B-2 Visa/Status – Temporary Visitors for Pleasure
The B-2 visa status is available to people who wish to briefly visit the United States for the purposes of tourism or visiting family and friends. As such, Individuals who obtain the B-2 status may not gain employment in the United States and may only engage in legitimate activities. As prerequisites to this visa status, individuals must only intend to remain in the U.S. for a limited period of time, maintain a foreign residence, and possess adequate financial capabilities.
Duration of Stay:
The B-2 status is typically granted for an initial period of six months, but may be extended for another six month period.
If you’re traveling to the United States and plan to stay for 90 days or less, you may be able to enter the country without needing a B-2 visa. This only applies to travelers who meet certain specifications under the Visa Waiver Program. Currently, there are 39 countries included in the Visa Waiver Program. You can read more about the Visa Waiver Program here.
Furthermore, residents of Canada and Bermuda can make short trips to the United States without a visa under certain circumstances. You can read more about those rules here. Finally, because B-2 visitors are designed specifically for travel and tourism, you cannot obtain a B-2 visa for the following purposes:
- Studying in the U.S.
- Finding a job
- Professional performances
- Arriving in the U.S. as a crew member on a ship or aircraft
- Working as a member of a foreign media organization
- Seeking permanent residence in the United States
Since there is not a derivative status for the B-2 visa, spouses and children must also individually hold their own B-2 status.
If you plan to extend the duration of your B-2 status, the Austin attorneys with the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC charge the following in attorney’s fees when filing in the United States through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (please take a moment to look over this disclaimer), in addition to the filing fee that is currently charged by the USCIS:
- $1,000 in attorney’s fees to file the application
- $370 for the application filing fee with the USCIS
Our Austin legal team understands how important it is that this process goes smoothly for you; we may do everything we can to help you complete an accurate application that is filed by the appropriate deadline.
How Do I Begin the Process?
The first step to obtaining a visa is to fill out the application. You can fill out the application online or at your country’s U.S. Embassy or consulate. You can find a list of embassy and consulate locations here.
As part of the application process, you’ll be required to submit a photo. Make sure that whatever photo you submit with your application meets State Department guidelines. If your photo does not meet these guidelines, there’s a good chance your application will be rejected.
The next step in obtaining a visa will be to schedule an interview. Most visa applications require an interview, though there are some exceptions. Applicants age 13 and younger, or 80 and over, generally do not need to be interviewed to obtain a visa. For applicants age 14-79, the interview is sometimes waived if the applicant is seeking a renewal for a visa instead of a new visa.
Wait times can vary greatly depending on your country of origin, time of year, and so on, so your best bet is to begin the application process as soon as possible and schedule your interview as early as you can. You should apply for your visa and schedule your interview at your country’s embassy or consulate; while you may be able to get an interview at another country’s embassy or consulate, doing so may end up voiding your visa application.
After you’ve scheduled your interview, make sure to gather the necessary documentation for your visa application and bring it with you to your interview. You’ll need a valid passport, the confirmation page showing you’ve completed the online DS-160 form, a receipt showing you paid the necessary application fee, and a printed photo if your photo upload failed while you were filling out the DS-160 form online. Depending on your country of origin, you may need additional documentation as well, so be sure to check with your country’s U.S. Embassy or consulate.
At your interview, a consular officer will determine if you’re eligible for a B-2 visa or if any additional information is required. If the consular officer needs any additional information from you, be sure to provide it quickly to keep the application process moving smoothly.
Consult with an Immigration Attorney in Austin
At the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC, our Austin immigration attorneys have the experience and the resources to help you pursue the extension of your B-2 status. To discuss the particulars of your situation with a member of our Austin legal team, please call our offices at (512) 323-2333 today.