BUSINESS VISITOR (B-1 Visa)
Each year, millions of visitors enter the United States to promote their businesses. B-1 Visas are generally used by foreign companies to send representatives to meet with business associates and customers, or to attend conventions or trade shows. Sometimes the purpose of the entry is to participate in seminars or training courses. The B-1 is also commonly used to bring in domestic help and by airline representatives.
In more recent years, US companies with back-end offices overseas use the B-1 to get key employees on their project to enter the US to deploy the project at customer’s locations, or meet with the customers to collaborate on the project.
TRAVELING FOR PLEASURE (B-2 Visa)
Millions of visitors enter the United States every year. Most come in to visit friends and family, or as tourists. Some enter as domestic partners of non-immigrant visa holders, or for medical treatment or to explore different schools for higher education.
You qualify for a B visa if
Both business and those traveling for pleasure apply at the US consulate closest to their home and are issued a B visa. When you enter the US with the visa, you are interviewed by the Border Patrol Officer before you are allowed to enter the US. At that time the officer decides how long you can stay in the US. The officer may let you in for 1 month, 3 months or 6 months. He will issue you a “I-94” which will have an end date. Please remember – even if the visa stamped in your passport says “10 years” , you can only stay as long as the I-94 end date.
You are also allowed to extend your stay one time, for another 6 months.
Sometimes, your visa will say “multiple entry”. In this case, you can return to the US again and again, till the end date listed on the visa.
If you are in the US on another non-immigrant visa and your visa is expiring, you can also change to a B-visa if you need additional time to wind up your home or job before heading overseas.
Tourists from some countries can also use the Visa Waiver Program to enter for up to 90 days. Visa Waiver entrants cannot change status or file for any other visa while in the US.
Applying from your home country.
If you are overseas, to get a visitor visa, you will need to go to the US Consulate closest to you for a visa interview. At that time the officer will talk to you to decide whether you should get the student visa. Student visas are discretionary, which means that the consular officer can reject your application without giving you any reason. If you are denied once, the chances of getting approved a second time are greatly reduced.
Though there can be a lot of reasons, Visa Officers usually deny visitor visas if you cannot show that you have sufficient funds for your trip, or when the officer is not convinced that you will return to your home after you enter the US. Visitors also get denied if the officer thinks there is another visa that will suit you better. This happens mostly if you have close family in the US who can sponsor you. Sometimes you are young and of marriageable age and the officer believes you want to travel to get married and stay in the US. A more serious reason can be that you had a previous visa and over-stayed the visa or had some other legal issues in the US.
Though these are some of the reasons, there are many reasons why an officer can deny a visitor visa. We completely understand how badly a visa denial can seriously hurt your business or family plans.
To talk with one of our attorneys, please contact us today.
There are people you meet who leave such a positive impression that you will always remember them. My wife and I truly will never, ever forget Anu Gupta. She is much more than an attorney – she gave legal counsel, yes, but she also provided emotional support, tremendous compassion and words of wisdom while I and my family were dealing with my son's medical condition and subsequent visa issues....
After the hospital mismanaged the extension filing of our visitor visas and failed to notify us, we learned that our status was nearly expired. When we tried to file a motion, it was denied because the deadline had passed. I feared that I would have to return home with my son (who was receiving cancer treatment), and the risk of infection was high. We spoke to several attorneys, but none thought our visa issue could be resolved, and they showed very little sensitivity to our personal situation.
It was completely different with Anu. When I shared our story, I could see tears forming in her eyes. She cared. She was very professional in explaining what needed to be done, and I was impressed immediately. But I was most surprised by her conviction to do the right thing so my son and family could stay in the U.S. for his treatment. And she did what no one else said could be done: She resubmitted our Motion to Reopen, it was accepted and our tourist visas were extended within two months.
When I talked with Anu, I felt like I was talking to my sister – someone who really cared about what I was going through. She has a place in our hearts forever.
**A note from Anu: This client came to the US for cancer treatment for his very young child. When he came to us, the extension of the tourist visa had been denied. Our attorneys worked hard to have the denial overturned so the child could continue to receive life-saving treatment in the US and the child's accompanying family be allowed to stay with the child.