Home   >   Comment   >   Features   >   201601

The US Tourist Visa: What Can I Do To Qualify?
<< Prev  |  Next >>
Comments ( 0 )     Email    Print
Related Stories

Generally, a consular officer may approve your visa if you demonstrate that you qualify for the B visa classification and are not subject to any ground of ineligibility. For the officer to refuse your application, they must determine upon facts or circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that you are ineligible to receive a visa. The burden of proof is on you to convince the officer that you are entitled to a visa.  If you fail to establish this the law will presume you to be an intending immigrant and ineligible to receive a B visa.

What Must I Do to Qualify for a B Visa?

Generally, the consular officer will consider three things in determining your eligibility for a visa. First, they will consider whether you have a residence in a foreign country you do not intend to abandon. Second, they will consider whether your intention is to enter the US for a definite period. Third, they will consider whether you seek the visa for legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure.

Foreign residence requirement

The term “residence” is defined under the law to mean your place of general abode, your principal, actual dwelling place in fact, without regard to intent. The residence requirement does not mean that you must maintain an independent household.  If you customarily reside in the household of another, (whether rented or not) that household is your residence in fact. 

To establish your residence abroad, you must demonstrate a permanent employment, meaningful business or financial connections, close family ties, or social or cultural associations which will indicate a strong inducement to return to your home country. So long as you are able to establish an intent to return to your foreign residence, the consular officer should not refuse you a visa even if they suspect that you may be swayed to remain in the US because of more favorable living conditions.

 Your visit must be of a definite duration

You must also establish that your intention is to enter the US for a limited duration. This requirement is generally tied to your foreign residence requirement. A finding by the consular officer that you intend to return to your foreign residence may generally lead them to conclude that you intend to stay for a limited period. Although “temporary” is not defined by law, it generally signifies a limited period of stay. 

 Again, the period of time projected for your visit must be consistent with your stated purpose.  You must establish with reasonable certainty that you will depart the US upon completion of your visit.  You must demonstrate specific and realistic plans for the entire period of your contemplated visit. In evaluating such cases, the focus is not on the absolute length of your stay, but on whether your stay has some finite limit. 

Admission for the purpose of engaging in legitimate activities

The law contemplates that you seek a visa to the US for legitimate purposes.  Therefore, where the consular officer has reason to believe or know that you will engage in unlawful or criminal activity, they will refuse your application. You must therefore show that the arrangements you have made for defraying the expenses of your visit and return abroad is adequate to prevent you from obtaining unlawful employment in the US.

An intention to accept employment is often tied with an intention to remain in the United States for an extended period of time; though this is not always the case.  For example, a consular officer may suspect that you seek a tourist visa for the purpose of earning money in the United States during your annual leave and return home to your employment.  Though you may not intend to remain in the US longer than would be authorised, your intention to engage in unauthorised activity may trigger a refusal.


If you fail to establish any of these three criteria, your visa will be refused under section 214 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 

 Disclaimer: This article only provides general information and guidance on US immigration law. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of the use of this information. The writer is an Immigration law advisor and a practicing law attorney in Ghana. He advises on U.S., UK, and Schengen immigration law. He works part-time for Acheampong & Associates Ltd, an immigration law firm in Accra. He may be contacted on [email protected]
Source: By Emmanuel Opoku Acheampong

Comments ( 0 ): Post Your Comments >>

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.