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B-1/B-2 visas, or tourist visas, are non-immigrant visas for persons who travel to the United States temporarily for the purpose of tourism, pleasure, or visiting.
In addition, you can get a B-1 or B-2 visa if you are seeking medical treatment, if you’re an amateur entertainer or amateur athlete, or are looking to study in a short course less than 18 hours per week.
B-2 Tourist Visa Eligibility
Obtaining a tourist visa is sometimes difficult because the decision can be made by an officer very quickly using very discretionary criteria. Sometimes, despite the fact that you have prepared a lot of evidence, the officer may not review it all and could base their decision on how you responded to one or two questions. Regardless, you need to be as prepared as possible in order to have the best chance for approval. There are several requirements you should be aware of when applying for a tourist visa. You must:
- Prove that the travel is temporary
- Have the ability to self-fund all costs of the trip
- Prove that you have no intent to remain in the United States beyond your stay
- Prove that you have an intent to return to your place of residence
In addition, you’ll need the following:
- A valid passport with more than 6 months past the date of return
- A recent digital photograph
- Documentation of the past 5 trips to the United States, if applicable
- Proof of available funds to cover the entire trip (travel, accommodations, living expenses, etc.)
- Proof of binding ties to your home country, such as a job, property, close family, etc.
Side note: 40 countries, including most of Europe, currently can apply for a Visa Waiver Program instead of needing a tourist visa to enter. This program allows the applicant to enter for 90 days at each entry.
How to Apply for a B-2 Tourist Visa
To apply for a tourist visa, there are several steps. The order of these steps and how you complete them varies by U.S. embassy or consulate in your country. Let’s review:
- Complete the online non-immigrant visa application
- Schedule an interview in your country
- Gather Required Documentation before your interview including: Passport, nonimmigrant visa application, application fee payment receipt, photo (printed may be required)
- Gather additional documentation such as documents discussing the purpose of your trip, the intent to depart the United States after your trip, and/or the ability to pay all costs of the trip
- Attend your Visa Interview
Preparing for Your Interview
If you’re between the age of 14 and 79, you generally need to attend an in-person interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your country. You should prepare yourself as best you can for your interview, or you can hire a top immigration firm to help you prepare. These are some sample questions you may be asked:
- What is the purpose of your visit to the United States?
- Do you have relatives or friends currently in the United States?
- Tell me more details about your relatives or friends in the U.S.
- Have you ever been to the U.S.?
- Where will you be staying in the U.S.?
- Why travel to the U.S. at this specific time?
- How long do you plan on being in the U.S.?
- Why do you plan on staying so long? Can you stay a shorter amount?
- Who will you be traveling with?
- Have you already purchased your tickets?
- How much do you think staying in the U.S. will cost you?
- What do you do for a living?
- How much do you earn?
- Who is paying for your trip?
- Are you married?
- Do you have any children?
- Do you have any pets?
- Who will take care of your children or pets while you’re gone?
- Who will take care of your house while you’re gone?
- Do you have any intention of remaining in the United States?
- How can you assure me that you will return to your home country?
Are you prepared to answer all of these questions? You’ll need to be convincing and have great answers ready to give for these questions and others like these. Further, if you are either a young adult recently graduated from school or an older adult who is retired and no longer working, you may find it more difficult to obtain a visa, as the government may consider you to have immigrant, rather than non-immigrant, intent. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you best prepare for your interview so that you have the highest likelihood of successfully obtaining your tourist visa.
Hire a Top Tourist Visa Lawyer in Miami, Florida
If you’re needing help obtaining a tourist visa to come to the United States, schedule a Tourist Visa Strategy Session with us so that we can help advise you concerning the steps to take to ensure you have submitted the best application and will handle the interview appropriately. Further, we have tips to help you get the interview much sooner than the date that you see available on the website (ask us for this tip during our meeting). Immigration Lawyers USA are top immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida and are able to help you navigate the complexities of obtaining a tourist visa and what your best options are going forward. Give Immigration Lawyers USA a call at 305-501-0783 or contact us here to schedule your consultation.