Really appreciate some insights here.
I'm planning for a 4-week trip to the US this Christmas to travel and visit my relatives (uncle family), a close friend both living in California). I also want to travel within California with my boyfriend who plans to fly from the East Coast to travel with me (he lives in the East Coast). I have written a detailed itinerary (flight + travelling plan) for myself (I'm a very thorough planner) and thought I'll bring it to the interview as well.
Now, I'm currently a resident in New Zealand. In NZ, under the residence class visa, there's "Resident" and "Permanent Resident". Both allow the visa holders to permanently reside in NZ. The only difference between the 2 is: "Resident" visa has an expiry date for travel conditions (after which I'll either have to apply for a Permanent Residence visa or another type of visa should I want to travel outside NZ, but if I just live in NZ for the rest of my life I won't need to do anything, although I'll most likely upgrade to a Permanent Residence visa).
When filing the DS 160 form, I saw my visa as permanent residence as it allows me to permanently reside here, so I ticked "Yes" to the question asking whether I am a permanent resident. Now reflecting back I'm not sure if that was the inaccurate answer.. My nationality is still Vietnam, but I see myself as having much stronger ties to NZ than VN as I'm currently full time employed here, I had all my education here, all my bank accounts are here, I own a car,and I left Vietnam to study overseas since 18 years old. Im also looking after a family property in New Zealand (currently rented out - but I've the Power of Attorney to act on behalf of my parents who own the house).
For my purpose of visiting the US, I'm very clear that I'm visiting my relatives, my friend (from elementary school - we met in Vietnam but she moved to the US 10 years ago and we've been in touch since), and also my boyfriend. My friend offers her place for me to stay for about half of my trip, then I'll stay at my uncle's place for about 3 days and travelling the remaining time with my boyfriend (so I'm looking at air bnb).
My questions are:
1/Should I adjust my Permanent Residence to be a Residence status in the interview? Or should I just explain to the Case Officer my thought process? Legally, I can reside in NZ permanently, it's just, my residence status is "Residence" (without the word "Permanent" in front). Besides I really don't want to be seen as lying.
2/When asked for purpose of visit, should I include my boyfriend in the "friends" group? i.e. answering "I'm visiting my relatives (uncle family, cousins, and friends) and travelling with my relatives and friends". Or should I tell them I'm visiting my friend and boyfriend.
My boyfriend doesn't live in California but wants to come to California to travel within that state with me. He lives on the East Coast (NC) and I've no relative there, it's also far away I don't intend to stay there this time. And I really do intend to visit my friends too, not just him. In the DS 160 form, I only put my friend's address and contact number as it only allowed me to put 1 person's contact there.
3/I really have no intent to get married and stay this time, but having been in a long distance relationship together for 5 years now (yea we're crazy) with the same boyfriend, we plan to file a K1 maybe next year. This visit will allow me to spend time with him in person, travelling together, as well as experience the US so I could make my decision to go for a K1 after this trip. Will not declaring i'll be visiting my bf impact the integrity of my K1 visa app in a year's time? Honestly we don't intend to get engaged right now.
4/"Evidence of sufficient funds" - is there a certain figure I need to show on my bank statements? if I went for the interview now sure I can still save money for the next 6 months for the trip, but do I need to show over time how much money i've saved in my account? I got a bit worried as I've only started saving for the trip now, and thinking of going for the interview in June - July.
I haven't been to the US before, never been refused a visa to other countries, have lived in Europe, travelled within Europe, Australia, Asia and now residing in NZ, with a Vietnam passport.
Sorry for the horrendously long post!!