B-2 visa to visit the United States

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A B-2 visa may be necessary if your visa-free travel authorization ( ESTA ) is denied. A B-2 visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa for those who wish to travel to the United States temporarily for pleasure and tourism .

There are additional activities that can be done if you are visiting the US on a B-2 visa. The additional activities are medical treatment, short study courses, amateur entertainment and amateur sports.


Medical treatment:

Travelers seeking medical treatment in the United States may be asked for additional documents with your visa application. This may include:

  • Medical diagnosis from a local physician describing the type of disorder and the reason you need treatment in the United States;
  • Letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States stating that they are willing to treat your illness and describing the expected length and cost of treatment (including physician fees, hospitalization fees, and all medically related costs);
  • Proof that your transportation, medical and living expenses in the US will be paid. Documentation can be in the form of a bank statement or other statement of assets or certified copies of tax returns (your own or the person / organization paying for your treatment).

Note : Travelers who meet the requirements to visit the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program must have this information with them immigration officers if necessary.



Short courses of study:

If the primary purpose of your visit is tourism (and you are participating in a course of study during your stay), you may be eligible for this visa. You may also be eligible for this visa if the program is recreational or employment-related.

Note : If the course of study earns you academic credits, you will not be eligible for a B-2 visa. The same applies to visits related to seminars or conferences where you can get a degree (including students who are in an online course of study who travel to the United States for academic consultations or examinations). If your primary purpose of the trip is to attend a professional training, seminar or conference that does not result in academic credit, you may be eligible for a B-1 visa


Amateur entertainment:

Individuals or groups of amateurs who perform in a social and/or charitable context, or in a talent show or competition, may be eligible for a B-2 visa, provided one is not paid for the performance.

If you are such a performer, there may be an attendance fee for the event. Provided the fee is simply to cover the cost of holding the event, or if there is a profit that the money goes to a charity rather than a commercial cause, then a B-2 visa is still okay.

Note : An amateur is a person who normally performs without receiving payment (other than money for expenses). A performer who is usually paid cannot qualify for a B-2 visa even if they do not earn enough to live on it.


Amateur athlete:

Individuals or a group of amateurs competing in an athletic event for which they will not receive payment, other than incidental expenses, may be eligible for a B-2 visa.

Note : An amateur athlete is someone who normally competes without receiving payment (other than money for expenses). An athlete who is normally paid cannot qualify for a B-2 visa even if they do not earn enough to live on it.

It is recommended to apply for ESTA 72 hours before departure

All passport holders from Visa Waiver countries must apply for their ESTA online