The B-2 “Visitor for Pleasure” visa is generally intended for admission of visitors to engage in recreational activities, for purposes of tourism or to make social visits to family or friends. Other permitted activities are visits for medical treatment; participating in conventions; dependents of certain non-immigrant aliens following to join the principal alien; and short course of study incidental to the temporary visit for pleasure. The B-2 visitor is expressly precluded from coming for the purpose of study (with some exceptions); of performing skilled or unskilled labor; and as a representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media coming to engage for such vocation. Visitors on B-2 status are not permitted to accept employment during their stay in the U.S.
To be eligible for a B-2 visa, the applicant must:
- have a foreign residence which he or she has not and will not abandon
- he or she must intend to enter the U.S. for a period of specifically limited duration
- the applicant must be seeking admission for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to pleasure.
A fiance(e) who enters the country to get married but intends to return to the place of residence abroad after the marriage is eligible for a B-2 visa.
An extension of stay is limited to 6 months and the alien and will be considered only if he or she can establish that an unexpected circumstance has arisen outside of the alien’s control.
B-2 visa holders may change to F or M status, but the student must wait until the change of status is approved before enrolling in school. Those visitors who intend to change to student status once in the United States, must state that intent to the consular officer before entering the United States to obtain the notation of “prospective student.”