The American B-1 and B2 visas are temporary visas that allow visitors from across the globe to travel to the US for business, short-term work or simply leisure. The government also gives travellers the opportunity to switch their visa status from B1/B2 to another type of visa, depending on the immediate needs and circumstances.
But, how would you react if I tell you that you can visit many other countries on the B1/B2 visa, apart from USA? Great, isn’t it, since getting a B1/B2 visa itself is a huge task? You get the maximum value for your time, money and effort when you are allowed to visit other countries while you are in the US on a B1/B2 visa.
Countries You are Allowed to Visit with a US Tourist Visa
Some sources have stated that you can travel to up to 33 countries “visa-free” if you have a valid US tourist visa or green card. Many of these countries will need the B1/B2 visa to be a multi-entry one that has been used at least once to travel to the US.
According to US Customs and Border Protection, a non-immigrant can visit Canada or Mexico for up to 30 days and re-enter during their visit to the US. The date till which one can re-enter America is provided on Form I-94. However, the traveller may need to contact officials in Canada or Mexico, since their rules for entry with a B1/B2 visa may vary.
Moreover, you’ll have to depart from the US before the departure date mentioned on the visa, to avoid overstaying. Overstaying in the US can have serious consequences, including the person being barred from entering USA for the next 3 to 10 years, depending on the time for which the individual has overstayed in the US.
Below is the complete list of countries you can visit with a B1/B2 visa.
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- United States of America, including Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Maarten
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- United Kingdom
The Middle East
- United Arab Emirates
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Certain parts of Taiwan
- South Korea
The time period for which you can visit these countries may vary. Moreover, some nations have restrictions on the entry of people of certain nationalities.
US officials strictly monitor the time period for which you are issued the visa, since they want to make sure that your intention is to return to your home country before your visa expires.
When you return to the US, after having visiting any of the above mentioned countries, and if your current US visa has expired but your I-20 is still valid, you won’t need to obtain a new visa in order to re-enter the US.Important Note: According to CBP, after returning from countries like England or Costa Rica, your re-entry to the US will be considered a new admission, after which you’ll have to undergo a tedious inspection process.