Visa Options For In-Laws Visiting The U.S

which visa to choose for in laws travel to us

If your in-laws are foreign citizens and want to travel to the United States, they will generally need to obtain a visa. The type of visa they need will depend on the purpose and length of their visit. For example, if they are visiting temporarily for business or tourism, they would need a nonimmigrant B-1 or B-2 visa, respectively. However, if they plan to immigrate to the US permanently, they would need an immigrant visa. It's important to note that visa processing times can vary, so it's recommended to apply early and schedule the visa interview well in advance of the intended travel date.

Characteristics Values
Visa Type Nonimmigrant visa (temporary stay), Immigrant visa (permanent residence)
Nonimmigrant Visa Types Business (B-1 visa), Tourism (B-2 visa), or a combination of both (B-1/B-2 visa)
B-1 Visa Activities Consult with business associates, attend a convention or conference, negotiate a contract, participate in social events, participate in unpaid contests, enroll in a short recreational course
B-2 Visa Activities Visit with friends or relatives
Visa Application Process Complete the Online Visa Application (Form DS-160), schedule and attend an interview, pay the visa application fee, gather required documentation (e.g., passport, photo, evidence of the purpose of the trip, etc.), wait for visa approval
Visa Validity Depends on the specific visa type and purpose of travel
Visa Waiver Program Citizens of certain countries may be eligible for visa-free travel to the US for visits up to 90 days

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Visa requirements for in-laws visiting the US

In-laws who are foreign citizens and wish to travel to the United States will generally need to obtain a US visa. The type of visa required depends on the purpose and duration of the visit.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Nonimmigrant visas are for people who want to enter the US temporarily. This includes visitor visas (B-1 visa for business, B-2 visa for tourism, or B-1/B-2 visa for both) and visas for students/exchange visitors (F, M, J). Visitor visas allow for a range of activities, including visiting friends or relatives, participating in social events, and enrolling in short recreational courses. However, it's important to note that paid work is not permitted on a visitor visa.

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are for those seeking permanent residence in the US. This includes family-based immigrant visas, where a US citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a relative. The Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, awards up to 50,000 immigrant visas each year.

Visa Waiver Program

Citizens of certain countries may be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, which allows visa-free travel to the US for visits of 90 days or less.

Application Process

The application process for a US visa typically involves completing an online application (Form DS-160), scheduling an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate, gathering required documentation (such as a valid passport), and paying the visa application fee. It is recommended to apply early, as processing times can vary. A consular officer will determine whether the applicant qualifies for the visa based on US immigration laws and requirements.

Visa and Travel

It's important to note that a visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a US port of entry and request permission to enter the country. The Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection officials have the authority to permit or deny admission.

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Temporary visitor visas for in-laws

If your in-laws are planning to visit you in the US, they will most likely need to obtain a visitor visa, unless they are citizens of Canada or Bermuda, or eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for people who want to enter the US temporarily for business, tourism, or a combination of both.

Visitor Visa Application Process:

  • Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160.
  • Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if applicable.
  • Schedule an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate.
  • Gather the required documentation, including a valid passport, visa application confirmation, payment receipt, and a photograph.
  • Attend the visa interview and provide documentation outlining the purpose of the trip, their intent to depart the US, and their ability to pay for the trip.

Visa Waiver Program:

Citizens of participating countries may be eligible to visit the US without a visa for tourism, business, or while in transit for up to 90 days. This includes nationals from 38 countries, including most countries in the European Union. Canadian nationals typically do not need a visa unless they plan to work, study, invest, or immigrate, and can stay for up to 1 year.

Important Considerations:

  • Visitor visas do not guarantee entry into the US. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have the authority to permit or deny admission.
  • Visitor visas do not allow holders to accept employment or work in the US.
  • Visitor visas are temporary and usually have a set amount of time that can be spent in the country.
  • Failure to depart the US on time will result in being out of status and may lead to visa voidance and future visa ineligibility.
  • A valid visa in an expired passport is still valid and can be used along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the US.

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Visa processing times

The time it takes to process a visa application depends on the type of visa and the workload of the US Embassy or Consulate. Nonimmigrant visas can take up to a few weeks or months, while immigrant visas can take years to get approved.

The processing time for a US visa application is typically between 3 to 5 weeks. However, the delivery of the visa can take up to two additional workdays. Applications refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) pending additional processing can take around 60 days from the date of the visa interview. In some cases, the processing time might be more than 6 months.

The F-1 visa processing time is shorter than other visas, as the processing happens before the interview. In most cases, the response is given immediately after the interview. However, there are cases where the response and processing take a few days.

The processing time for the M-1 visa is also quite short, and the processing happens before the visa interview. In some cases, the response is given immediately after the interview, while in others, it may take a few days or weeks.

The processing times for the B-1 and B-2 visas are not exact and depend on the workload of the US Embassy. They can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to 2 months.

The H-2A visa is seasonal and may take longer to process during certain times of the year. US employers are recommended to file USCIS petitions at least 60 days but no more than 120 days before they need foreign workers.

The processing time for the H-4 visa depends on the status of the H-type visa holder. If the applicant is applying together with the H-type visa holder, the processing time will be the same. If they are applying separately, the processing time will depend on the workload of the US Embassy.

