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pras_padmini

Visitor visa - intent to return

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Hi,

I'm planning on applying for visitor visas for my mother-in-law and father-in-law (from India).

From reading the visitor guide, it seems that we make ticket reservations *after* receiving the visa.

Is that correct? How do we show their intent to return without booking a return ticket?

Are there other supporting documents that they should take to the consulate interview

(besides passport, DS-160, and photo)? To show financial support, I could provide my 1040

tax forms/bank statements, if that's needed.

Thanks

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Your in-laws must be able to convince the CO that they will return on their own merits. Your financial situation, taxes, an invitation letter, etc will do nothing to sway a CO on the issuance of a tourist visa.

They need to prove ties to India that will compel them to return. In general, things like additional family in India [elderly parents, grand children, siblings of your spouse] are look upon favorably. Something somewhat India-specifc - if either parent has a government position can be looked at as a strong tie as government jobs are highly sought after. Also, things like land, homes, proof that they are very financially stable can also help influence the decision.

But, keep in mind, all COs know land can be sold, jobs can be left, a "fluffed" up bank account where the US LPR kid has been sending over large sums to make it look like the parents have tons to return to, none of this is a slam-dunk, sure-fire way/system to get a tourist visa.

Tourist visa denials out of India are not rare - in fact, they are pretty common. In some cases, just waiting 6 months - 1 year and trying again will result in a visa.

Edited by catknit

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Hi,

I'm planning on applying for visitor visas for my mother-in-law and father-in-law (from India).

From reading the visitor guide, it seems that we make ticket reservations *after* receiving the visa.

Is that correct? How do we show their intent to return without booking a return ticket?

Are there other supporting documents that they should take to the consulate interview

(besides passport, DS-160, and photo)? To show financial support, I could provide my 1040

tax forms/bank statements, if that's needed.

Thanks

airline tickets have no physical control over an individual, and are not considered proof of intent to return (tickets can be changed or cancelled at will)...and the other comments about dummied up bank accounts and last-minute land or title transfers to create the illusion of strong ties have all been seen before...and will only quickly erode whatever credibility the applicant might have had moments before...your income, bank accounts, etc, are meaningless...your in-laws must qualify on their own, and convince the VO they will return WHEN THEY SAY, and more importantly, NOT ENGAGE IN ANY UNAUTHORIZED EMPLOYMENT, INCLUDING PROVIDING CHILD CARE FOR YOU (which is considered work, whether you hand them money or not).....nothing you can say or write will magically bestow some unique characteristics upon them that will then overcome 214b.

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Your in-laws must be able to convince the CO that they will return on their own merits. Your financial situation, taxes, an invitation letter, etc will do nothing to sway a CO on the issuance of a tourist visa.

...

Tourist visa denials out of India are not rare - in fact, they are pretty common. In some cases, just waiting 6 months - 1 year and trying again will result in a visa.

Okay, that makes sense - if they are the ones applying for a tourist visa, my financial situation is not relevant.

I'm really curious why tourist visas are denied. I know there are cases where the "tourist" visa is abused, so people

try to bring their spouse on a tourist visa, where the intent is to immigrate. And of course there are cases where the

applicant has some sort of criminal record and would be denied. But are there other reasons why a tourist visa is denied?

My father in law is retired so he can't show any job-related ties to India. Luckily, my wife does have a sibling in India, and

my in-laws have siblings in India as well, so family ties can be shown.

It looks like there are two main reasons for visa denial:

221g - missing documentation. Not sure what this means. I thought it's just a photo,passport and the DS form that are required.

Maybe financial information and proof of ties to India?

214b - not showing intent to return. This also sounds somewhat vague. I hope showing family ties and property ownership in

India are enough

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It is the tourist visa abuse issue that has led to India being tough to get a tourist visa. Overstays, grandparents coming over and becoming child care providers, people who just run out on their visa [get through the airport and "vanish"].

A 221g can be missing docs or sometimes [though not a lot with B1/B2] it's further processing [name checks, background checks, etc].

The real issue for many is the 214b. Figuring out the magic formula that leads to a B1/B2 is ambiguous for a reason - all cases are different and if there were a tried-and-true way, everyone [including those with bad intentions] would use it.

Your in-laws should try to prepare as best they can - make sure they have the correct format for the pics :) . But, most of this is their interaction with the CO and the totality of their case. Having bank account info, deeds, etc just in case would be nice but it may not be asked for - and if it isn't asked for, forcing it on the CO isn't a smart move.

It's one of those annoying "just go with it and see what happens" type of things.

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Okay, that makes sense - if they are the ones applying for a tourist visa, my financial situation is not relevant.

I'm really curious why tourist visas are denied. I know there are cases where the "tourist" visa is abused, so people

try to bring their spouse on a tourist visa, where the intent is to immigrate. And of course there are cases where the

applicant has some sort of criminal record and would be denied. But are there other reasons why a tourist visa is denied?

My father in law is retired so he can't show any job-related ties to India. Luckily, my wife does have a sibling in India, and

my in-laws have siblings in India as well, so family ties can be shown.

It looks like there are two main reasons for visa denial:

221g - missing documentation. Not sure what this means. I thought it's just a photo,passport and the DS form that are required.

Maybe financial information and proof of ties to India?

214b - not showing intent to return. This also sounds somewhat vague. I hope showing family ties and property ownership in

India are enough

214b is the most common reason for denials...the interview begins with the presumption that the applicants are going to stay in the US, so they have to convince the COs otherwise. Complicating matters even more is the fact that there are NO bright line requirements one must have or show that will result in visa issuance.

