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Rhubycat

B2 Tourist Visa processing Qu -How long will they have my Passport?

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Hello. I am an Australian wanting to stay in the USA for 1 yr with friends (who I call family and visit yearly). I have an interview already scheduled at the US embassy here in AU and now have an opportunity to take another holiday (not to the USA) 5 weeks after my interview. I would love to go on the holiday but I am concerned that the US embassy may still have my passport for the visa application. Does anyone have an idea of how long they hold onto your passport after an interview? 

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If everything goes well (an approval), the Embassy process and print the visa and you should get it back within 10 days. However, it could be longer.

 

But there are a few things of concern.

 

First, Australia is a country that doesn't require a visa to enter the US. This is because you have a privilege called ESTA that allows you to enter the US without a visa for 90 days at a time. The reason I say it is a concern is because when people from ESTA countries apply for visitor visas, they are at risk of losing that ESTA privilege if the tourist visa is denied. This is why it is sometimes difficult for people to get a tourist visa approval from countries that have this privilege because immigration looks at it as the person being greedy, so to speak.

 

The other thing which is even more concerning is the fact that you stated that you wanted to stay in the US for 1 year. You can not live in the US for a year on a tourist visa. It is illegal. The maximum amount of time allowed on a tourist visa is 6 months so if you stay for a year you will overstay your visitor visa and it will get revoked.

 

Please provide some clarity to your plans because as of the way it is written, you are about to risk future travels to the US.


“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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Well if you stayed on your visa application that you're applying to spend a year in the US then you'll get back your passport rather quickly. 


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I do not see an issue, they are most unlikely to retain your passport.


“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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Bottom line

- the passports that tend to be held for long are security risks, unlikely to be an issue for the average australian

- as above, you’re not going to get a visa for a year’s stay

- you’ll either get a B visa for max 6-month stay at a time OR a refusal, most likely for not being able to show adequate ties to home given your intentions for extended time outside Australia/in the US and/or raising concerns about working illegally in the US to support yourself

- in either of these cases you’ll get your passport back sometime between immediately and a few days

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OMG! I am feeling very shocked. I honestly didnt know that a 1 yr tourist visa wasn't allowed and yes i did put it on my application ;-(. I have the finances to support myself for the year and can prove it and have no intention to work during my stay.

I do have ties here, I have my family and a home?

Are you also saying that if my visa application is denied I will not be able to use my ESTA or apply for another ESTA when my current ESTA expires?

Thank you all so much for your responses. It has certainly been an eye opener.

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2 hours ago, Rhubycat said:

OMG! I am feeling very shocked. I honestly didnt know that a 1 yr tourist visa wasn't allowed and yes i did put it on my application ;-(. I have the finances to support myself for the year and can prove it and have no intention to work during my stay.

I do have ties here, I have my family and a home?

Are you also saying that if my visa application is denied I will not be able to use my ESTA or apply for another ESTA when my current ESTA expires?

Thank you all so much for your responses. It has certainly been an eye opener.

Your ties to your home don’t seem too strong as you are ready to leave it all behind to stay in the US for a year. 

Yes, if your b2 visa is denied you need to update your esta to state you had a visa denied which will trigger the esta denial as well.

Best to review your plans.


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12 minutes ago, Rhubycat said:

Is it best that i withdraw my application and submit a new one for 6 months?

I usually visit the USA every year and would hate not to be able to visit at all.

If I were in your shoes I would keep the esta and forget about the b2. Why would you need to stay longer than 90 days at a time? 


07/09/2018: ROC packet sent with USPS 2-day priority shipping

07/11/2018: ROC packet delivered to the Vermont Service Center

07/16/2018: NOA1 received by mail with 18 months extension (notice date 7/12 and check cashed)

08/07/2018: Biometrics appointment letter received by mail (notice date 7/27)

08/13/2018: Biometrics appointment at east Hartford, ct

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2 hours ago, Rhubycat said:

OMG! I am feeling very shocked. I honestly didnt know that a 1 yr tourist visa wasn't allowed and yes i did put it on my application ;-(. I have the finances to support myself for the year and can prove it and have no intention to work during my stay.

I do have ties here, I have my family and a home?

Are you also saying that if my visa application is denied I will not be able to use my ESTA or apply for another ESTA when my current ESTA expires?

Thank you all so much for your responses. It has certainly been an eye opener.

Well the 1 year "visit" is on the application the officer is definitely going to notice this. It is actually their jobs and the law to presume applicants have immigrant intent. Staying in the US for a year is immigrant intent. Even if your intentions are other wise.

 

Yes, if you get denied (which is very likely since you applied for a 1 year stay in the US. You will have to update you ESTA and because of a previous visa denial.

 

Basically, it they are saying that they found something that makes you a risk from a visa application, then you shouldn't have the privilege of the ESTA either.

 

1 minute ago, Rhubycat said:

Is it best that i withdraw my application and submit a new one for 6 months?

I usually visit the USA every year and would hate not to be able to visit at all.

To be completely honest, the best and safest decision is for you not to apply for a tourist visa at all. Use the gift you have and only stay in the US for 90 days. There is a ton you can do for 90 days. Then go back to AUS for a while, and you will still have a chance to return to the US.

 

Honestly, you have something many people in the world don't. Most people live in countries that don't even qualify for ESTA. There are about 38 countries that have ESTA out of around 180 countries in the world. And many citizens of those countries have friends and relatives here in the US they can't visit because it is hard for them to get a tourist visa. In fact, there are people on this site who have spouses, girlfriends, and even children in other countries who can't even visit the US before moving here on an immigrant visa.

 

It is my personal opinion but use the gift that you have.


“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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@Rhubycat

 

I wanted to say one more thing.

 

There is a young lady from Australia who was posting on this forum earlier this year. She is currently going through a K1, which is a fiance visa. She had a situation where she was using her ESTA to come to the USA to stay with her boyfriend. He was only her bf at the time. Well, they figured that 90 days is too short of time together so she applied for a tourist visa. Sure enough, she was denied the tourist visa and ended up losing her ESTA.

 

They had to make the decision to get engaged because her only other option for her to be with her bf in the US was the fiance visa. Her story is an example of how people are given a little, but ask for more, only to lose what they have. Getting engaged was not a bad thing, but we got the feeling that it wasn't the optimal situation and her denial played a part in the decision.

 

She is going through the fiance process but she has not been able to visit the US since losing her ESTA and the K1 visa process can take up to a year to complete. I will try to do a search to find her thread and if I come across it I will definitely post it her for you to reference it.


“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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Losing ESTA is not automatic, you update and see. Often people get it back at a later point.


“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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