What Can You Not Do on a US Tourist Visa?

What Can You Not Do on a U.S. Visitors Visa?

A US tourist visa, also known as a visitors visa, is a short-term visa that is issued to nonimmigrants visiting the United States. The US issues different types of visas to its visitors, depending on the purpose of the visit.

A B1/B2 visa is only for visiting purposes.

Here is a list of things that you cannot do in the US on a tourist visa:

  1. Apply for a regular/degree course
  2. You cannot apply for or study a degree course while on a B1/B2 visa. To enroll in a degree course in the US, you will have to obtain an F1 student visa to enroll in a college or university course, and an M1 visa for a vocational course. However, a B2 visa permits you to enroll in a short-term hobby or activity class.
  1. Get employed
  2. If you are entering the US with a B1/B2 visa, you cannot get a job. You also cannot work for a friend or relative. An H1B visa sponsored by an employer permits employment in the US. However, you are permitted to apply for jobs or attend job interviews. You simply cannot actually work on an a tourist visa.
  1. Work in journalism or the media
  2. Representing media (radio, newspaper, or press) while on a B1/B2 visa is not permissible. If you are a journalist coming to the US on behalf of a media outlet, you need to apply for a Media (I) Visa.
  1. Participate in a paid performance
  2. Performing for a paying audience is not allowed when on a B1/B2 visa. You cannot perform in concerts, gigs, or stand-up acts in exchange for money. However, you can participate in an unpaid competition or event.
  1. Stay in the US permanently
  2. You cannot stay beyond the duration specified by officials in your Form I-94. The tourist visa does not allow you to stay permanently in the US. However, you can submit a request for a change of visa status to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

US Visa And Travel FAQs

  1. What is a US B1/B2 visitors visa?
  2. It is a temporary US visa issued to nonimmigrants for the purpose of tourism or business.
  1. What can I do in the US on a B-1 visa?
  2. The B1 visa allows:
    • Settling an estate
    • Meeting a business associate or client
    • Attending a convention or conference
    • Negotiating a contract
    • Applying for a job or attending a job interview

    More Information
  1. What can I do on the B2 tourist visa?
  2. When visiting the US on a B2 visa, you can:
    • Travel across the US
    • Visit friends and relatives
    • Take part in social events
    • Take part in an unpaid competition or event
    • Enroll in a non-credited short course
    • Apply for a job or attend a job interview (but you cannot begin employment)
    More information
  1. How long can I stay in the US on my tourist visa?
  2. A tourist/visitors visa does not determine the length of your stay. It simply allows you to enter the United States. Upon your arrival, a US Customs and Border Protection officer validates the reason for your visit and decides the duration of your stay. However, the validity of your visa can vary between six months and 10 years.
  1. How are B1 and B2 visas different?
  2. A B1 visa, “Visitor for Business”, is issued to people who want to go to the US on a business trip. A B2 visa, “Visitor for Pleasure”, is issued to people who want to go to the US for tourism purposes. However, the consular office usually issues both B1 and B2 visas together.
  1. What documents do I need to apply for the US tourist visa?
  2. You cannot get the visa online. However, you can apply for it online. After you submit your online application, you will have to visit the US Embassy with a copy of your form, along with supporting documents to get the visa. Here is a list of common documents that you will require:
    • A valid passport
    • A digital photograph (allowed by the Embassy)
    • Air tickets
    • Proof of funds
    • Insurance documents
    • Proof of return to home country
    • Financial statements
  1. What is the US visa waiver program?
  2. A visa waiver program is for designated countries. It allows the nationals or citizens of the designated countries to stay in the US for 90 days or less for the purpose of business or tourism without any visa. A traveler must have an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
  1. Can my dependents go with me on my US B1 visa?
  2. Your dependents will have to apply for a tourist visa separately. They cannot travel on your B1/B2 visa.
  1. Do I need to provide my return ticket?
  2. No. If you have a valid visa, you do not have to show your return ticket. However, a US Customs and Border Protection officer may ask about your travel/stay plans in the US.
  1. My US tourist visa will soon expire. Can I apply for it in advance?
  2. Yes, you can. You do not have to wait for the current US visa to expire before applying for a new one.

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