For example, merely owning a house or having a job or money in the bank does not instantly overcome 214b....why?

Simple...far too many people have resorted to 'creativity' by manufacturing fake job letters or bank account statements (or property deeds) in many countries, including India, which has a less than stellar reputation for such things. So the VOs do not rely heavily on documents in order to come to a favorable decision (but documents, especially when fraudulent, can lead to a swift negative decision!)...

document do not prove intent, which is primarily what the VOs are attempting to judge...will the applicant depart the US when they say, and will the applicant not engage in unauthorized employment...(which does include providing child care so the parents can go to work and not have to pay babysitters)

how does one convince a VO of his or her good intentions? There is no easy one size fits all answer...because the applicant has to answer questions at the interview, and how they do that can be crucial to the final outcome.

Start making up stuff, a good VO will ask some probing follow up questions that will likely expose inconsistencies...present fake docs, the VO will turn them over to the fraud unit who can verify them quickly...and when those documents turn out to be fake, well, the applicant's credibility will have eroded to nothing in a hurry...and no amount of apologies or anything else will repair damaged credibility.

the same goes for answering normal questions...like...'do you have any close relatives living in the US?' (brother, sister, parent, child) and if an applicant decides to lie, well, often times the VO can easily look up prior visa records for family members who likely gave the same home address in their country when they applied for a student visa or H1b, and then what? Again, apologies for lying or bringing fake docs will fall on very deaf ears.

Letters from congressmen/senators are worthless because a congressman/senator cannot legally order a VO to issue a visa...nor can said representative 'vouch' for the integrity of an applicant they statistically don't even know personally...and at the end of the day, it's the VO's name on the visa issuance, not the congressman's or senator's....so trying to get such a letter and hoping it will 'do the trick' is a waste of time. besides, an experienced VO knows that such a letter has no value or authority....it just tends to show desperation on the part of the family member trying to bring someone else to the US.

Working illegally in the US with tourist visas is another problem...exacerbated by those who have done that very thing...which has included older folks as well as younger ones...as more and more US companies have been exposed exploiting the B1 visa, for example, by inviting people over for 'knowledge transfer' (a euphemism for work) or 'training' (more work), it makes it tougher for a bona fide applicant to convince a VO that he or she will not be working....

other under the table employment often takes place when relatives come over on tourist visas and begin working at their relative's motel, 7-11, do-nut store or gas station, all in the name of 'helping out' that same relative.

Again, the combined abuse over the years results in more challenges for those who may well be bona fide tourists, but whose reasons for returning and/or not working don't appear much different than those who abused the visa privilege before.

and then of course, we have the issue of young single applicants using the tourist visa to find 'true love' (which, oddly, seems to be in close proximity to baggage claim at every airport), get married, do an AOS and then act surprised when the rest of his/her family suddenly has a big problem getting tourist or student visas (the logic for this is simple....one family member skips town to marry and get established in the US, then attempts to get other family members to the US for more of the same)..

All of these issues complicate the equation, leaving said equation with no simple answer for success.

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and then of course, we have the issue of young single applicants using the tourist visa to find 'true love' (which, oddly, seems to be in close proximity to baggage claim at every airport)

:lol:

To the OP:

You can purchase plane tickets before a visa interview - it just isn't a smart thing to do because there's no guarantee that 1. the visa will be granted on time, or 2. that the visa will be granted at all. A return ticket isn't evidence of anything, as Noah said. In addition, it's not a requirement for a tourist visa that you've booked your trip already - in fact, there are people who apply for, and are granted, tourist visas who never even go. Just don't get a one-way ticket.

What they should focus on are ties to India. This can be anything and everything. What the CO is looking for is any type of evidence that would suggest a normal, rational human being would be better off returning, than staying illegally in the US.

For example:

a. An applicant making $50,000 a year, with 11 grand kids, a wife and a business and house in India. Wants to go for 4 weeks to see the Grand Canyon and gamble in Vegas.

b. An applicant with no income, fresh out of college with a boy/girlfriend in the US. Wants to visit boy/girlfriend for 6 months.

Applicant A will have little, if any, reason to want to stay illegally in the US. He would lose his income, not have contact with his family, lose his business and likely his house back home. The guy would be crazy to violate his visa. It is presumed that an applicant is a rational thinking human being.

Applicant B will have very little to lose by staying illegally in the US. He/she has little to no income to lose, his/her family/social ties are just as close to the US as they are to India, and if he/she chooses to stay and work illegally, he/she may even end up getting married to his/her bf/gf later down the road, and end up staying permanently. He/she has no clear plan once in the US.

Any applicant's goal is to look a lot like applicant A, and nothing like applicant B.

Why? Because while applicant B may have good intentions, and may very well in fact be a bona fide visitor, what matters is that the CO not only believes the story, but is convinced by the story. The CO is, by law, prohibited from granting a tourist visa unless convinced the applicant has intentions to return home.

Edited by Jay Jay

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Well said....and a good example...(although at each end of the spectrum...but a good comparison to show what the VOs are often facing at the window)...

Another way of understanding this issue...the VOs care not why someone wants to GO to the US....what they are interested in are the reasons why somebody would DEPART the US (and not work illegally)..

all the reasons people often give for going to the US aren't really worth much....the presumption (generally) is that the applicant is going to the US for a bona fide reason (I doubt anyone has applied for a business visa in order to rob banks in America!!!)...but what really matters is what will motivate the applicant to return home when they are supposed to...and again, there is no specific list of 'ties' that when presented, will result in visa issuance. Intent is the key....and there is not a document on the entire planet that can prove the intent of anyone.

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