Permissible and Prohibited Activities When On B2 Visitors Visa

The primary duration of the B2 visa is always for a short time period and therefore, cannot be utilized for a long-term purpose or project. Given the temporary nature of the visa purpose, it can be applied only for certain activities within the United States. These activities can be defined as ‘legitimate activities of a recreational character including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities.’ Some of the permissible and prohibited activities with the B2 visa are enlisted below -

Permissible Activities

  • Tourism – The most popular purpose of the B2 visa is tourism. It is granted to visitors intending to visit, travel and explore the United States for a short period.
  • Family – Aliens visiting family and friends can also apply for a B2 visa. They will have to explicitly prove ties back home besides exhibiting all evidence of the relationship with family in the United States.
  • Medical Reasons – Needing explicit medical treatment in the United States makes you eligible for a B2 visa. The applicant will have to clear reasons why the treatment can only be accomplished in the US. This could be in the form of medical records, doctor’s statements and/or connections established with physicians in the US.
  • Social Commitments – Participation in social events like conventions, conferences, or convocations of fraternal, social, or service organizations also fall under the purview of the B2 visa. Having brochures, invitations, etc. pertaining to the event will make your case for a visa stronger.
  • Armed Force Dependents – Alien dependents of Armed Force personnel in the US are eligible to apply for a B2 visa to be able to spend time with their military based family member.
  • Crewmen Dependents – If the dependents of D visa crewmen would like to accompany the principal D visa holder, they are eligible for the B2 visa.
  • Amateur performance – Activities undertaken for social/charitable causes or participate in competitions like talent shows or athletics fall under the Amateur category and doesn’t involve remuneration. These applicants are eligible for the B2 visa.

Prohibited Activities: 

  • Employment – The applicant is not allowed to indulge in any activity that will earn remuneration, either in the form of a part-time or fulltime occupation.
  • Education – B2 visa holders are prohibited from enrolling in any course of study while in the US with a B2 visa. They have to apply for a F1 or M1 visa to qualify as a student.
  • Prospective Students – Earlier prospective students wanting to scout for suitable schools in the US could come on a B2 visitor’s visa and go around looking for schools. This has now been discontinued. Students have to apply for a F1 visa from their home country before traveling to the US.
  • Foreign Media/Journalism – Representatives of foreign media and journalists coming to the United States to report something or just represent their media house need to apply for a I visa and not the B2 visa.
  • Falsified Intent – In several instances, applicants attempt to falsify the reasons they are traveling to the US. Sometimes it could be to find a job, reunite with family if ineligible in other ways or even find a foothold into the country without intending to return. If the consular officers discover this, the applicant will be deported and never allowed entry into the United States again.

Related Links

For those who have currently applied for this visa or are planning to apply for the visa in the future, here is some useful information on the process.