What You Need to Know About US Visitor’s Visas
Visitor’s visas are called “B” visas, and they’re the most common type of visa that USCIS issues. They come in two forms: the B-1 visa for business visitors and the B-2 visa for people who are coming to the United States either to visit family members, or as tourists.
A B visa lets you be in the United States for up to six months total time, and are valid for up to 10 years. They may be used for multiple stays. They generally take just a few weeks to process if they’re handled correctly.
Can you work or go to school on a B visa?
On a B-1 visa you can attend business meetings, hold negotiations, or hold sales meetings for an existing job that you hold with an existing company overseas. You can also attend job interviews with the goal of getting a job and obtaining an adjustment of status, but you need to be honest in your application that this is what you are in the United States to do.
On a B-2 visa you may not attend school or work, but you could tour schools with the intent of deciding whether or not to apply for them. Again, you should be honest with your immigration officer that this is your intent so that you do not have problems when you adjust your status later.
If you decide to apply for an adjustment of status you will need an immigration attorney’s help. Note that a B-visa does not offer any direct paths to a green card or to citizenship.
Why do B visas get denied?
The most common reasons why B-visas get denied is because the immigration officer has reason to believe that you do not intend to leave the United States at the appointed time.
Be ready to provide evidence such as your return plane ticket, plans that you have in your own country at a later date, evidence that you still have a home in your home country, or evidence that you have strong family, friend, and community ties in your home country.
You absolutely do not want to overstay your visa as this can bar you from obtaining other immigration benefits later. Be honest about why you are here. It may be that a visitor’s visa is not right for you but an immigration attorney can help you sort that out, ensuring you apply for the right type of visa.
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