Things To Do in USA on Visit Visa

For all travel freaks, a visit to the US might be something that finds a place on your bucket list.

Not only offering a visual treat, America offers many unique experiences.

In addition, its world-class medical facilities that compel many from across the globe to plan a visit to the country to get themselves and their loved ones treated, despite the high cost of medical care in the US.

What’s more, Americans love having people visit their country too, as it contributes to the nation’s booming travel and tourism industry, and becomes a substantial source of employment for citizens, directly providing around 5.5 million jobs annually, according to data published by Statista.

The travel and tourism industry contributed $1.5 trillion to America’s GDP in 2015 alone. If visits to the US continue at this pace, the industry might grow to contribute more than $2.6 trillion to the GDP by 2027.

To visit the US for tourism or to meet a relative or friend, the visitor needs to apply for a B-2 tourism visa, solely meant for the purposes of tourism.

This visa is only issued to travellers intending to visit the nation for a short duration for pleasure.

However, there are many activities that you can try while in the country on your visitor’s visa.

Activities Allowed with a US Tourist Visa

Meeting Family and Friends

B-2 visa status is granted to applicants traveling to the US to visit family or friends or merely as a tourist.

Sometimes, a sick or dying relative can become the reason for the trip.

Just remember that in front of the US consulate, make sure you are able to justify the reason for your visit to the US, since many people fake it as well.

Attending a Wedding or Event

You can also apply for a B-2 visitor’s visa if you have received an invitation from a close (and only close) relative for a wedding in the US or other family events, such as a baby shower, housewarming party, or even a graduation party.

For all these reasons, you need to produce an invitation card at the US consulate and genuine details of the arrangements to prove the invite’s authenticity.

Receive Medical Treatment

Receiving medical treatment in the US is one of the major reasons for people applying for a for B-2 visa.

When traveling to America for medical treatment, one needs to provide evidence, such as a letter from the consulting physician in the home country, stating the diagnosis and required treatment, proof of being accepted for treatment at a US medical facility, and more.

Pregnancy Help

In a foreign country, it can be pretty difficult for a woman to help herself during pregnancy. They are, therefore, allowed to invite a close relative for help.

Participate in Social Events

You are eligible for a B-2 visitor visa if you have to attend a social event, such as a conference, convention, or convocation of social or fraternal organizations.

Those who are visiting the US to participate in voluntary programs hosted by charitable organizations in the country are also eligible for this type of visa.

Participate in a Short-Term Course

A person is not eligible for a B-2 visitor’s visa if they intend to visit the country for the purpose of studying at a school or university.

However, they can apply for a tourist visa if they have enrolled themselves in a short course of study in the US.

Participate in Amateur Unpaid Contests or Events

If the reason for your visa application is participation in a contest or event for social and charitable reasons and you are not getting paid for your performance, you can seek a B-2 visa status.

Also read: Activities not allowed in US visit visa.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I study while on a visit visa in the USA?

In most cases, you cannot engage in a course of study on a B1/B2 visit visa. However, you can participate in a recreational course of study that is not for credit toward a degree.

2. Can I work while on a visit visa in the USA?

No, individuals on a B1/B2 visa are not allowed to accept employment or work in the United States.

3. How long can I stay in the USA on a visit visa?

The duration of stay is determined by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry, but it generally ranges from six months up to a year.

4. What tourist activities can I engage in while on a visit visa in the USA?

You can engage in recreational activities such as tourism, vacationing, sightseeing, visiting friends and family, and participation in social events.

5. Can I convert my visit visa to another type of visa while I’m in the USA?

In some cases, you can apply for a change of status to another visa category. However, it’s often a complicated process and there’s no guarantee of approval.

6. What if I want to stay longer than my allowed duration of stay?

You must apply for an extension with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before your authorized stay expires if you want to stay longer.

7. Can I travel anywhere in the USA on a visit visa?

Yes, with a few exceptions (like certain government or military facilities), you are free to travel anywhere within the United States.

8. Can I attend a business meeting or conference on a visit visa?

Yes, you can attend a conference, meeting, or training program on a B1/B2 visa. However, you are not allowed to be gainfully employed during your stay.

9. Can I visit the USA on a B1/B2 visa if I have relatives in the USA?

Yes, visiting friends and family is one of the primary purposes of a B1/B2 visa.

10. Can I undertake short-term study courses on a visit visa?

As long as the course duration doesn’t exceed 18 hours per week and it is a recreational or non-credit course, it is permitted under B1/B2 visa.

Remember, always refer to the official U.S. government immigration website for the most accurate and current information.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.

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