If you are asking yourself how to get a tourist visa for the USA you have come to the right place. The US B-2 tourist visa allows alien nationals to travel to the US temporarily for tourism, pleasure, medical treatment, or to visit family and friends.
In this article you will learn how to apply for a tourist visa for the United States from Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru or any other country.
Our immigration lawyers in Los Angeles have 50 years of combined experience helping alien nationals secure their proper visa among the different types of American visas.
LATINOS WITH OVER 50 YEARS EXPERIENCE
Tell Us Your Case
How To Get A Tourist Visa For The USA In 2023
This is one of the most popular visas for foreigners, as it allows access to the US territory even for simple pleasure purposes.
To obtain the B-2 tourist visa, you must follow these steps:
- Fill out Form DS-160 online: You must complete your tourist visa section, submit a qualifying photograph, and then print your confirmation page;
- Paying the application fee: Currently it is $160, but depending on international relations between your country and the US you may have to pay additional fees;
- Schedule a visa appointment: The visa interview must be at the US embassy or consulate in your country of origin;
- Gather all the necessary documents: You require supporting documentation to obtain the B-2 visa, you must prepare it before going to the US embassy or consulate. Once you have it, you must take them to your interview;
- Attend the interview: It is important that you attend on the scheduled date, you must arrive on time. In addition, an officer in charge will ask you a few questions about your background and why you want to travel to the US.
Interviews do not usually take long and during this time you should make sure that you provide all the required information. Also, you should never lie or give false information.
How To Fill Out The Tourist Visa Form For The United States?
The process to fill out the DS-160 application generally takes about 90 minutes. During this process, you should have the following information on hand:
- Travel itinerary: Where the dates of entry, exit, your flights, addresses in the places where you will stay and your purpose of travel are indicated;
- Personal data: Your name, date of birth, passport information, current residence address, official identification, your social networks, email and phone number;
- Family Information: Name, relationship, and contact information for any family members living in the US;
- Information from your previous trips: Dates of arrivals and departures from the US;
- Education and work: Name, address and contact of your current or previous job. The same information is requested about your studies;
- Data of your companion: Name and relationship with your companion, in case of traveling with one;
- Security questionnaire ;
- Information about the type of visa: It must be for the visa you are applying for.
Once this process is finished, you must print the confirmation sheet with your respective code.
What are the requirements to get a B-2 Tourist Visa To The USA In 2023?
The requirements to apply for a tourist visa to the United States are the following:
- Valid passport. You must have at least 6 months validity for your travel;
- A letter. Must describe in detail your travel purposes to the US;
- Confirmation page of Form DS-160. It must be printed and show its respective code;
- A photography. The photo must meet the stipulated requirements;
- Interview confirmation page;
- Proof of payments. It is important that you bring all receipts for the fees you have paid for your B-2 visa application;
- Evidence of your financial means for the trip. It may be your bank statements showing that you have sufficient financial resources to remain in the United States;
- Evidence of your ties to your country of origin. It can be a work, lease or property contract, which shows that you will return to your country once your stay is over;
- Invitation letter (optional). This letter can be written by friends or relatives in the US;
- Details of your social networks. You must show each and every account you use;
- Record of your criminal record. You must submit a letter from the authorities where they show that you do not have previous criminal convictions.
Our immigration attorneys are also criminal lawyers in Los Angeles, they can help you determine if you have convictions or even help you clear your criminal record.
Additional Documentation That May Be Required In Certain Scenarios
Other additional documents may be required, either for:
- Students: Transcripts and/or diplomas;
- Workers: Letters from employers and pay stubs for the last 3 months;
- Visits to your family: Photocopies of your parents’ status in the US;
- Medical treatments: Letters from doctors detailing your diagnosis and treatment to be followed.
If you have been to the US before, you must submit documents related to your previous visits.
Who Can Apply For A Tourist Visa For The United States?
Now that you know how to get a tourist visa for USA and the requirements involved in the process, aliens who have the following travel purposes may be eligible for the B-2 visa:
- Visiting friends or relatives in the US;
- Medical treatment;
- Simple pleasure of visiting the USA;
- Enrollment in a short recreational course of study other than for a degree or similar. For example, a drawing course;
- Participation in social events organized by social, fraternal or service organizations;
- Participation of amateurs in musical, sports or similar events or contests, in which there is no remuneration or payment for participating.