The R-1 visa can take around 6 months for USCIS to respond, as they may need to visit the premises of the organization. Premium processing is available for an additional fee, which will reduce the processing time to 2 weeks.

The O visa can also be expedited with premium processing for an additional fee, which will result in a processing time of 15 days.

The transit visa is generally processed faster than other visas due to its short duration.

The processing time for the T visa and U visa varies and depends on the evidence provided by the applicant.

It is important to note that the wait times for visa appointments and processing times can change weekly and are based on the incoming workload and staffing of the US Embassy or Consulate. Applicants should plan their travel accordingly and apply for their visas early.

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Visa interview requirements

The US visa interview is a crucial step in the application process, and there are several requirements that must be met to ensure a successful outcome. Here is a detailed guide to help you prepare:

Scheduling the Interview:

  • In most cases, an interview is required for visa applicants. However, there are limited exceptions where an interview may be waived. It is important to check the specific requirements for your chosen US Embassy or Consulate, as they may vary.
  • Schedule your interview appointment at a US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. If you choose to schedule an interview in a different location, be aware that demonstrating your qualifications for a visa may be more challenging.
  • Wait times for interview appointments can vary by location, season, and visa category. It is advisable to apply for your visa early and review the interview wait times for your chosen location.

Preparing for the Interview:

  • Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if applicable, before your interview. The fee amount may depend on your nationality.
  • Gather all the required documents, including a valid passport, the DS-160 confirmation page, application fee payment receipt, and a photograph that meets the specified requirements.
  • Additional documentation may be requested to establish your qualifications. This could include evidence of the purpose of your trip, your intent to return to your home country, and your ability to pay all costs associated with the trip.
  • Review the instructions on the website of the US Embassy or Consulate where you will be applying to ensure you have all the necessary documents.

Attending the Interview:

  • Arrive on time for your interview. Being punctual reflects positively on your character and ensures you don't miss your slot. Aim to arrive a few minutes early, considering possible traffic or unforeseen delays.
  • Dress appropriately for the interview. Business casual attire is generally recommended. Avoid casual or flashy clothing, excessive accessories, and bright colours.
  • During the interview, be open and direct in your responses. If you don't understand a question, politely ask the interviewer to repeat it. Avoid providing false or unnecessary information.
  • Maintain good eye contact and body language throughout the interview. This demonstrates your honesty and interest.
  • After the interview, the consular officer will determine if further administrative processing is required. If your visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee and make arrangements for the return of your passport and visa.

Additional Considerations:

  • A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection officials have the authority to permit or deny admission.
  • If your plans change while in the United States, you may be able to request a change in your nonimmigrant status through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • For those seeking medical treatment in the US, additional documents may be requested during the visa interview, such as a medical diagnosis, a letter from a US physician or medical facility, and proof of transportation, medical, and living expense payments.
  • If you are a citizen or resident of Burma and have previously held a US visa, you may be eligible for an interview waiver under certain conditions. Check the US Embassy in Burma's website for detailed guidelines.

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Visa fees

The visa application fee for a B2 visa, also known as a tourist visa, is $160. This does not include any potential insurance fees. The B2 visa is used for entering the US for pleasure, tourism, or medical treatment. It permits activities such as vacationing, visiting friends and family, touring cities and attractions, and receiving medical treatment.

The B2 visa application fee is a non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee, sometimes referred to as the MRV fee, that must be paid before applying for a nonimmigrant visa. The visa application fee must be paid whether a visa is issued or not.

The B1/B2 visa is a joint "Visitor's Visa", as many people tend to mix business with pleasure. The B1 visa is used for business purposes, while the B2 visa is for pleasure.

The application fees for the most common nonimmigrant visa types are $185. This includes tourist, business, student, and exchange visas. Most petition-based visas, such as work and religious visas, are $205. K visas cost $265 and the fee amount for E visas is $315.

In some cases, additional visa fees are paid directly to the National Visa Center, to the US Embassy, or to the Department of Homeland Security. Applicants from certain countries may be required to pay a visa issuance fee or "reciprocity fee" after their application is approved. These fees are based on reciprocity (what another country charges a US citizen for a similar type of visa).

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an internet-based system that tracks F, M, and J visa participants and their family members. F and M international students must pay a SEVIS fee of $350, while J exchange visitors pay $220.

Frequently asked questions

The type of visa your in-laws need depends on their country of citizenship and the purpose and duration of their visit. Generally, a foreign citizen needs to obtain a US visa to travel to the country, which can be either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.

A nonimmigrant visa is for foreign citizens who want to enter the US temporarily for business (B-1 visa), tourism (B-2 visa), or a combination of both (B-1/B-2 visa).

An immigrant visa is for foreign citizens who want to permanently immigrate to the US. This can include family-based visas or work visas.

The process for applying for a US visa typically involves completing an online application, scheduling an interview, gathering required documentation, and attending the visa interview. It is recommended to apply early as processing times can vary.

Certain international travellers may be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, which allows visa-free travel to the US for stays of 90 days or less. Citizens of Canada and Bermuda, for example, generally do not require visas for tourism and temporary business travel.

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