According to the Foreign Affairs Manual provided by the US State Department, “Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), or for pleasure (B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).”

The factors that are considered in determining whether someone qualifies for temporary visitor classification are whether the applicant:

  • Has a residence in a foreign country, which “they do not intend to abandon.”
  • Intends to enter America for a specifically limited time period
  • Seeks admission “for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure.

Applicants who fail to meet one or more of the above criteria must be refused a B1 or B2 visa (or combination visa) based on section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Special circumstances – Fiancés

These directives are for the USCIS officer. Experienced immigration lawyers can also explain what these directives mean.

“An alien proceeding to the United States to marry a U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of admission is classifiable as a K-1 nonimmigrant under INA 101(a)(15)(K). (See 22 CFR 41.81.) The fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) may, however, be classified as a B-2 visitor if you are satisfied that the fiancé(e) intends to return to a residence abroad soon after the marriage.

A B-2 visa may also be issued to an alien coming to the United States:

  • Simply to meet the family of his or her fiancé
  • To become engaged
  • To make arrangements for the wedding
  • To renew a relationship with the prospective spouse.

“Fiancé(e)s who establish a residence abroad to which they intend to return, and who are otherwise qualified to receive visas, are eligible for B-2 visas if the purpose of the visit is to marry a nonimmigrant alien in the United States in a valid nonimmigrant F, H, J, L M, O, P, or Q status.”

“You should advise the fiancé(e) to apply for a change in nonimmigrant status to that of the derivative of the alien spouse soon after the marriage to the nearest office of Department of Homeland Security (DHS). B status is not appropriate if the fiancé(e) intends to remain permanently in the United States after admission, even if he or she would seek to do so by filing an adjustment or change of status application.

“A spouse married by proxy to an alien in the United States in a nonimmigrant status may be issued a B-2 visitor visa in order to join the spouse already in the United States. Upon arrival in the United States, the joining spouse must apply to the DHS for permission to change to the appropriate derivative nonimmigrant status after consummation of the marriage.”

There are additional guidelines for the spouse or child of a foreign applicant. These guidelines apply to adopted alien children too.

B2 status may also be available for:

  • “Cohabitating partners, extended family members, and other household members not eligible for derivative status.”
  • “Adoptive Child Coming to the United States for Acquisition of Citizenship”
  • “Aliens Destined to an Avocational or Recreational School”
  • Many other categories

Call Herman Legal Group at 1 (800) 808-4013 or complete our contact form to learn more about B-1 and B-2 extensions and change requests.

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