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.
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:
- Travel for tourism
- Vacation (holiday)
- Visit with relatives or friends.
- Medical treatment
- Participating in social events that are hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
- Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating.
- 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.