B-2 Visa

B2 Visa For Parents

What is B2 Visa ?

The B-2 category includes tourists, persons on shopping trips, and visiting friends or relatives in the U.S. It also includes persons coming to the U.S. to seek medical attention and persons coming to conferences or conventions unrelated to business. Less often, it covers family members of foreign nationals who are crewmen or belong to the armed services.

Household members of nonimmigrants who do not qualify for derivative status in other categories (such as an L-1 intracompany transferee’s domestic partner or an H-1B nonimmigrant’s elderly parent) can also use B-2 visa for entry into the U.S.

A cohabiting partner, for instance, is eligible for derivative status only if the relationship is recognized under law as being fully equivalent in all respects to traditional legal marriage and grants the parties all the same rights and duties as a traditional marriage. If the relationship fails to meet this standard, the partner (including a same-sex partner) may utilize the B-2 category for purposes of accompanying a long-term nonimmigrant, provided all standards for B-2 classification are satisfied. 

If the purpose is for something other than touring, such as to obtain medical treatment, the documentation would include letters from the attending physician and other indications of arrangements made with the U.S. clinics or hospitals.

Visits to friends or relatives will usually need to be supported with a letter of invitation from the U.S. host. 

The purpose of the visit and the resources of the foreign national visitor must coincide: a six-month visit for touring may require more than several hundred dollars to undertake, and the B-2 applicant must be ready to match the stated purpose with adequate means of support, including personal resources, as demonstrated by bank statements or affidavits of support. 

Eligible activities under the B-2 visa program

B-2 visitors must generally maintain a foreign residence and visit the United States to engage in a legitimate activity of pleasure, which includes recreational activities such as tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and fraternal, social, or service activities.

Specific activities under the B-2 visa program include: 

  1. Travel for tourism
  2. Vacation (holiday)
  3. Visit with relatives or friends.
  4. Medical treatment
  5. Participating in social events that are hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  6. Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating.
  7. Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

You can reach out to our immigration lawyers in case you need any assistance in determining the eligibility requirements for a B-2 visa.

B-2 Visa status for Parents of other nonimmigrants

In determining whether a partner, Parents (or other household members) seeking B-2 status to accompany a long-term nonimmigrant meets B-2 standards, the following guidelines should be kept in mind-

Extended stays in B-2 status may be considered temporary. As a result, the partner and parents (or another household member) may be living in the U.S. for an extended period with the long-term nonimmigrant is not a bar to B-2 status.

In determining whether the partner and parents (or another household member) has overcome the presumption of immigrant intent, officers should examine the partner’s ties abroad and the likelihood that they will stay in the U.S. unlawfully after the principal foreign national departs. Other factors include the strength of the relationship to the principal foreign national and the principal foreign national’s ties abroad. The DOS guidance emphasizes that the presumption of immigrant intent must be overcome in every B-2 case even if the principal foreign national is not subject to the 214(b) presumption (e.g., E, H, and L nonimmigrants).

There are certain procedural hurdles for household members using the B-2 category in these circumstances. Specifically, the initial period of B-2 admission in most cases will not be sufficient to accommodate their planned stay. The maximum initial period of admission in B status is one year, and, in practice, B visitors are normally granted an initial period of admission of six months. As a result, B-2 household members, in most cases, will need to apply for one or more extensions to cover a long-term period stay in the United States. In this respect, B-2 status may be extended in six-month increments. To assure that B-2 household members are granted the maximum initial admission period, they should ask the immigration officer at the port of entry for a one-year stay when they apply for admission. They must also be careful to file for extensions on a timely basis to avoid falling out of status, particularly in light of the 3/10-year bar.

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Other Type Of Travel Visa

Studying while in B-2 status

The immigration law clearly states that a B visitor cannot engage in studies. A few exceptions to that rule, however, have been carved out by the Immigration Service.

First, a tourist in B-2 status can engage in a short course of study that is secondary to the primary purpose of his or her trip, e.g., sightseeing or visiting family members. Short course is a course that should not last more than a few months and should not include a degree-granting program such as a college or university would offer.

State Department instructions state that a B-2 visa is appropriate for persons planning to study English, as long as the course is under 18 hours per week and is of “short duration.”

Persons seeking enrollment in a recreational school are also classified in the B-2 category since these schools are not eligible to classify their students in the F category.

The B-2 visitor who knows that he or she will engage in a short course of study incidental to his or her trip can obtain a visa on this basis from a U.S. consulate. The visa will include the notation: “Study incidental to visit; I-20 not required” (Form I-20 is the form issued by schools to indicate that a foreign national has been accepted for a course of study; it normally must be shown by the foreign national to the consulate and at the border).

B-2 status for “au pairs.”

In the past, it has not been uncommon for U.S. citizens to agree to have foreign nationals enter the United States as “au pairs”–working in their household or caring for young children in exchange for room, board, and the chance to experience and travel through the United States. Typically, the au pair is a young woman, often coming to the United States during a summer vacation from school. The au pair is considered by the Immigration Service to be working in the United States and is therefore barred from using the B-2 category.

Because some fairly common characteristics are the hallmark of the au pair situation, the Immigration Service has developed a “profile” that permits it to screen B-2 visitors for potential au pairs, and it is fairly successful at doing so. Until recently, no alternative category permitted entry to au pairs. However, many exchange visitor programs (the J-1 visa category) have been approved by the U.S. Information Agency to permit au pairs to enter the United States for temporary stays.

At the Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC, we can advise you on what activities you can and cannot do on a B visa. In addition, we can help you file an extension of your visa and give you general advice on consular processing. You can Also Find latest Immigration news here
For more information, contact The Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy at prashanthi@reddyesq.com, or call us at 212-354-1010.


One can request the issuance of a B2 visa from USCIS for a maximum of 10 years but can only stay for a maximum period of six months during one single visit.

A B2 visa holder cannot work while in status as per USCIS guidelines as the visa is for tourism purposes.

A B2 visa would cost $160 as a USCIS fee that one must pay during the interview or the application filling. The actual amount might differ based on the nationality of the applicant.

Both B1 and B2 fall under the B-visa category, a specific kind of travel visa per US Immigration guidelines, but a difference lies in the purpose of a particular visa type. B1 is specifically for business trips, whereas B2 is tourism or travel.

A person with a B2 visa can enter the US multiple times during the visa validity period, subject to the condition that one can stay for a maximum of six months during one single visit.

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