If you would like to visit the United States as either a tourist for business or pleasure then you generally must first obtain a visitor visa. These visa are also known as a B visa and a B visa is a non-immigrant visa. This means that when getting this visa you cannot intend to stay in the U.S. permanently but rather for a short period of time, sometimes up to 6 months, for business purposes, tourism, medical reasons or visiting friends and/or relatives. As I mentioned you cannot have the intent of staying in the U.S. permanently when seeking a non-immigrant visa. Now we all know life is unpredictable and sometimes you intent can change or you may need to extend the reason for your trip which can often be accomplished by applying to change your status or in some cases to adjust your status. Though be wary when applying to change your status or adjust your status in the U.S. as if the immigration officer adjudicating your application suspects that you had the intent of staying in the country permanently when you first applied for your non-immigrant visa they will deny your application. If you would like any help or assistance in doing so please contact us at www.hannafordimmigation.com.
There are two main types of B visas available. Which one you will need to apply for would be dependent on the purpose of your trip and what you would like to do on it as is the case with any visas. The main tourist visas are:
You would generally need to apply for this type of visa if you wanted to come to the U.S. temporarily for business. For example, if you needed to consult with business associates, attend a conference, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract. However you cannot be employed by a US entity on this type of on this visa. You can find out more about the exact activities you are and are not allowed to do on a B-1 visa here. Depending on your activities you may want to consider getting a visa that allows you to obtain work authorization. Please visit our website and contact us for more information either over the phone or through the contact form to the left.
You would generally need to apply for this type of visa if you wanted to come to the U.S. temporarily for pleasure or tourism. For example, if you wanted to holiday in the U.S., if you wanted to visit friends or family, enroll in a short recreational course (not for university credit), receive medical treatment, attend a social event hosted by a fraternal, social or service organization, or participate in an amateur music, sports or similar event if you will not receive remuneration that is. If you will be paid there are different types of visas that will do that and please contact us to find out the right type of visa for you.
Please keep in mind that it is never guaranteed that you will get a visa just because you apply for it. You need to meet all of the visa requirements and you may find it helpful working with an immigration attorney.
To apply for your non-immigrant visitor visa you generally need to fill out the Form DS-160 online and follow its instructions: such as uploading a photo of yourself, and printing out the application confirmation to bring to your visa interview at the appropriate U.S. consulate or embassy. You will then need to schedule your interview. Wait times for visa interview appointments can be lengthy but vary by location and other factors. You can check the wait time by entering your city under Appointment Wait Time on the Department of State Website. You will also likely have to pay a non-refundable visa application fee. Don’t forget to gather your documentation to bring with you to your interview. These might include your passport, your DS-160 confirmation, application fee payment receipt, a photo, your travel itinerary, etc.
Visa Waiver Program:
Instead of getting a B visa you may be entitled to participate in the visa waiver program. It is only available to citizens of certain countries. However, if you are a citizen of one of these countries and you want to use the visa waiver program you do need to first obtain a valid Electronic System for Valid Authorization also referred to as an ESTA. You also cannot have prior U.S. visa ineligibilities and must have the right type of passport (such as having a passport that is valid for at least another 6 months from the planned departure date). The countries participating in the visa waiver program include:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom
Please contact us through my website at www.hannafordimmigration.com if you need help with securing your visitor visa or if you are interested in adjusting your status from a non-immigrant to an immigrant visa or for any other immigration inquiries. I look forward to speaking with you!