Tourist visa to USA is a short-term Nonimmigrant visa for travel to USA. Tourist Visa is also known as visitor visa or B1/B2 visa to the United States of America.
You can apply for US Tourist visa for travel to USA if the purpose of your trip is recreational (tourism, amusement, visit friends and relatives), to seek medical treatment, to participate in musical festivals, sports events, contests, and other such activities that are social and fraternal in nature, and where no remuneration is expected. If the purpose of travel is any of the above reasons then applying for a B-2 visa would be appropriate.
If the purpose of travel is other than any of the aforementioned reasons such as seeking education, work, and business, then you will not qualify for a B-2 visa ,and you should apply for the appropriate visa. For example, students, journalists, crewmen, entertainers, performers, journalists, religious leaders, workers with expertise in their area, etc. should not apply for a B-2 visa. Please visit the USTravelDocs website for further information.
Please refer the step-to-step process of applying for US visa: US Visa Guide
Qualifying for USA tourist visa
The consular officer at the American Embassy or Consulate will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Applicants for tourist visas must demonstrate the following:
- The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for pleasure, amusement, visit friends and relatives, or seek medical treatment.
- They plan to remain for a specific and limited period
- Evidence of compelling social and economic ties to their home country. They should prove that they have a residence outside United States as well as other social and economic binding ties that will ensure their return back to their home country.
- Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States.
Documents Required for US Business Visa
There are a number of documents required for the interview. Sort the documents in an organized and orderly manner so you don't struggle to find them while giving the interview. The documents required by the applicant are:
- A valid passport that does not expire prior to 6 months of your intended stay
- US Visa Application Fee receipt
- Printout of your confirmation page from the form DS-160
- One 2×2 inches photograph
- US Visa Interview Appointment Letter
Financial documents required:
- Evidence of sufficient funds for the visit to US (Bank statement, Bank passbook etc).
- Evidence to show that you have strong ties to your home country. Documents related to the property you own and your employment are good examples.
- If you are employed get a verification letter of employment.
- If you are self-employed get a financial and other documentary proof of the ownership.
- If you are a government employee get an NOC.
- Tax ID, PAN ID, last year's tax-related documents etc.
Documents required from the sponsor:
- Invitation letter: The applicants will need an invitation letter from their sponsor in order to visit US. They might need to show the document at the interview. Invitation letter for Tourist visa to USA.
- Affidavit of support: form I-134.
- Copy of the sponsor's passport.
- Letter of employment if the sponsor is an employee in USA.
- Letter to US consulate from the sponsor requesting that visa be granted to the applicants.
- A Bank account verification letter from the sponsor's bank proving that the sponsor has an account with that bank. The letter can also show the sponsor's bank balance.
- Copy of the sponsor's last income tax returns or W2 forms.
- If the sponsor is self-employed or owns a business, copy of personal tax return is required.
- Letter of employment of the sponsor.
If the sponsor is a visa holder then copies of the visa (H1/L1), H1 approval form (I-797) and I-94 are required.
- If the sponsor is a Green Card holder or a citizen then copies of these resident statuses are required
- Copies of sponsor's recent pay stubs.
For Parents visiting their children in USA additional documents are required:
- Birth Certificate of the sponsoring child. In case the Birth Certificate is not available then an Affidavit of Birth Certificate can be used as a replacement.
- Copy of passport of sponsoring child.
- If the sponsor is sponsoring his/her in-laws then copies of Birth Certificate and passport of the child (i.e. the sponsor's spouse) are required.
B2 applicants who plan to accompany or join the B1 visa holders to US
The B2 visa applicants in this case are the spouse and children or other relatives of B1 visa holder. The documents required are:
- Copy of the B1 visa holder's passport.
- Copy of B1 holder's visa if he or she has already procured the visa.
- Letter to the consulate from the B1 visa holder stating that he or she wishes the B2 applicant (spouse, children etc) to visit US.
- A formal letter of invitation from the B1 holder inviting the B2 applicants to Visit US and taking responsibility for their expenses.
Visitor Waiver Program for USA (WVP visa)
Some countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program (WVP), where the citizens of those countries do not require a tourist visa to America if their stay in US is less than 90 days. They can enter America without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program.
However the travelers from these counties still need to get a pre-authorization in order to enter United States. This authorization can be obtained electronically and is known as ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization.)
All Visa Waiver Program travelers must present a machine-readable passport at the U.S. port of entry to enter the country without a visa
Find out more about the USA Visa Waiver Program
How long you can stay in US on Tourist visa ?
Once you have been granted the tourist visa, the length of stay in USA will be determined and granted at the port of entry in USA. The stay will be up to 6 months. You must leave the United States before the visa expires.
An extension of up to 6 months more is possible. Extension must be applied along with applicable fee. Extension is subject to approval by USCIS. Read more details about USA Visa extension.
How to obtain Tourist Visa to USA ?
See a step by step process for USA visa.