Visitor’s/Tourist Visas B1/B2
If you are from one of the following countries listed below, then you can travel to the US without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. All you have to do is go to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website and register yourself for travel. To learn more about ESTA click here.
Visa Waiver Qualifying Countries
Those US visitors who do not qualify for ESTA will need to apply for either a B1 visa or a B2 visa, depending on the nature of the visit. For example, the B1 visa is for the business traveler coming to the US for business meetings, conferences, to provide or receive training, or to negotiate business contracts with a US supplier, etc. As long as you are not coming to seek or take up employment, and are purely here to handle some business matters, then the B1 visa is the way to go. For those travelers looking to holiday in the US, see family, and so forth, then the B2 visitor’s visa is the best choice.
Staying for up to Six Months at a Time
Visitors to the United States traveling under the Visa Waiver Program cannot stay in the US longer than 90 days without returning to their home country. If the visitor wishes to stay longer than 90 days, then they need to apply for a B1/B2 visa.
From Visa Waiver to B1/B2 Visa
Please note, if you enter the US under the Visa Waiver Program, you cannot apply for any other visa* – it will be automatically denied and your ESTA authorization will also be immediately cancelled. Instead, you must first return to your home country and apply for the visa.
[*If you enter the US under the Visa Waiver Program and happen to get married to a US Citizen then it is possible to apply for and obtain your green card.]
Applying for a B1/B2 Visitors Visa
Whilst in principle this application should be very straight forward, it is not. Many applicants are denied this visa, perhaps more than any other visa to the US. The main reason for denial is due to a lack of evidence for Section 214(b) INA – “Failure to Show Sufficient Home Ties.”
When you apply for a B1/B2 visa, your case must be thoroughly supported with the kind of documentation that will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that you will definitely return to your home country at the end of your authorized period of stay. For the most part, US Immigration officers are extremely reluctant to believe that anyone would want to return to their home country after having visited the United States, even if the person traveling is leaving behind spouse, children, job and so forth. Therefore, a successful B1/B2 application will depend very much on how professionally your case is produced, the organization of your supporting documentation, where you apply for your visa and having the good luck or bad luck of meeting the right US Immigration officer on the right day.
Get Professional Advice Before You Apply for a B1/B2 Visa
Do not apply for this visa without getting expert advice. Many are unaware of the great difficulty involved with getting a B1/B2 visa and apply online themselves, go down to the Embassy on the day they are scheduled and are horrified when they get denied. At that stage, if they had ESTA, this is immediately cancelled and so they cannot travel to the US at all, and then they have to apply again, this time with attorney representation. However, once a B visa has been denied it is very hard to get that original decision overturned. No US Immigration officer wants their decision overturned as it makes them look bad, so there is built in resistance from the start.
Best advice: Before you make such an application, please call us first. Let’s talk it over, and then we can thoroughly review your situation so that we can prepare the best possible case for you. It’s not going to be easy, but at least you will be going into this situation with your eyes wide open and fully prepared for any outcome. We look forward to your call, or you can simply complete our inquiry form and let us know how we can help you and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Tel: 310 496 4292
Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.
Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.
Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.
Important Notice: Please note that all videos created by the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram are intended as general information only and not specific legal advice pertaining your case. If you would like specific legal advice on any immigration matter please do not hesitate to contact this law office accordingly. All pictorial images used in these videos and the website in general are licensed stocked images and not portraits, or otherwise, of anyone from the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram, nor of its clients unless otherwise indicated by name. All images are used solely for illustrative purposes only. Copyright 2010-2015 All Rights Reserved.