B-2 Tourist Visa
We primarily specialize in fiancé visa and marriage visa cases. Over the years, however, we have successfully handled many B-2 tourist visa cases and we have developed a sub-specialty in tourist visa cases. We routinely advise clients as to whether a tourist visa obtainable.
The huge benefit of the tourist visa, if eligible for the B-2, is that it can be obtained quickly and cheaply. The major disadvantages of the B-2 tourist visa are that: (1) it only allows for limited activities in the U.S.; and (2) it can be very hard to obtain due to the consular presumption of “immigrant intent.” Specifically, the applicant must establish that he or she fully intends to return to their home country after their temporary time in the U.S. Most tourist visas that are denied are denied on the basis that the consular officer does not believe that the applicant plans to stay only temporarily in the U.S.
A B-2 visitor is defined by § 101(a)(15)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) as follows: an alien (other than one coming for the purpose of study or of performing skilled or unskilled labor or as a representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media coming to engage in such vocation) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning and who is visiting the United States … temporarily for pleasure. The term “pleasure” has been defined by the Department of State (“DOS”) 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.” Participation in conferences with fraternal, social, or service organizations would also be considered a proper B-2 activity. Visitors for pleasure may not engage in employment.
To qualify for B-2 status the following requirements must be satisfied:
The alien has a foreign residence that he or she has no intention of abandoning and;
The alien is entering the United States for a temporary visit and;
The alien’s purpose of the visit is for pleasure and;
The alien has sufficient funds to support himself or herself without resorting to unauthorized
Specifically Permitted Activities
The USCIS and the State Department have each published lists of activities which are acceptable for B-2 purposes. If the proposed activity is specifically mentioned on one of these lists, it is easy to argue eligibility for B-2 status. Conversely, if the proposed activity is not specifically
mentioned on one of the lists, it is difficult to argue eligibility for B-2 status. These lists are reproduced below.
A non-exhaustive list of permitted B-2 activities appears in Notes 10 and 11 to §41.31 of the State Department Foreign Affairs Manual (“FAM”). This is the manual used by United States consulates located abroad. The list is reproduced below:
N10.–Aliens Coming to the United States as Visitors for Pleasure.
Aliens who wish to enter the United States temporarily for pleasure, and who are otherwise eligible to receive visas, may be classifiable as nonimmigrant B-2 visitors provided they meet the criteria listed below.
N10.1.–Tourism or Family Visits. Aliens traveling to the United States for purposes of tourism or to make social visits to relatives or friends.
N10.2.–Medical Reasons. Aliens coming for health purposes. [See 22 CFR 40.7(a)(1-6) and 22 CFR 40.7(a)(15).]
N10.3.–Participation in Social Events. Aliens participating in conventions, conferences or convocation of fraternal, social or service organizations.
N10.4.–Armed Forces Dependents. Alien dependents of an alien member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces temporarily assigned for duty in the United States.
N10.5.–Dependents of Crewmen. Alien dependents of category “D” visa crewmen who are coming to the United States solely for the purpose of accompanying the principal alien.
N10.6.–Short Course of Study. Aliens coming to the United States primarily for tourism who also will incidentally engage in a short course of study during their visit. Insert the notation:
Study incidental to visit; I-20 not required” immediately below the visa stamp.
N10.7.–Amateur Entertainers and Athletes. A person who is an amateur in an entertainment or athletic activity is, by definition, not a member of any of the professions associated with that activity. Thus, an amateur (or group of amateurs) who will not be paid for performances and will perform in a social and/or charitable context or as a competitor in a talent show, contest or athletic event is eligible for B-2 classification, even if the incidental expenses associated with the visit are reimbursed.
The documentation submitted in a B-2 application should demonstrate the temporariness of the trip, an intention to return to an not-abandoned foreign residence and financial ability to support oneself during the period of stay requested. This may include the following:
1. Ownership or lease documents for the alien’s residence in the home country;
2. Evidence of work, studies, or activities to be resumed upon the alien’s return to the home country;
3. Evidence of family members left behind in the home country;
4. Evidence of other businesses or holdings in the home country;
5. Documentation of the temporariness of the visit;
6. A round-trip ticket;
7. A travel itinerary;
8. A letter from friends, relatives or others in the United States inviting the alien and detailing the length and purpose of the stay;
9. Bank records or other documents, showing money on hand that demonstrates the alien’s ability to afford the trip.
For a free evaluation of your case please call us at: (952) 544-6804