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Tourist Visa vs. ESTA visa waiver

Immigration Law Blog!


Tourist visa, ESTA visa waiver, change of status, extension of status, and adjustment of status.


A B-2 visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign national to enter the United States for tourism or medical treatment purposes. To qualify for a B-2 visa, the applicant must show that they have a foreign residence that they do not intend to abandon and that

they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in the United States. B-2 visas are typically granted for a period of up to six months, but may be extended for longer stays in certain circumstances.


The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visa waiver is an alternative to a B-2 visa for citizens of certain countries who are traveling to the United States for tourism or business purposes. The ESTA visa waiver program allows citizens of participating countries to apply for authorization to travel to the United States without a visa. To be eligible for an ESTA visa waiver, the traveler must be a citizen of a participating country, have a valid passport, and have a round-trip ticket to the United States. ESTA visa waivers are

typically granted for a period of up to two years, but may be renewed as long as the traveler continues to meet the eligibility requirements.


The main difference between a B-2 visa and an ESTA visa waiver is that a B-2 visa is a physical document that is issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate, while an ESTA visa waiver is an electronic authorization that is obtained online. B-2 visas allow for longer stays in the United States and may be extended in certain circumstances, while ESTA visa waivers are typically valid for shorter periods of time and cannot be extended, changed to a new status while inside the U.S.A, or used in an adjustment of status process. B-2 visas allow the holder to apply for extension or change of status while in the USA, or adjust status to green card holder.

Do you have questions?

Ortiz Law has several years of experience helping foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and multinational companies enter the US market. Attorney Henry Ortiz is licensed to represent clients with immigration matters in any city within the USA or abroad. Represent clients with the US Department of State (DOS), at US Consulate offices abroad, at Federal Courts, and in front of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) subdivisions include: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), and the Federal Courts Under the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR).


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