Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to visit the United States (“U.S.”) temporarily for “business” or “pleasure” must first obtain a (non-immigrant) visa—please contact us to see if you qualify for an exception to this requirement. There are two types of visitor visas: (1) the B-1 Business Visa, and (2) the B-2 Tourist Visa. The B-2 Tourist Visa allows a person to visit the U.S. for pleasure and other purposes. A B-1 Business Visa allows a person to visit the U.S. to engage in business other than work.
Although visitor visas may seem straightforward, they are often denied, especially at certain U.S. Consulates/Embassies such as the ones in Vietnam. Moreover, if you have ever been denied for any visa, you should definitely contact us before re-applying for a visa.
Visitor Visa Uses:
B-1 Business Visa:
A B-1 Business Visa is for temporary visitors engaging in commercial transactions not involving gainful employment. Put another way, it is for persons who seek to enter into the U.S. to engage in business other than work. The legal distinction between “business” and “work” is often difficult to distinguish, the latter, requiring a different type of visa. However, the following activities are examples of activities usually permitted under a B-1 Business Visa:
- Consulting with business associates;
- Attending scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions or conferences;
- Settling or negotiating estates or contracts; and,
B-2 Tourist Visa:
A B-2 Tourist Visa allows a person to visit the U.S. for “pleasure.” “Pleasure” is legally defined as legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature. Included in this definition are many other activities.
B-1 and B-2 visas are for people who want to come to visit the U.S. temporarily—it should be noted that both are often combined together as a B-1/B-2 Visa. Both visa categories also require the non-immigrant to have the following, among others:
- A “residence” in a foreign country;
- No intention of abandoning his/her foreign residence;
- An intent to leave the U.S. at the expiration of the requested stay;
- Permission to enter a foreign country at the end of the requested U.S. stay; and,
- Adequate financial arrangements to carry out the purpose of the visit and to depart from the U.S.
The most problematic requirement is that the non-immigrant prove that he/she has the intent to leave the U.S. at the expiration of the requested stay. This requirement is very difficult to prove, especially for citizens of certain countries. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that certain persons hire the services of a U.S.-licensed immigration lawyer in order to (1) not waste their time; (2) not waste their money; and, (3) not be denied for future immigration benefits.
Process of Obtaining a Visitor Visa:
The process and required documents to obtain a visitor visa, whether a B-1 or B-2 visa, will depend upon your specific situation. Nonetheless, the completion of a Nonimmigrant Visa Application form and attendance of a visa interview are usually required. Many people attempt to complete this form and attend their visa interview without the aid of a U.S.-licensed immigration attorney. However, in our experience, many unrepresented applicants make costly mistakes or omissions when completing the application form, which often lead to the denial of the visa request. In addition, at their visa interview, these unrepresented applicants sometimes unknowingly answer questions in manner that disqualifies them for a visitor visa. Unfortunately, some of these mistakes and omissions also result in the denial of future immigration applications.
The Law Office of Van R. Ngo, LLC, closely works with its clients to identify potential problems before they occur and we work with our clients to solve these problems. We work closely with our clients to carefully complete their Nonimmigrant Visa Application forms, paying attention to avoid dangerous pitfalls. We thoroughly prepare our clients for their visa interview to give them the best chance of getting approved for their visa. We also prepare an attorney-signed legal packet for submission to the Consulate/Embassy to provide the Consulate/Embassy with all of the evidence they need in order to grant our clients’ visa applications.
For more information about the B-1/B-2 non-immigrant visa and to find out if you qualify for this visa, contact us today by clicking here.