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Precautions while traveling to the U.S. on B-1 / B-2 Visa

Parents traveling to the United States on B-1/ B-2 Tourist Visa

US Business/ Tourist Visa, also categorized as B1/B2 visa is a Non-immigrant visa for temporary, short-term travel to the United States either for short business purpose (B-1 visa) or for recreation purpose (B-2 visa). If you are looking for a nonimmigrant visa to travel to the United States, for a short period of time, a Tourist Visa is the best visa option.

B-1 / B-2 Visa Validity and I-94

Generally, the B-1/ B-2 nonimmigrant visas are issued for a period of 10 years based on the U.S. Consulate Visa Officer’s discretion. However, the B-1/ B-2 visitor can stay up to 6 months/ 180 days being the authorized I-94 period approved by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the Port of Entry while entering into the United States. Getting a US Tourist Visa does not guarantee your entry into the United States, and it is at the discretion of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of Entry, whether or not to allow the visitor into the country. The visitor should check their I-94 records for the approved validity period for this stay, upon being allowed into the country. The individual cannot overstay in the United States beyond approved stay period as per the I-94 records and should leave the United States before the I-94 end date, even if the B-1/B-2 visa validity is beyond the I-94 validity. Irrespective of the B-1/B-2 visa validity, the visitor can only stay in the United States for a maximum of 6 months/ 180 days or the authorized I-94 period, per visit and should not stay beyond that period.

Precautions while traveling to the United States on B-1 / B-2 Visa

While traveling on the B-1/ B-2 visitor visa, the visitor should carry their original passport with valid B-1/B-2 visa stamp. The visitors may carry their healthcare insurance, return flight tickets, and US sponsor information.

The visitor traveling into the United States on a B-1/ B-2 visitor visa cannot work or study in the United States while they are in the United States as this visa does not allow an individual to work in the United States or to study at a school during their stay in the United States.

While individuals shall carry their passport, visa, and health insurance, they sometimes carry all of their important documents including all their financial documents, property documents, biographic documents such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, educational documents for their safekeeping and an intent to show their financial ability and ties to home country. This action, however, might be misinterpreted by the CBP officers at the port of entry, and may work against the Visitor as the aforementioned documents indicate to the CBP Officers that the B-1/B-2 visitor may intend to file a Green Card while in the United States. This may lead to cancellation of the B-1/B-2 Visitors Visa and the B-1/B-2 visitor may have to turn around and return to their home country. Therefore, visitors should refrain from carrying documents such as financial documents, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and educational documents in order to avoid any complications during their travel to the US.

Additionally, the CBP officer can also check your mobile devices for any documents or correspondence indicating an intent to immigrate.

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