When you are applying for a B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourist) visa, you are presumed to be an immigrant and you must prove to the satisfaction of the Consular Officer that you will return to your home country at the end of your temporary visit.
How can you prove nonimmigrant intent?
Consular officers look at the following factors when assessing whether you have nonimmigrant intent:
- Do you have residence abroad which you do not intend to abandon?
- Do you have strong and close family ties in your home country?
- Do you have permanent employment or do you own business in your home country?
- Do you have financial connections to your home country?
- Do you have ties with community, social or cultural associations in your home country?
- Do you have sufficient funds to cover your travel expenses and your stay in the United States?
Please note that residence in this context is the place of your general abode. That means that you do not need to maintain an independent household, and if you customarily reside in the household of a friend or family member, that can be considered your residence.
What kind of documents should you bring to the visa interview to prove your nonimmigrant intent?
You should bring documents to demonstrate your current residence, such as property ownership documents or a residential lease agreement. If you live in the house of a friend or family member, you can bring bills or mail you receive at that address to demonstrate you live there, along with a letter from the head of household, confirming that this is your residence. You should also bring proof of your employment contract and recent paystubs or a certificate of school attendance, if you are a student. Additionally, you should bring financial statements that show you can cover your trip and expenses in the United States. You can also bring other proof of ties, such as proof that your whole family resides in your home country or proof that you traveled to the U.S. previously and that you returned home.
In addition to determining whether you have nonimmigrant intent, Consular officers will also look at the following factors when assessing whether they will grant you a B visa:
- Do you want to come to the U.S. for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure? Please note that there are various types of activities permitted under B-1 and B-2 visas and you should make sure the purpose of your visit is appropriate for this type of visa.
- Are you coming to the U.S. for a specifically limited period of time?
- Is the period of time consistent with the purpose of your trip?
- Do you have specific plans for the entire period of your stay? If you have specific plans you may want to bring an itinerary to show the officer.
Please note that not all nonimmigrant visas require that the applicant prove they have nonimmigrant intent. You can get additional information as to which visa categories require nonimmigrant intent by clicking here.
Keep in mind, that if you are a citizen of a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program and you want to come to the United States for tourism or business for a maximum period of 90 days, you can apply for an ESTA authorization rather than a B visa. Please find more information about whether you should apply for ESTA or B visa here.
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