The B1-B2 visa is issued to temporary visitors to allow them to enter the United States. This is the largest category of non-immigrants applying to come to the United States on a temporary basis, either for business purposes or for pleasure.
However, over the years, an increasing number of temporary visitors have used the device of non- immigrant visa as an avenue by which to enter the United State, only to remain permanently as overstays. For this reason, the immigration authorities have set forth a number or restrictions and criteria for admission, the aim being to limit the flow of temporary visitors only to those persons who are bona-fide non-immigrants.
Therefore, to qualify for this visa, the applicant wishing to visit the United States must be able to show the following at the US Consulate in his home country
(a) That the applicant has a permanent residence in the home country with no intention of abandoning this residence.
(b) That the applicant has the intention of entering the United States only for a temporary period of specifically limited duration and
(c) That the applicant will engage solely in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure.
Acceptable activities for visitor and business applicants include the following: tourism; social visits to relatives and friends; visits for health purposes; participation in amateur sports or music contests, provided that no payment is given for such participation; negotiating in conferences or seminars of scientific, business or professional nature; visiting to install or repair machinery or equipment which was purchased overseas, or to train others for such activities; the undertaking of independent research; participation in Board of Directors meetings or in professional athletic events involving payment limited to prize money.
In order to qualify for the visa, the visitor must demonstrate that he or she has the financial ability to sustain themselves during their visit to the United States, and not be obliged to seek employment, and must establish with reasonable certainty that they will leave the United States upon the completion of the stated purpose of the trip. In addition, the applicant must have reasonably permanent and well paying employment or business, or social or family relationships in the home country significant enough to want to return home.
In many cases the consular officer in his or her discretion will deny the visa application if the applicant falls into a particular category, ie. young, unmarried and without steady employment.
Therefore, the burden falls on the visa applicant to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the consular and immigration authorities that he or she has no intention of abandoning the home country for good, and that the intention is to depart the United States voluntarily at the end of the authorized stay.
Once visa issuance is approved, the visa will be stamped in the applicant's passport, and as long as the visa has not expired and is still valid, the applicant may seek entry into the United States at a designated port of entry. Depending on the duration of the visa, the applicant can make multiple visits.
While most stays in the United States in the B visa category are short, it is possible to obtain a period of admission of up to one year on initial entry to this country. In addition, extensions of stay can be granted for no more than six months at a time.
Also, a visa waiver program has been put into effect for visitors from certain designated countries.
This law firm has helped countless visitors obtain their B1-B-2 visas over the years. If you are a US resident, please contact us if you wish to sponsor a friend or family member to visit the United States for a temporary stay.