Besides a great country to work in, the US is also a very popular country to visit. It has historical landmarks, impressive infrastructure, and beautiful nature. Additionally, the US presents an attractive environment to do business in. Many people have the US as their travel or business destination and because of that, there are also visas available which only give you the right to enter the US for visiting purposes.
What Are the US Visitor Visas?
The US visitor visas allow its holder to go to the US short-term visits for a maximum of six months.
Because there are two main purposes that visitors can go to the US, there are also two types of visitor visas into the B category:
- B1 visa is the visa which allows you to enter the US with the purpose of doing business with a company within the US.
- B2 visa is the visa which allows you to enter the US with the purpose of tourism, pleasure, or visit to friends and family.
US Visitor Visa Checker
Besides each individual visa, there is also a combination of both B1 and B2 visas; however, that is more rarely sought out.
The benefit of the US visitor visas is that there is no cap on the number issued in a year, and those who abide by the rules can get it as many times as they want as long as they fulfill the criteria.
What are the Limitations of the B1/B2 Visas for USA?
With a B1/B2 visa, you are allowed to visit and travel the US, but you are strictly forbidden from doing these activities:
- Become a full or part-time student.
- Perform and get paid for it.
- Work in press or journalism.
- Engage in any form of employment.
- Enter as a crewmember on an aircraft or ship.
- Seek permanent residence in the US.
How to Apply for the Visitor Visas?
The application for visitor visas is quite straightforward and goes through much of the similar process as other US nonimmigrant visas. This means that you apply at a US Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
For those who need a visa to visit the US, the following steps need to be followed:
Fill in Form DS-160
Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application is a standard form required for a US visitor visa. It has various sections depending on the type of US visa that you are applying for. You must find the section for the visitor visas (either B1 visa or B2 visa) and fill the necessary spaces. It will ask about your personal information, background, and purpose of visit to the US. At the end, you will get a confirmation page and code which you need to retain for later.
You can fill the DS-160 form online through the Consular Electronic Application Center.
Pay the US visitor visa application fee
The application fee for the US visitor visas is $160. Besides this fee, you might have to pay visa issuance fees which are determined based on the relationship of your country with the US.
Schedule your visitor visa interview
All visa applicants between 14 and 79 years old are required to attend a US visitor visa interview with an official from the US Embassy they are applying in. To learn more about how to schedule a US visa interview, visit the following article.
Compile your document file for the B1/B2 visas
When you go to the US Embassy, you need to support your case as to why the US Embassy has to give you a visa. To apply for a US visitor visa, you need to compile a document file which contains the
- Standard required documents for every US visa and
- the specific document requirements for the B1 visa
- or the required documents for the B2 visa.
Attend your interview
With your document file and depending on the type of visitor visa you are seeking, attend your interview. During the interview, the official will mostly concentrate on your intent to return to your home country. Many people try to go into the US with visitor visas and find employment illegally, so you must prove that you will return.
How Long do the USA Visitor Visas take to Process?
The processing time for the B1/B2 visa can vary from a few weeks to a few months. If you have a specific date that you need to be in the US in, it is best to apply as early as possible so that you can allow enough time for the visa to be processed.
Do I Need to Obtain Health Insurance as a Visitor in the United States?
No. Purchasing health insurance is not a requirement of the US authorities to issue a visa. However, considering the high costs of the American healthcare system you are strongly advised to get health insurance before traveling to the United States.
The treatment of a broken leg or broken arm will cost you $2,500, while staying at a US hospital for one night may cost over $10,000, on average.
Where can I get an affordable health insurance plan?
Private companies such as VisitorsCoverage, offer cheap health insurance coverage plans for visitors in the United States.
Why do we advise to purchase a health insurance plan through VisitorsCoverage?
- They specialize in offering health insurance plans to international visitors in the United States.
- With over 10 years of experience , they are a well-established company in the health insurance industry.
- Their dedicated customer service representatives will be available to your assistance seven days a week.
- You will get the lowest rates and will get the necessary information on choosing the plan that suits you best.
- With over 2 million satisfied customers VisitorsCoverage is highly rated for their outstanding customer service, attention to detail and hassle-free online experience.
How Long Are the US Visitor Visas Valid?
US Visitor visas are given for a period 1 month up to 10 years. The maximum stay on a visitor visa is six months, but bear in mind that you are not allowed to work during that time, so you must prove you can afford to stay for that period of time.
B1/B2 Visa Extension
If you want a B1/B2 visa extension, you must provide a valid reason as to why you need to stay and submit documents supporting your case. Additionally, during the time that you are in the US with a visitor visa, you can try to change your status to a longer-term visa. However, if your purpose is this, then you need to inform the officials at the Embassy during your interview. If you do not inform them, then you need to prove that you did not intend to change your status at the beginning of your trip and the opportunity came later on.
Can I Get a Green Card With the Visitor Visas?
Since the visitor visas are temporary and require you to prove that you will return to your home country, it is difficult to get permanent residence. You can do so only if you are able to change your status to a longer-term visa which allows dual intent (applying for a Green Card), marrying in the US, or applying to join your family.
Can I Bring my Dependents With a B1/B2 Visa?
The B1/B2 Visas do not have dependents visas, so if you want to travel with your family, they must also get the appropriate visitor visas.
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