will assess your eligibility for the B2 Tourist Visa and will help you apply for it. They will make sure that you have properly completed all the forms and that your portfolio of evidence includes all the necessary documents. Moreover, if you want to come to the US to seek medical treatment, your immigration lawyer will liaise with your doctor in the UK and in the US.
To find out more about how our immigration lawyers can help, get in touch on 0333 305 9375.
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If your application for the B2 Tourist Visa is successful, you will be able to stay in the US for up to six months. Since the B2 Tourist Visa is a multiple entry visa, during this period you can leave and reenter the US as many times as you want.
Those who want to stay in the US longer can apply for an extension of their B2 Visa. To do it, you have to file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant status. If you are granted the extension, you will be able to stay in the US for additional 180 days.
The B2 Tourist Visitor Visa is relatively easy to obtain but it can be denied if you:
- Do not have enough ties in your home country that would make you come back after your trip finishes
- Have previous criminal convictions
- Have lied on your visa application
- Have previously violated the terms of your visa.
If some of these statements apply to you, seek advice from our immigration lawyers. Getting the B2 Tourist Visa might be challenging in such a situation but they will explain to you what your options are.
The B2 Tourist Visa is granted to individuals who want to come to the US for non-business purposes. That means that if you come to the US on this visa, you are not permitted to work.
Engaging in employment while on the B2 Tourist Visa would mean violating the terms of your visa. Consequently, you could face deportation and have trouble applying for any future US visas.
The B2 Tourist Visitor Visa is a multiple entry visa, which means you can leave and enter the US several times. There is no limit on how many times you can enter the US as long as your visa is valid. Nevertheless, once your visa expires, you must leave the country and have to apply for a new US visa if you want to come back again.