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Advice for B1 or B2 Visa

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Filed: Timeline

Hello to all, hope I have posted in the right part of the forum for a little help.

All new to this visa business and looking for a little advice as I’m a little lost.

Firstly, over the last 5 years or so I have visited the USA every year for a couple of weeks, my last visit this year from which I returned being 88 days.

Every time staying with friends I have known for a long time, which I worked with here in the UK about 12 years ago.

I always applied for the Waiver Visa and never had any problems because it was simply visiting and tourism.

I run my own business and for my business, I must travel to the USA not only for seminar’s and meet other businessman but also research which all is non paid and is more of a learning curve for my business and develop here in the UK.

By reading a little around on the internet I believe I need a B1 Visa for this?

Some trips will be lengthy with travelling around and crossing into Canada also, is this a further problem travelling into Canada by car?

Also I would be visiting friends and distant family members (cousins) from time to time and read that for this purpose I would need a B2 Visa, but have read that a combined B1/B2 can be issued, is this true?

This is where it gets difficult for me to understand and getting lost, can I enter the USA on Business and Tourism as in visiting friends and family as well or if such a combined visa exists?

As I have been reading you have to state either one or the other and can’t do both?

Out of interest how long are B1/B2 Visa’s valid for, cost involved and is it a lengthy procedure to apply as I’m planning business trips for next August/September?

Sorry for so many questions and would be grateful to be pointed in the right direction.

Many thanks for your listening and your help.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Germany
Timeline

They're valid for as long as the CO decides it's going to be valid for, but no longer than 10 years. It's probably the hardest visa to obtain, especially when it's used for tourism (B-2). The only positives are that it's one of the cheapest visas to apply for and one of the quickest to get. My husband had his ESTA denied one month before our vacation was to take place and we were able to get his visa in hand a couple weeks before flying, and that was without expediting our case.


Myself: US citizen; Husband: German citizen

TransferWise Invitation Link: (first wire transfer is free) https://transferwise.com/u/eec50

(B-2 Journey):

 

 

-(then fiance) H-2B work visa application terminated due to qualification difficulties in Aug. 2010.

-(then fiance) B-2 tourist visa denied due to lack of strong ties to Germany in Sept. 2010.
-Third ESTA denied due to his suspiscious visa status on Oct. 15, 2012.
-B-2 tourist visa approved on Nov. 16, 2012!

 

(IR-1 Journey):

 

 

-Extended German residence permit obtained Aug. 23, 2014. (to qualify for DCF)

-Husband's new German passport picked up Aug. 28, 2014. (Old one expires 2015)

-I-130 packet sent to Frankfurt (DCF) Aug. 29, 2014!

-NOA1 issued Sept. 9, 2014 (received Sept.13)

-RFE regarding evidence of bona fide marriage received along with NOA1

-RFE reply packet sent to Frankfurt Sept. 30, 2014

-E-mail response (NOA2) received by USCIS Frankfurt on Oct. 23, 2014 (Petition APPROVED Oct. 20!!!) :dancing:

-Paper NOA2 received in the mail Oct. 29, 2014

-Case number assigned by IV unit Oct. 30, 2014 (Received by email Nov. 3)

-Paper "Packet 3" arrived in mail Nov. 4, 2014

-DS-260 and Document Delivery Registration submitted to Frankfurt Nov. 4, 2014

-Mailed in priority date request found on Packet 3 to IV Unit Nov. 5, 2014

-IV ("Packet 3") package sent to Frankfurt Nov. 17, 2014

-Medical completed by Frankfurt panel physician Nov. 17, 2014

-Received "Packet 4" via e-mail Nov. 20, 2014

-Interview booked for Dec. 3, 2014 (booked Nov. 21, 2014 after email authorization received)
-Visa approved, issued AND picked up by the courier all within 7 hours, Dec. 3, 2014
:dance:

-Visa packet arrived in the mail Dec. 4, 2014

-Visa packet had to be returned to Frankfurt for correction on Immigrant Data Summary sheet (wrong birthplace listed) Dec. 5, 2014

-Corrected visa packet received in the mail Dec. 11, 2014

-$165 Immigrant fee paid Dec. 11, 2014

-POE (through Dublin, Ireland) Jan. 18, 2015

-Registered manually for social security Jan. 27, 2015

-Social security card arrived within 2 weeks after applying in person/green card arrived within 30 days after entering U.S.

kXYGp1.png

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ireland
Timeline

You do not need a B1/B2; this is for people who cannot use the VWP.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

mod penguin.jpg

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
Timeline

You can do all you mention on the VWP.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: Timeline

I've visited the US on the VWP to exhibit at trade shows and conduct market research. I've also used the VWP to visit my fiance, now husband. So, I agree with the others about sticking to the VWP.

