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Consular Guidance for Business Travelers, Tourists and Family Visitors (B-1/B-2)

10Sep2016

Consular Guidance for Business Travelers, Tourists and Family Visitors (B-1/B-2)

Visitors from visa waiver countries (which primarily consists of European countries) may receive eligibility to travel to the U.S. without a visa by completing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application. For all other visitors, submitting the visa application is only the first part of the process. In fact, the decision to grant a B visa is actually made by a consular officer after screening the applicant at the visa interview. The better prepared the applicant to answer questions about the purpose of the trip, length of stay, ability to finance the trip and strong motivation to return home after the visit, the greater likelihood of visa approval.

In addition, the U. S. Department of State recommends taking certain steps to increase the probability of approval and avoid delaying issuance of visitor visas. This advice includes what to bring to the visa interview, what not to bring to the interview, and what steps to take after the interview depending on whether the visa is granted or denied.

Notably, there may be additional instructions provided by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will be applying and be interviewed, such as specific instructions about the medical exam, security screening procedures, visa fee payments and visa delivery, so it is important to review those instructions carefully.

Documents to Bring

• Passport

• Interview appointment letter

• If you provided the NVC with photocopies of original documents, such as birth certificates and marriage certificates, you must present the original documents at your interview, along with a photocopy of each document.

• Online visa application confirmation page for each visa applicant.

• Nationals of some foreign countries are required to pay a visa issuance fee. Check the reciprocity schedule for your home country at www.travel.state.gov/visa/reciprocity/index.

• If visiting a relative, bring a photocopy of the relative’s proof of status (U.S. passport, green card, nonimmigrant visa and I-94 authorization).

• Business visitors need to produce proof that the company will finance the trip. It is also helpful to show proof of the company’s existence, and letters of invitation or sponsorship.

• A tourist should show evidence of financial resources to afford the trip and strong ties to the home country.

What Not to Bring

For security reasons, these items are not permitted in the visa section of the U.S. consulate or Embassy:

• Electronic devices such as mobile phone, cameras, laptops, iPads
• Travel bags, handbags, backpacks, briefcases
• Food items and drinks
• Sealed envelopes and packages
• Cigarettes, cigars, matches, lighters,
• Sharp objects, including nail files, pen knives, scissors
• Weapons or explosive material of any kind

This list is not exhaustive. Other items may be prohibited based on security staff discretion.
Interested parties such as friends, relatives, or business contacts may not accompany visa applicants to their interviews.

After the Visa Interview

If you are granted the visa, the passport will typically be returned within 72 hours from the interview date. Actual delivery time depends on the place of residence, visa section workload, and holidays.

If you are denied the visa, the consular officer will return your passport after the interview.

Feel free to contact Global Law PLLC to speak with an experienced immigration attorney for assistance visiting the U.S. for business or pleasure.

Suzette Blackwell

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  • 10 Sep, 2016
  • suzette blackwell
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