B-2 Tourist and Medical Visas
The B-2 visa is for temporary visitors to the US traveling for non-business purposes.
Who can qualify for the visa?
To obtain a B-2 visa, you must show:
- You have strong ties to your home country and you do not intend to abandon it and immigrate to the U.S.
- Your trip to the United States will be for a definite temporary period and that you will return upon the conclusion of your visit, and
- You have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the visit and return passage.
A B-2 visa may be issued in either single entry or multiple entry formats. The visa may also be issued for a limited time frame or on an indefinite basis.
What types of activities qualify?
- medical purposes
- amateur participation in musicals, sports, or similar event
- attend conferences or fraternal or social organizations
- visit family and friends.
There is no sponsor required. Any foreign person may file an application for a tourist visa without a United States sponsor. The application is filed directly at the US Embassy abroad and decisions are usually made quickly. Once in the United States, visitors can apply for a change of status to other non-immigrant classifications if they qualify.
What are some problems, issues, and consular questions which arise when applying for a B-2 visa?
We have more than twenty-five years of experience dealing with B visa issues. Among the negative factors considered by consular officers in reviewing B-2 visa applications are:
- a lack of ties to one’s home country: young adults; no spouse or children; no property holdings; unemployed; lack of international travel; living in a rural or provincial area; previous or pending petition for immigration (for more details, please see our article on 214(b) at www.visarefusal.com);
- holding the nationality of a country with high visa refusal rates;
- if seeking medical treatment in the US but have not sought treatment in home country or other countries;
- insufficient finances available to cover medical treatment in the US;
- inclusion in a tourism, sporting, cultural group — sometimes non-affiliated individuals use such groups as a mechanism to illegally gain entry to the US (e.g., person has a friend who is the manager of a baseball team and agrees to allow him to pretend to be a coach for purposes of applying for a visa);
- utilizing the services of a travel agency with a bad reputation at the US consulate;
- spending substantial time in the United States and/or making frequent visits to the United States (suspicion of unlawful employment; need to “re-establish” ties to home country);
- recently began a new job;
- losing one’s job since receiving previous US visa;
- previously gave birth in the United States, particularly if one did not pay hospital bills;
- previously changed status in US (e.g., Summer Work Travel student changes status to B after end of summer);
- “suspicious” inviting party or invitation from person with whom have romantic relationship (e.g., invitation from a boyfriend in the US);
- previously extended status in US (e.g., prolonging stay, regardless of reason);
- failing to adhere to timeframes indicated in a previous application.
How does White and Associates help?
We can help you prepare for your visa interview. We can help allay your concerns and deal with difficult questions. We can help you prepare supporting documentation. In addition to providing a consultation, we can also represent you in the visa application process. Issuance of one visa can pave the way for future visas, but one refusal can irrevocably taint the ability to obtain a visa. Even if you have been denied a B-2 visa, we may be in a position to assist (see the Case Studies on our site visarefusal.com for examples of how we have helped visa applicants overcome B-2 refusals — http://visarefusal.com/case_studies/)
B visa interviews are extremely subjective. Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act gives consuls unprecedented leeway in denying applications. If any of the above listed factors applies to you, you should consider consulting a professional before paying the visa processing fees. In addition, the human factor is so important: how will the visa applicant handle the interview? How will the applicant answer questions from the consul? Does the applicant get nervous in an official setting? Intimidated by public officials/authorities? How does the applicant look at the visa interview — professional? Poor? Overdressed? Ostentatious? We can conduct a mock visa interview over Skype to best prepare you for the actual interview. Don’t underestimate the process. Contact us for a consultation.