1. Resources
  2. Glossary
  3. Tourists

Tourists are individuals who visit a place from which they do not live, in order to enjoy attractions, amenities or differences in culture. Tourist visas are issued by the United States to facilitate such travel.

In the United States, a tourist visa can be issued for the following purposes of travel:

  • Tourism
  • Vacations (holidays)
  • Visits with friends or relatives
  • Participation in events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  • Participation in sports
  • Enrollment in short courses of study, which are recreational and not for credit towards any degree. For example, cooking classes.

The following activities are NOT PERMITTED purposes of travel with a tourist visa:

  • Study
  • Employment
  • Paid performances
  • Work in foreign press, media, journalism
  • Efforts towards permanent residence, by relationships with US nationals or giving birth (i.e. circumventing the K1 Fiance Visa or CR1 Spousal Visa process)

It's important to realize that a tourist visa is a nonimmigrant visa. It is not intended for immigration. In other words, it is for people who want to come, visit, take pictures, and go home. It's not for those who wish to live and work in the United States.