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B-2 Visa Information

Come to the U.S. as a tourist and use some of your free time to learn more about the American culture and language.

The Tourist Visa (B-2) allows you to travel to the United States for pleasure. As a tourist in the U.S., you are permitted to use some of your free time to study English if it does not interfere with your primary activities.

You should not apply for the B-2 if you plan to become a full-time student in an American college or English language school. It is a serious Immigration violation if you do so. 

To apply for the B-2, you must:

  • Make sure the expiration date on your passport is valid for more than 5 months in the future.
  • Contact the American Embassy and request an appointment for the B-2.
  • Prepare for a possible interview with an embassy official about your visa request.
  • Show the embassy official proof that you can support yourself financially in the U.S.

If your B-2 application is approved, you will be permitted to travel to the U.S on a tourist visa. When you arrive at the airport, an Immigration officer will interview you again and ask you what you plan to do in the U.S. If you are visiting friends or going sightseeing, make sure that you explain this clearly to the officer. This information will help him/her decide how much time you need to complete your activities in the U.S. In general, if the Immigration officer is satisfied with your answers, he/she may approve your entry to the U.S. for 3 to 6 months.

During your visit in the U.S. you may decide that you want to become a full-time student at the IELI. In order to change your B-2 visa to an F-1 (student status) visa, you must request permission from the Immigration Department. If you would like more information about changing visa status, we recommend that you come in to speak with the IELI International Student Advisor. You can also email your questions to ieliss@hunter.cuny.edu.

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