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Ely
Ely, Lawyer
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Counselor at Law. Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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HelloI have a query re applying for a US visa.I am a British

Resolved Question:

Hello I have a query re applying for a US visa. I am a British citizen and would like to be able to obtain a visa for the US as I would like to stay longer than the 90 days currently offered by the visa waiver program. My reason for staying in the US for prolonged periods are to enable me to live with my partner (who is a Canad***** ***** card holder and long-time US resident) and to network and seek job opportunities which would then generate an employer-sponsored visa application. My question is therefore this: is it better to apply for a B2 Tourist visa or a B1-B2 visa? I have looked up both types on the US consular web pages but cannot figure out which would be more suitable for my circumstances. I have no intention of working in the US without an appropriate visa or over-staying the current ESTA VW limit of 90 days. Also, I have never been refused a visa to any country in the past and have completed (but not yet submitted) the DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application and was able to answer all questions without problem (i.e. I do not have a criminal record etc etc). Many thanks for any help you can give, Juliet

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: US Law
Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello friend. My name is ***** ***** welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply.

A VWP allows visitations up to 90 days.

A B2 visa allows visitations up to 6 months, with an optional 6 months extension.

Ergo, it would seem that the B2 is the better choice suited for this situation.

However, please note:

1) Both VWP and B2 do not allow dual intent. See here. In other words, one cannot seek a B2 visa (temporary) but seek to really find a permanent visa. If USCIS knows this, they will deny the B2 visa. So one may wish to not volunteer one's full plans to USCIS.

2) One cannot "live" in USA on a B2 visa. One is expected to go back to the home country for at least 6 months prior to another visit every time. Although the decision is subjective, if USCIS/CBP feels that one spends more time on their B2 visa here than in home country, they can deny entry at any time. So it is best to be sensible here.

Good luck.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello again Ely


Many many thanks for your clear and rapid information and advice which were very helpful indeed.


I have a few other questions:


1. Is an ESTA valid for multiple visits of up to 90 days *each* within a given two year period? Or 90 days total, within a two year period? I think it is the former but wanted to double-check.


2. If I have spent, say, 3 months max in the US on an ESTA during 2 return UK-US trips in the space of a 9 month period, could this go against an otherwise perfectly straightforward F1 visa application which was sponsored/authorized etc by a participating US university?


3. Is the chance of being granted an otherwise perfectly straightforward employment-based (second preference category) immigrant visa with employee sponsorship etc in any way compromised if the applicant previously held an F1 visa?


Many thanks again Ely, in anticipation of your excellent reply!


JS

Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

1. Is an ESTA valid for multiple visits of up to 90 days *each* within a given two year period? Or 90 days total, within a two year period? I think it is the former but wanted to double-check.

By ESTA I am guessing you mean VWP. ESTA is the pre-clearance for VWP. Multiple visits for up to 90 days EACH within a 2 year period.

2. If I have spent, say, 3 months max in the US on an ESTA during 2 return UK-US trips in the space of a 9 month period, could this go against an otherwise perfectly straightforward F1 visa application which was sponsored/authorized etc by a participating US university?

As long as you have not overstayed the VWP, then no, this should be fine.

3. Is the chance of being granted an otherwise perfectly straightforward employment-based (second preference category) immigrant visa with employee sponsorship etc in any way compromised if the applicant previously held an F1 visa?

Not at all. In fact this happens often, i.e. from student to worker visa.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much Ely. Once again - informed answers which are clear and very useful.

Expert:  Ely replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your kind words; good luck.