Immigration Attorney Tips on How to Get a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa

As a temporary visitor to the U.S. you must obtain an entry visa. Of all the visa types, B ones are most common. If you are wondering how it is easier to get one, here are a few immigration attorney tips.

What Kind of Visa?

Any citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter US territory should first get a visa. This can be either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.

For many, a “B” visitor visa will be the most appropriate to get, in case they get to the States temporarily for business, tourism or medical reasons. For those entering US for studies, temporary work or journalist work, there are various other categories to apply.

Are there categories who don’t need a visa?

There are several countries as part of the Visa Waiver Program whose citizens can enter US territory without needing a visa. However, Visa Waiver entrants cannot extend their stay beyond 90 days, while B-2 visitors can request an extension. Also, Visa Waiver visitors cannot, in most cases, change to another status while in the United States. The end result is that a B visa, though less convenient, offers greater rights and possibilities than the Visa Waiver Program does.

How do you quality for a B visa?

The U.S. State Department, via its consulates around the world, denies a surprising number of visitor visa applications. For that reason, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria. As an applicant, you need to make sure you can prove the purpose of your trip to the US, the fact that you plan to stay only for the provided, specific time period, the fact that you can prove you have residence outside the US or other ties that will ensure your return to your country after the staying period is ended.

People qualifying for B visa in more details:

  • If you intend on making investments, buying goods, attending seminars, or performing other temporary work for an employer that is based outside the United States. These are all considered “business purposes.”
  • If you’re coming solely for purposes of pleasure, such as traveling, visiting family, participating in specific events.
  • If you are coming for medical treatment.  In this case you need to be able to prove that you’re seeking treatment that isn’t available in your home country and that you’ll be paying the bills.

What does the application process involve?

In order to apply for this visa, you’ll need several things:

  • A form DS-156, or otherwise known as Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • To pay a visa application fee and an insurance fee
  • USCIS Form I-134, Affidavit of Support (if you will depend on someone in the U.S. for financial support)
  • Your passport, valid for at least six months
  • One passport style photo
  • Documents showing the purpose of your trip, such as an itinerary, hotel arrangements, and train tickets
  • Documents showing that you plan to return to your home country, such as proof of ownership of real estate, of relationships with close family members whom you’re leaving behind.