Skip to Main Content

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of visa should my family or friends apply for?

Most visitors should apply for a B-2 visitor visa at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in order to enter the U.S. as a tourist. However, individuals from certain countries may be eligible to enter the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program instead.

What materials are needed to apply for the B-2 visitor visa?

We encourage you to visit the Department of State website for specific guidance. However, they will need to demonstrate that their visit is temporary and that they have every intention of returning home afterwards. They will also need to show proof of sufficient funds to cover their expenses during the visit. It may also be helpful for them to have a copy of your I-20 or DS-2019—do not send the original!

Are there any additional requirements for entering the United States?

Those entering the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program must register through the ESTA system before arrival.

Chinese citizens only: In addition to obtaining a B-2 visa, Chinese visitors must enroll through the eVUS system before entering the United States.

How long can my visitor stay in the U.S.?

While a B-2 visa may be issued for multiple years, no visitor will be permitted to stay in the U.S. beyond six months (those entering through the Visa Waiver Program may only be given three months). The Port of Entry official will make that determination upon entry by stamping their passport. Review the stamp to note the expiration date of visitor’s B-2 status. Visitors seeking to stay longer than six months after entering the U.S. must submit an extension request to the government. Please be aware that it may take USCIS several months to process an application for an extension of B-2 status.

I want to invite my spouse or child to visit me. Should they apply for the B-2 visa?

In general, we recommend that individuals who qualify for dependent status (F-2 or J-2) such as spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21 apply for a dependent visa instead. Please review Dependents for more information. Contact ISSS if you have questions about which type of visa is best for your situation.

Can B-2 or WT visitors study or work while in the U.S.?

No, visitors in B-2 status or WT (Waived Tourist) status may not enroll in a course of study or work in the U.S. during their visit. Visitors who wish to begin a degree program in the U.S. must first change status to F-1 or J-1. Contact ISSS for more information.

International Students and Scholars

Sign-Up for Email Updates

Use the link below to sign up to receive emails from ISSS. Please note that if you are currently enrolled in Miami University courses as an international student or scholar, you will automatically be added to this list.

Sign up for Email Updates

Read Past Newsletters