US B-2 visa help!! | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

US B-2 visa help!!

Status
Not open for further replies.

meathead99

Newbie
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
5
Hey folks, wondering if I could get a few candid opinions on the likelihood of success with a B-2 tourist visa application to the US. I understand that being denied an application will lose you access to the Visa Waiver program which I obviously wanted to avoid, so I thought I might ask before I apply and see what people thought my chances were.


Plan is to visit the US for a 5 months rock climbing trip with a Canadian friend. I would fly to Vancouver in may (the flight is already booked and unfortunately goes via San Fran, which is why I can't lose access), tour the western US for 5 months then go back to Whistler for work in November. I satisfy all the empirical criteria, the only problem is the 'strong ties abroad' requirement.


The problem is as a 25 year old traveller, I've spent the better part of the last 2 years overseas - mostly europe and canada but, including 2x3 month stints in the US on the visa waiver program in 2014. I was living and working in Canada around this time and travelling and climbing in the US. I'm afraid spending time there might make it hard to show strong ties abroad? Here's what I have in my favour.








- 2 degrees including a law degree from Australia, graduated in 2013.
- Proof of current employment in Australia with a photography studio
- a comprehensive travel itinerary for the US, including dates, destinations and contact people.
- A written and signed contract for a Canadian job commencing on Nov 4 2015.
- $18,000 in an Australian bank account and $9,000 in a Canadian bank account
- A canadian work permit and social security number
- an Australian Tax return for 2012-3 and a canadian tax return for 2013. I have not completed my Canadian tax return for 2014 as it runs calendar year, not Australian financial year, and can't be filed yet.
- I have a cousin that lives 1 hour from Seattle, just on the US side of the Canadian border. (should I mention this at all?)






Does this sound like enough? For this to be denied the officer in the interview would basically have to ignore my job offer and itinerary, which seems unlikely to me, but I really can't afford to be knocked off the list for VWP. Worst case I could just cut the trip down to 3 months but I don't want to do that.




I actually had a B-2 visa issued in 2010, it's actually valid for a few more months but in a passport that hasn't been valid since 2011, and I remember the interview being extremely quick and easy, I had plenty of documentation showing my study exchange place in Canada, but is it different this time given I've spent 6 months there over the last year? I'm doing nothing illegal but if the officer decides he doesn't like me the interview doesn't give me a lot of time to convince him.


Thought I might see what people thought before I commit to anything.
Would very much appreciate any advice on my prospects, or anything that might bolster my application.
Thanks! Ben
 
Get paid up to 25% in real cash from your everyday purchases from leading companies such as Virgin Australia, Booking.com, Woolworths, Coles, Apple, Microsoft and much more. Free to join and no catches!

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
10,265
Re previous visa - if your passport expires before the current b2 visa expires, you can still use the visa by bringing and showing both the old passport (even if expired) and new passport.

If you had no problems getting a B1/B2 visa previously whats changed now?. Most B1/B2 are multiple rentry visas. length of previous stay is not really an issue but they might ask you how you managed to stay in the US last time for so long and be self supporting. Do you have a permament domicile outside US. Do you have family in Australia, parents rather than a cousin in Canada.



Remember the US will likely know more about you than you think.

There are migration visa specialist that can help but obviously will involve some kind of fee.

Perhaps other AFF members could give some insights but as always AFF advice can only be considered general and may or may not be suited to your personal circumstances.
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
17,132
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
Seems to me that the 'strong ties abroad' criteria is to satisfy US immigration that you are not a risk of wanting to stay on after you enter the US on a B-2. That is, that you really intend to leave when you say you will, or at the end of the visa period. Interpreted this way, this to me is a forward looking hurdle, not a backward looking one so previous stays in the US should not factor much. If you like going to the US for holidays that you keep doing it, and enter legally each time, and exited properly each time, one would think that would be a positive for you.

Given the details on your afterwards Canadian stay, it would appear to me that there is little doubt you would want to, and intend to leave the US after your next visa facilitated trip. Of course what I think may not be what the US authorities think, but I suggest all you can do is to marshal the facts as they exist and put the case forward.

One fact you may wish to have at your disposal is "How long have you lived at your present (Australian) address". Hopefully you can point to a stable domicile in Australia, returning there each time you went to the US. But if not, hopefully you can express it in terms of stability and it doesn't sound like you have been couch-surfing :)) no offence intended!) in Australia, Canada and the US.

Also, how long do you expect the Canadian job to last? US authorities may ask you what you intend to do after that job. Obviously 'return to Australia' is a logical answer and if either already or before your interview you have some document showing you were making enquiries about employment in Australia after the Canada gig (I'm assuming here that it might be for a year) again, that would assist to demonstrate that you aren't a risk of hanging around the US.

Cousin in Seattle would not be relevant, so I would ignore that in your application.
 

meathead99

Newbie
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
5
Re previous visa - if your passport expires before the current b2 visa expires, you can still use the visa by bringing and showing both the old passport (even if expired) and new passport.

If you had no problems getting a B1/B2 visa previously whats changed now?. Most B1/B2 are multiple rentry visas. length of previous stay is not really an issue but they might ask you how you managed to stay in the US last time for so long and be self supporting. Do you have a permament domicile outside US. Do you have family in Australia, parents rather than a cousin in Canada.

