A B-2 visa may be needed if your travel authorization (ESTA) for visa-free travel is denied. A B-2 visitor visa is a non-immigrant visa for people that wish to travel to the United States of America temporarily for pleasure and tourism.
There are additional activities that can be conducted if visiting the U.S. on a B-2 visa. The additional activities that can be exercised are medical treatment, short study courses, amateur entertainment and amateur sports.
Travellers seeking medical treatment in the U.S. may be asked for additional documents with your visa application. This may include:
Note: Travellers that meet the requirements for visiting the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program should carry this information with them for presentation to immigration officers if asked.
Short study courses:
If the primary objective of your visit is tourism (and you engage in a course of study during your stay), you may be eligible for this visa. You may also be eligible for this visa if the program is recreational or avocational.
Note: If the study course earns you any academic credit, you will not be eligible for a B-2 visa. The same applies for visits related to seminars or conferences where you can earn a degree (including students engaged in online study courses traveling to the United States for academic consultations or examinations). If your main goal of travel is to attend a professional education, seminar, or conference that does not result in academic credit you may be eligible for a B-1 visa.
Individuals or groups of amateurs performing in social and/or charitable context, or as a competitor(s) in a talent show or contest, may be eligible for a B-2 visa, provided the performers are not paid for their performance.
If you are such a performer, there may be an attendance fee for the event. Provided the fee is just to cover or defray the actual cost of holding the event, or if there is a profit, the money goes to charity rather than a commercial cause, then a B-2 visa is still ok.
Note: An amateur is someone who usually performs without receiving payment (other than money for expenses). A performer who usually is paid for performing cannot qualify for a B-2 visa, even if they do not make a living at performing.
Individuals or a group of amateur athletes competing in an athletic event for which they will receive no payment, other than incidental expenses, may be eligible for a B-2 visa.
Note: An amateur athlete is an individual who usually performs without receiving payment (other than money for expenses). An athlete who usually is paid for performing cannot qualify for a B-2 visa even if they do not make a living at performing.