Can I Attend School on a B-2 Visa?

What Is a B-2 Visa?

A B-2 visa is a tourist visa available for sightseeing, visiting family or friends, obtaining medical treatment, or attending conferences in the United States.

B-2 Tourist Visa Accompanying Photo: "Manhattan, foreign tourists" by ryangs is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.
Manhattan, foreign tourists” by ryangs is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

B-2 Visa Eligibility

To be eligible for a B-2 visa, you must prove you are doing one of the following things:

  • Visiting the United States for pleasure.
  • Visiting the United States to obtain medical treatment.
  • Visiting the United States to marry a U.S. Citizen or a Green Card holder, and after the marriage, the visa holder will ultimately depart even if they plan to immigrate to the United States.
  • Amateur athletes, musicians, etc., who participate in their respective activities in the U.S. without remuneration.
  • Persons to enter the United States to apply for special naturalization benefits based on United States military service.

Can You Attend School on A B-2 Visa?

No, you cannot attend school on a B-2 visa because it will pull you out of status since you are outside the above eligibility requirements. If you want to attend school, you will likely need to change your visa status from a B-2 to an F or M status visa.

B-2 Visa Application Requirements

To qualify for the B-2 tourist visa, you must prove that:

  • The purpose of your trip is to tour the United States.
  • You have a permanent residence in your home country that you have no intention of abandoning.
  • You have ties to your home country in property, family, or a permanent job.
  • You are not coming to the United States to provide services or engage in business activities that are primarily for the benefit of a United States employer.
  • You have sufficient financial resources to fund your entire trip during your stay in the United States.

Duration of Stay

The general stay on a B-2 visa is the duration of your planned trip, generally up to six months. You will be required to explain your visit and how much time you will need before the Immigration Inspector determines the duration.

How to Apply For a B-2 Visa

To apply for a B-2 tourist visa, you will need to perform the following steps:

  • Submit a Form DS-160.
  • Schedule an in-person interview at your closest embassy.
  • Submit the following supporting documents:
    • Valid passport.
    • Photograph that complies with the requirements and guidelines.
    • Receipt of paid visa fees.
    • Interview confirmation page.
    • Letter describing the purpose of your trip.
    • Proof of financial means.
    • Proof of ties to your home country.
    • Criminal records or letters from authorities stating that you do not have prior convictions.
    • Social media details.

Can You Apply Online?

Currently, the application process cannot be completed online, and you are required to attend an interview at the nearest U.S. Embassy.

Application Fees

The fee for a B-2 visa is currently $160.

How Many Times Can You Apply for a B-2 Visa?

You can apply as often as deemed reasonable and appropriate, allowing your stay up to 10 years, but only 180 days per visa/entry.

B-2 Visa Denial

Many times if a B-2 visa is denied, it’s because the individual does not have what the United States would deem sufficient ties to their home country. The United States is concerned that people will come to the United States without a plan to return to their home country.

Still Have Questions?

If you or someone you know is applying or has been denied a B-2 tourist visa, contact an experienced immigration attorney to help you work through the application or appeal process. Leslie I. Snyder, P.A. can help protect your rights and represent your interests in obtaining a B-2 tourist visa. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation by calling (305) 859-9580 or sending us a message online.

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