As an aside, my hazy memory tells me that there might be issues regarding accepting payments while in the US and potential tax liability. So if you think you will be "paid" for your goods or services during your visits, I would look into the restrictions for the VWP and also your tax liability.

It looks like you should be fine to visit Canada. However, time spent in Canada counts towards your 90-day admission window:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/194/~/visa-waiver-program---eligible-countries

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Filed: Timeline

Many thanks for all your replies. :)

So it sounds like i'm best sticking to the VMP for now.

Only reason i was asking about the other is 'what if' i stayed more than 90 days, instead of coming back for a couple of weeks and flying back, i could use the time to visit family etc, is all i was thinking.

So if i enter the USA on the VMP and i'm conducting research and seeing friends and family, what is my answer to the POE if it can be either one or the other if i'm conducting both? :unsure:

landr, sounds similar to what i will be doing, exibits,conferences etc along with market research. But while i spend this time in the USA it is not paid for not will i be earning nothing for my services.

But many thanks for your input, as that is something to bare in mind down the road which i might have to look into if such occurance does get in the way of my visits.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
Timeline

Sounds like you are living in the US?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: Timeline

Many thanks for your reply.

No, not at all.

As said, previous years have just been visits once a year for a couple of weeks. All apart from my last visit which was 88 days.

I have family and children here in the UK.

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Filed: Timeline

Thanks for your reply.

Yes i very much understand that if i overstay the 90 days on the VMP or cross into another country, i will become ineligible to use a VMP ever again, hence why i'm asking about the B1/B2 Visa.

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Filed: Timeline

You can cross to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean while you ware on your VWP, it's just that it does not count towards your 90 day reset from your original entry to the US. The trick would be to visit Canada on your way back to the UK or some other non-adjacent country to the USA before returning. Alternatively, you could fly from UK to Canada first then hop to the USA before cycling back to the UK.

Most UK people I know personally who have gotten caught overusing the VWP work in finance in NYC. These are employees and independent contractors who are flying back between NY and London every 2-3 weeks, but maybe are working on something important in NY and end up spending a bit too much time here. At 182 days in the US, it triggers US tax on your WORLDWIDE income. Even though you are probably taxed more in the UK on most things, the UK offers a number of tax havens for people of means which the IRS is not fond of and is quite aware of, you will spend money and time on your tax prep for all but the most simple income cases. For these reasons most UK employees do not want to get a work visa unless the employer is going to be covering tax equalization payments for them.

Also at 182 days they begin to get suspicious of how you have been earning money at that UK job you have been telling them all about when you enter the country on VWP or when you got your B1/B2 visa. Since you cannot be working, managing people or deriving any other kind of wage-related income while you are in on the VWP or B1/B2 this is usually an issue for all but the very well-off who live on investment income.

I helped someone get a B1 back after they blew up their VWP by staying 270 days in one 365 day stretch. It involved them basically waiting a year of no US travel before they applied for the B1/B2, getting a letter of invitation from a US corporation, and they were granted a 6 month B1/B2 which they used and renewed successfully (apr 2014).

Long story short, I would try to set up a travel schedule well in advance that is going to let you not hit the 182 days in one year. If you need to tie in Canada, Carribean islands and/or Mexico, do it on the way in or way out of your trip, preferably the way in, so that way your I-94 record always shows you leaving north america and there is minimum suspicion by COs you are hopping to canada to reset your counter which doesnt work under US law. always have a return flight booked to get you out of the US, this is part of B1/B2 and VWP entry/exit requirements I believe.

VWP rules:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/194/related/1

Edited by jwh01

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