The B-2 Visa is what’s also commonly called a tourist visa. It’s another nonimmigrant visa that’s used by citizens of other countries that don’t participate in the Visa Waiver Program who want to temporarily visit the United States. The visa might only allow a single entry, or it could allow multiple entries over the course of several years. Typical reasons for seeking a B-2 visa would be for purposes of tourism, to visit friends and family or even medical care and treatment. Upon issuance, a B-2 Visa can be issued for at least one month and up to six months. Under some circumstances, the B-2 might be extended for up to another six months.
The Dual Intent Issue
The general rule is that any foreign national who enters the United States is presumed to be an immigrant. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) doesn’t want a person to enter the country on a tourist visa and take up long-term or permanent residence here. That’s why the nonimmigrant intent of a B-2 Visa applicant must be established. Here are some examples of evidence of nonimmigrant intent that might be used in support of a tourist visa application at an embassy or consular interview:
- A return flight ticket home with a specific departure date.
- Proof of sufficient funds during the applicant’s time in the United States.
- Legitimate and strong family and economic ties to the foreign national’s home country.
- Proof of ownership of a home or a residential lease in the applicant’s home country.
- Proof of gainful employment or a professional practice in his or her home country.
- Documentation of investments or bank accounts in the foreign national’s country.
The B-2 Visa applicant should also be prepared to provide the following:
- A passport valid for traveling to the U.S. that will be valid for at least six months after the applicant’s intended stay in the U.S.
- Two 5×5 cm color photos without head covering against a light background.
Employment or School in the U.S.
B-2 Visa holders are forbidden under United States law from any employment while in this country. Participation in limited educational programs like a sailing or diving class will likely be permitted.
Take notice that the issuance of any visa doesn’t operate to authorize entry into the United States. Only USCIS officials at visa holder’s port of entry can authorize entry and the period of time that a visa holder is allowed to remain in the country. The Central Valley immigration lawyers at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers want you to be able to visit the United States for any lawful reason. Compliance with requirements, gathering supporting documents, getting and attending your interview and obtaining the visa that you seek can be a tedious endeavor though. Our Central Valley immigration lawyers can help you every step of the way. Contact us for a consultation about how we might help you under your specific circumstances.