Please note that if your reason for entering the US is for business purposes, you will not be able to enter on the B-2 visa. To do this, you must apply for the B-1 business visa or a combination of both (B-1/B-2 visa).
Who Cannot Apply For A Tourist Visa For The United States?
Aliens have certain restrictions to travel to the United States with the tourist visa. Therefore, they will not be able to obtain it if their travel purposes are the following:
- To work;
- Participate in performances or activities that offer remuneration;
- Get permanent residence in the US;
- Work as foreign press, journalism, radio or other information media;
- Arrive as a crew member on a ship or plane.
If you are a crew member on a ship or aircraft, you may be eligible for a D type crewmember visa. Whereas, if you belong to the information media, you may be eligible for the I visa.
How Long Can You Stay In The United States On A Tourist Visa?
The maximum time that aliens can stay in the United States with a tourist visa is 6 months or 180 days.
Once this time is up, they must leave the US immediately or they will suffer the consequences of the unlawful presence in the US.
Can I Stay Longer With The Tourist Visa In The USA?
Aliens who wish to stay longer than permitted may be able to obtain a B-2 visa extension for an additional 6 months.
To apply for a B-2 visa extension, you must do so at least 42 days before the expiration of your Form I-94, arrival/departure record. However, care must be taken, as you are not allowed to file the extension request within the first 3 months of your arrival in the US.
The documents required to apply for the extension of the B-2 visa are:
- Valid passport;
- Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status;
- Detailed writing explaining the reason for the extension;
- A photocopy of the I-94 permit or the original;
- Evidence of your financial resources for the new stay;
- Payment of B-2 extension fees of $370.
What Is The US Tourist Visa Processing Time?
B-2 visa processing time typically takes anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Processing times are different from country to country and delays depend on the heavy workload of the US embassy where you applied for the visa.
What Is The Difference Between A B-1 And A B-2 Visa?
The difference between a B-1 visa and a B-2 visa is that the B-1 visa is only for aliens traveling to the US for business purposes. On the other hand, the B-2 visa is for those who wish to travel mainly for tourism or visiting purposes.
In our article “What is the B-1 visa” you have extensive information about this business visa.
If your motivation for the trip includes both purposes, you may be eligible for the combination of both visas (authorization B-1/B-2).
What Is The B-1/B-2 Authorization?
It is a visa that combines the two non-immigrant category B visas. This visa is temporary and although it grants all the benefits of both visas separately, it also has its limitations. For example, the impossibility of obtaining legal permanent residence.
What Benefits Does The B-1 And B-2 Visa Have?
Getting a B-1/B-2 visa will offer you, among others, the following benefits:
- Being able to travel to the US for tourism, pleasure, visiting family and friends, medical treatment, and professional or commercial business activities;
- Although the validity of this visa varies depending on the applicant, it is usually up to 10 years;
- It can allow for cheaper flights and the possibility of stopping over in the US without the need for a US transit visa. This can reduce the cost of the trip by up to 40%.
- It allows you to participate in non-academic courses and participate in conferences or business-related activities.
If you want to be able to study in the US, you may be eligible to apply for a US student visa.
Can I Get A Green Card With A B-2 Tourist Visa?
It is not possible to obtain the Green Card directly with the US tourist visa, as it is a temporary visa and you must leave the US once your visit is over. Also, part of the process requires you to prove that you will return to your home country.
Although it is not possible to achieve permanent residence through this method, you may become eligible through other paths. For example, via family based immigration.
Can My Parents Visit Me In The United States On A B-2 Tourist Visa?
If you live in the US either because you are a lawful permanent resident or a US citizen, you can invite your parents to visit you temporarily.
To do this, your parents must follow the entire process explained earlier in this blog. The only thing that can vary is the list of mandatory documents for parents.
You have the responsibility to collect some documents for your parents. In addition, they may need to raise additional funds in their home country. These required documents for your parents are:
- Bank verification letter. You must provide proof that you can financially support your parents while they are in the US;
- Employment verification. You must request an employment verification letter from your current employer;
- Provide a letter of invitation. This letter must describe that you are inviting your parents to visit you in the US.
