B2 tourist visa is for persons who want to travel to the US for the following:

  1. Tourism,
  2. Vacation / holiday,
  3. Visit with friends or relatives,
  4. Medical treatment,
  5. Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations,
  6. Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating,
  7. Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree such as a cooking class while on vacation.

US Embassy officers automatically assume every B2 tourist visa applicant intends to stay in the US permanently and therefore applicants must prove the following:

  • Strong business, social and/or family connections to their home country;
  • Legitimate travel purpose; and
  • Financial ability to pay for travel expenses.

Generally, the most important factors in judging a B2 tourist visa applicant’s chances of approval are as follows:

  • Long term job or well documented successful business; and
  • Documented consistent high level of income.

US Embassy officers examine each B2 tourist visa applicant’s case individually with the main focus on the background of the individual applicant.  Application form answers, supporting documentation and performance during the interview are all also important factors in the visa application being approved.

US Embassy officers have very broad discretion to accept or reject a B2 tourist visa applicant’s case for a variety of reasons.  Generally, B2 tourist visas have the lowest approval rates because of the short time period and inexpensive cost required to apply.  B2 tourist visa applicants with a strong command of the English language normally have higher rates of approval because of the necessity to speak English while in the US. Specifically, B2 tourist visas for students, wives, husbands, fiancées, girlfriends and boyfriends are difficult to get approved due to loopholes in US immigration laws allowing persons to stay permanently in the US after arrival if they marry a US citizen.

It is highly recommended that B2 tourist visa applicants do not make any large transactions in or out of their bank account prior to the interview at the US Embassy.  US Embassy officers will focus on long term and consistent financial transaction history of the B2 tourist visa applicant’s bank account and not on large recent financial transactions.  Generally, the balance amount of the B2 tourist visa applicant’s bank statement should be enough to cover their travel expenses for the duration of the visit to the US unless such expenses are being paid by a US sponsor.

Self Help

US State Department - B2 Tourist Visa

Foreign Affairs Manual - B2 Tourist Visa

USCIS - B2 Tourist Visa