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B-2 Tourist Visa:

The B-2 tourist visa is designed for travellers visiting the United States (US) for recreational purposes or medical treatment, or to undertake a course of study which does not exceed eighteen hours per week or count towards a degree.

B-2 visas are issued for a period of ten years, although no one visit within this period may exceed six months unless the visa-holder applies for an extension.

Visitors travelling on a B-2 visa may neither work during their stay in the US nor claim back work-related costs (except as outlined under ‘Disadvantages’, below).

Tourist Visa Advantages and Disadvantages

Like all visas, those in the B-2 category confer particular advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages:

The application process is simple: Compared to most classes of visa, it is simple and quick to obtain a B-2 tourist visa. A US consulate or embassy in the traveller’s own country will generally issue a tourist visa within a few days, although delays may occur when extra security measures are in place.
Visas may be extended: It is possible to apply for an extension to a B-2 visa, whereas no extensions are permitted to the Travel Authorisations issued under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Travellers may make several visits: Travellers on a B-2 visa are permitted to enter the US more than once during its period of validity, although typically no visit may last longer than between 30 and 180 days.
Travellers may change their visa status: Once in the US, travellers on a B-2 visa may apply to change their visa status, or for a Green Card.

Disadvantages:

The B-2 Visa does not entitle travellers to:

1. take employment
Travellers on a B-2 visa may not be employed by any company based in the US. Should you wish to find employment in the US, you must obtain a work visa, e.g., an H-1B.
2. receive remuneration
Travellers on a B-2 visa may not receive any wage or salary from US-based companies during their visit, although travel expenses may be reimbursed and a per diem and honoraria paid.
3. undertake a course of study
Travellers on a B-2 visa may not study within the US; should they wish to do so, they must apply for a F-1 student visa.

It should also be noted that immigration officials at the port of entry are entitled to determine the duration of stay in the US for any traveller holding a B-2 visa.

 

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