Do Tourists Have Access To American Health Care?
Although aliens can travel to the US on a tourist visa for medical treatment, they will not receive free medical care. Remember that the US healthcare system is one of the most expensive in the world. It is advisable to contract a health insurance plan for visitors in these situations.
Please note that if your reason for traveling to the US is for medical reasons, you must submit the following documentation:
- The medical diagnosis of the local doctor that explains in detail the nature of your illness and the reason for the treatment in the USA;
- Letter from the medical center or from your doctor in the US expressing your willingness to treat your illness.
- Said letter must mention in detail the cost of the treatment and its duration.
- The cost of the treatment must include doctor’s fees, hospital and other medicinal expenses;
- A statement from the organization or individuals sponsoring medical, transportation, and living expenses. Sponsors must provide proof that they can afford the costs through their bank statements, account statements or through their tax returns.
Do I Need To Apply For A US Tourist Visa?
All aliens whose nationality is not within the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must apply for a tourist visa to travel to the US if their purpose of travel is tourism, vacation or similar. If you belong to the VWP, you can apply for an ESTA permit instead of a B-2 visa.
This application is similar to that of the tourist visa for the United States, but offers a much shorter period of stay. However, it makes up for it with much faster processing time.
What Questions Will They Ask Me At The Appointment For The Tourist Visa To The United States?
An officer in charge will ask you a few questions to determine if you are eligible for a B-2 tourist visa for the USA. Some of the possible questions you will be asked include:
- What is the purpose of your trip?
- Where in the US are you traveling to?
- How long will your stay be and when do you plan to leave?
- With whom do you travel?
- Do you have family in the US?
- Where will you stay?
- Where do you work? Since when do you work there?
- Who pays the travel expenses?
- Have you traveled to the US before?
These are just some of the questions that are part of the requirements to apply for a tourist visa to the USA.
Frequently Asked Questions on how to get a Tourist Visa For The USA
If you have come this far, surely you already know how to get a tourist visa to the United States. If it is still not very clear to you, don’t worry, below you can check some of the most frequently asked questions about this visa.
Remember that you also have the extensive knowledge of our Los Angeles immigration firm that has more than 40 years of history helping immigrants. Do not hesitate to contact us for your professional consultation.
If you are applying for the United States tourist visa for the first time or its renewal, you must follow the same steps of your application. In this article you can find them step by step, but if you require further assistance, our lawyers at Lluis Law will answer all your questions in private consultation.
This visa is valid for 10 years. However, the stay should not exceed 6 months although this is somewhat variable depending on your nationality.
The renewal process is the same as if you had applied for the first time.
To obtain the United States tourist B-2 visa from Cuba, you must go to the nearest American embassy. The embassy authorities will ask you for a series of requirements before the date for the interview.
The visa services office of the Department of State (DOS) did not change the prices of the tourist visa. Therefore, its price is $160. Please note that processing the application does not guarantee that you will be granted a B-2 visa, this is at the discretion of the consular officer.
Applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must apply for a visa in person at a US embassy or consulate. However, applicants under the age of 14 or over the age of 80 may be eligible to apply by courier and therefore do not need to attend the interview.
If your B-2 visa was denied, you must apply again, following the entire application process.
Canadian citizens generally do not need to obtain a tourist visa to enter the United States, as long as it is for the purpose of visiting or studying. For other purposes, they may require a visa.
In case your visa is approved, it will be delivered to you via courier within approximately 3 to 4 weeks.
Why Should you Choose The Law Firm Of Lluis Law To Obtain your Tourist Visa?
If you are considering obtaining a visa to the US under the B-2 category, you may need our help. Although processing a visa does not necessarily require the help of a lawyer, any minor mistake can end your application.
Our Lluis Law firm has been helping immigrants obtain a US visa for more than 40 years.
Call our office today so we can start looking at your case. Our firm has the prestige of having years of successful experience in these matters, in addition, we speak both English and Spanish.
LATINOS WITH OVER 50 YEARS EXPERIENCE
Tell Us Your Case