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What is a B-2 visa?

In our recent discussions on nonimmigrant visas, we mentioned that there are different reasons you might temporarily visit Miami, as well as different types of visas for each reason.

One common reason you might have for entering the United States without the intent to live here is tourism. You might want to visit a popular Florida theme park or any number of attractions the area has to offer. Before purchasing your plane ticket, however, you will need to apply for a tourist visa. According to the United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, the B-2 tourist visa is the correct one if you are planning a vacation to the U.S. Other reasons to apply for a B-2 visa include the following:

  • Attendance at a company social event
  • A sports, musical or similar contest or event for which you will not be paid
  • A brief class or seminar while visiting, such as an informal sewing or art course
  • Visits to relatives or friends
  • Receiving medical treatment

Are there some instances in which a B-2 visa would not be applicable? If you plan to visit the country on business, for extended studying, for long-term employment or as a professional paid entertainer, you would seek a different type of visa. The B-2 visa is also not permitted for living permanently in the U.S. You may, however, be able to adjust your status during your stay by applying for a different visa. For example, extensive medical treatment may require you to extend your stay and to seek employment to cover your expenses.

In future posts, we will discuss some of the different types of nonimmigrant visas you would need to apply for, depending on your reason for visiting. This information is meant to help you understand the B-2 visa, but should not be taken as legal advice.

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