B-2 Visa for Tourists:
Foreign nationals who wish to visit the United States for leisure or tourism are normally eligible to receive a B-2 Tourist Visa. B-2 Tourist Visas are "visitor visas" and are required for citizens of countries that are not included in the Visa Waiver Program. However, even citizens of countries included in the Visa Waiver Program are required to obtain a B-2 visa if they plan to stay in the United States for longer than 90 days, change status to another nonimmigrant visa, or adjust status to permanent resident (Green Card) after entering the country. B-2 Visa for Medical Treatment: B-2 Visas are also issued to individuals who are coming to the United States to undergo medical treatment. The application process is similar to that of a Tourist Visa, but there are additional documents that must be submitted to establish that the applicant qualifies for the visa. The list of required documents and the application process is described in the
B-2 Tourist Visa Application Guide. Tourist Visa Length of Stay:
Persons admitted to the United States on a B-2 Tourist Visa are usually issued a 6-month stay. The maximum length of stay for visitor visa holders is 6 months. The immigration officer at the port of entry determines how long each visitor is allowed to stay in the country. Most visitors have their I-94 cards stamped with a 6-month stay; however the immigration officer has the right to issue a shorter stay on a case by case basis. Upon entry into the United States, the foreign visitor has the right to request an extension of stay.
US Visitor Visa Change of Status:
Individuals who enter the United States on a B-2 Tourist Visa are normally eligible to change status to permanent resident (Green Card holder) if they qualify, or to another nonimmigrant status, such as temporary worker (H-1B, H-2B, E-1, E-2, E-3, etc.), student (under the F-1 Student Visa), or even to permanent United States resident (Green Card). Individuals who enter the United States under the the Visa Waiver Program are not eligible to change status. The option to change status is the major advantage of nonimmigrant visas, such as the B-2 Tourist Visa, over the Visa Waiver Program.
Important Warning for Tourist Visa Holders:
Persons admitted to the United States on a B-2 Tourist Visa are not allowed to work or receive any kind of payment while staying in the United States. Foreign nationals who wish to work in the United States must apply for a work visa, such as the H-1B Visa or H-2B Visa.