Unfortunately the original visa expires about a week after my arrival date, so it doesn't solve the problem, although that's great to know, thank you.

Nothing has changed other than the fact I spent the last 18 months travelling. I do have a permanent home in Australia with my family which has been my primary residence my whole life. I wasn't sure if I should play up my time in Canada to account for my time in North America.

I've never had any trouble supporting myself, I've held a fairly well paying job with a photography studio for several years before I left to travel.

Thanks!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

meathead99

Newbie
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
5
As I just posted above, despite a fair amount of time travelling, I have considered my family home as my primary residence. I will communicate this to the officer I guess!
And I've slept on more couches than I care to think about, but no offence taken!

The canadian job offer is a 3 month probation contract, to be renewed if things go well. My intention is to be there at least 6 months then make a decision.

My current employer in Australia has also offered to add in my employment letter that he would re-hire me upon my return if that helps.

Thank you! This thing has been stressing me out for weeks. I've been held in Cambodia for refusing to pay a bribe but the US immigration system still counts as the worst!
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
10,265
As I just posted above, despite a fair amount of time travelling, I have considered my family home as my primary residence. I will communicate this to the officer I guess!
And I've slept on more couches than I care to think about, but no offence taken!

The canadian job offer is a 3 month probation contract, to be renewed if things go well. My intention is to be there at least 6 months then make a decision.

My current employer in Australia has also offered to add in my employment letter that he would re-hire me upon my return if that helps.

Thank you! This thing has been stressing me out for weeks. I've been held in Cambodia for refusing to pay a bribe but the US immigration system still counts as the worst!

So therefore you have significant ties on OZ. You are better off telling them about your connections in OZ than your cousin in Canada. I don't see a problem. Hopefully there is not a US embassy lurker on this forum...
 

Lu-Lu

Intern
Joined
Jun 20, 2011
Messages
68
I could write a book on my experience with US visas and immigration and I have learnt the outcome is largely dependent on the mood of the immigration officer at the moment you present. I know this sounds simplistic and obviously there are rules they have to adhere to but that is my experience.

After spending many hours in immigration offices sometimes with lawyers sometimes not I do believe their bottom line is they want to ensure you will be leaving the USA when you say you are - they don't really care where you go, they just want you out! To have documentation to backup what you claim is invaluable.

Just to clarify - I never broke the law, always adhered to visa requirements, never did anything dodgy, had correct visas all the time - I just got a lot of hassle at some ports of entry. In fact it was always when I came in from Canada where I received most of the grief, as you go through US customs on the Canadian side. There were many times I sailed through immigration without incident.

Good luck
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
10,265
I could write a book on my experience with US visas and immigration and I have learnt the outcome is largely dependent on the mood of the immigration officer at the moment you present. I know this sounds simplistic and obviously there are rules they have to adhere to but that is my experience.

After spending many hours in immigration offices sometimes with lawyers sometimes not I do believe their bottom line is they want to ensure you will be leaving the USA when you say you are - they don't really care where you go, they just want you out! To have documentation to backup what you claim is invaluable.

Just to clarify - I never broke the law, always adhered to visa requirements, never did anything dodgy, had correct visas all the time - I just got a lot of hassle at some ports of entry. In fact it was always when I came in from Canada where I received most of the grief, as you go through US customs on the Canadian side. There were many times I sailed through immigration without incident.

Good luck

Thats a good enough reason to leave out the cousin in Canada connection at US embassy but at US/Canadian border the cousin could be a valid reason for visiting Canada
 

harvyk

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
6,794
Qantas
Gold
Flights
My Map
Just a suggestion, the VWP will reset if you leave the US and go beyond just Canada / Mexico / Caribbean. This may be an option for visiting for 5 months by splitting the trip in half.

As others have said, it's pretty much upto the officer's mood on the day.
 

meathead99

Newbie
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
5
Just a suggestion, the VWP will reset if you leave the US and go beyond just Canada / Mexico / Caribbean. This may be an option for visiting for 5 months by splitting the trip in half.

As others have said, it's pretty much upto the officer's mood on the day.

Yeah I did that last year, although I only left to go to Canada for 6 weeks, I was technically a Canadian resident at the time so it counted as returning to domicile. Surely at a certain point it starts to look suspect, like I'm 'visa hopping'?

Frustrating that as you said LuLu even when you follow all the rules you may well be given the run around. and yes, in my experience it has come down to the guy on the day. That's why im taking the time to prepare, bring everything i could possibly need and just do my best to present well, but I thought getting a few opinions might indicate my prospects or give me some confidence.

Thanks for all the help guys!
 

meathead99

Newbie
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Messages
5
Thats a good enough reason to leave out the cousin in Canada connection at US embassy but at US/Canadian border the cousin could be a valid reason for visiting Canada
Ah sorry I might not have been clear, the cousin lives with his wife and kids on the US side of the border, halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, about an hour from the border. On past crossings I've always listed his address, I have visited him numerous times over the last 5 years.
 

madrooster

Established Member
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
2,064
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold
Just a suggestion, the VWP will reset if you leave the US and go beyond just Canada / Mexico / Caribbean.
Under VWP visiting a non US Caribbean island will reset it. Eg. Bermuda, Aruba, etc.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top