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How To Get Into The United States on B-1/B-2 Visitors Visa During The Pandemic and Trump Presidency

Jon Velie Visa Immigration Attorney

After the news that U.S. consulates are going to start reopening around the world, getting a B-1 or B-2 visitor’s visa to the United States is still proving problematic.

Jon Velie brings you up to date on how to get a visitor’s visa for pleasure or for business purposes.

Valid reasons for entering the U.S. on a visitor’s visa include…

  • Attending or presenting at a conference or seminar.
  • Attending a legal deposition.
  • Attending a specific performance or show.
  • Competing in a competition, including competing for prize money (e.g. rugby match, tennis tournament, or chess match).
  • Amateur musician entering to perform in the U.S.

Note one key exception that is not valid under either the B-1 or B-2 visa is performances by professional musicians, even if you are playing for free.

How to Apply for a B-1 or B-2 Visitor’s Visa

The first step is to fill out a DS-160 form and submit it to the Department of State. You can do this at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Set an appointment at the Embassy or Consulate, but make sure to bring everything you need to support your application.

Remember that U.S. immigration officials’ primary concern is the risk that someone entering the country may not leave when they said they would, and instead try to stay longer than permitted in the country.

One risk factor is if you have an immediate family member (or even a boyfriend/girlfriend) who is already in the U.S.. The problem is that you might use your temporary visit to file an immigrant visa, such as a marriage-based green card. This alone could be a reason to get your B-visa application denied (Section 212).

Our Top Tips for Getting B1/B2 Visitor Visas

Ideally, you should be able to present a specific and short-term reason for your visit, such as to attend Conference X, to go to a show by Band Y, or to attend a graduation.

Another top tip is to book a hotel room in advance of your trip (which you can always cancel later). This gives the officials more evidence that your visit is temporary. However, do not book non-refundable travel tickets in case your B visa is denied for any reason.

The most critical issue is to be able to prove you still have ties to your home country:

  • a job (with appropriate proof plus a covering letter from your employer);
  • your own property;
  • dependent family members;
  • specific events at home that you must attend.

About the Author Jon Velie

About the author: Jon Velie has practiced Immigration law since 1993. He is CEO of OnlineVisas.com., the intelligent Immigration platform. Jon is an Amazon number one best-selling author of H1B Visa: Application & Approval, is regularly covered by major media and has won a number of international awards. Jon can be contacted at jon@onlinevisas.com or 405-310-4333 office or 405-821-5959 mobile.

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Leave a Comment:

Regina Pawlowski says September 4, 2020

A childhood sweetheart and I found each other after 50 years apart. It was quite a love story. He flew here 5 times from the UK to spend his ‘allowed’ visa time with me. It was leap year and we talked about marriage. The hurdles are so difficult that at our age we gave up. I would have liked to be able to live in both places alternately but there doesn’t seem to be such an option. At my/our age it’s not a good thing to have a broken heart.

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Michael Massalsky says November 15, 2020

Reason for visiting the US. Every year since 1998bI spend 3 weeks in Florida.
9 years ago I acquired an ocean front condo, 904, a garage and cabana, at 530 Ocean Drive, Juno Beach, Florida 33408, for $1.250’000.00. Property control no. 28-43-41-28-50-000-9040 for which I pay annual property taxes, in 2019 $ 27’214.00. Due to location and weather conditions this condo requires regular maintenance.

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