Tourism & Visit

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are non-immigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

If you are a Togolese citizen and you wish to visit the US, you must obtain a visitor visa before boarding a flight to the United States. Even if you have a valid U.S. visa in hand, you may not be able to board the plane and/or enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Patrol ultimately decides who has a right to enter the United States and for what purpose. Unlike the visas of many other countries, you may arrive in the United States on the expiration date of your visa provided you have an additional six months of validity remaining in your passport.

Here are some examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa:

Tourism and Visit (B-2):

  • tourism
  • vacation (holiday)
  • visit with friends or relatives
  • medical treatment
  • participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  • participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

Business (B-1):

  • consult with business associates
  • attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • settle an estate
  • negotiate a contract

NOT PERMITTED on visitor visa:

These are some examples of activities that require different categories of visas and cannot be done while on a visitor visa:

  • most types of work, excluding short-term assignments while receiving pay abroad
  • paid musical and theatrical performances
  • arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
  • work as foreign press, radio, film, journalists, and other information media
  • permanent residence in the United States