TOURIST VISAS AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO K-1 VISA
Visa - is permission to apply to enter the United States. Foreign citizens must apply for a visa at an American embassy or Consulate abroad, when desiring to travel to the United States. A consular officer decides whether you are qualified for a visa.
In adjudicating visa applications, the Consul at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate is guided by U.S. laws and regulations and not laws of your Fiancee's home country. The issuance of non-immigrant visas is governed by the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
U.S. immigration law places the burden of proof on the visa applicant to show that he or she is not planning to immigrate to the United States by using a tourist visa. In other words, each non-immigrant visa applicant must prove to the Consul's satisfaction that s/he will NOT travel to the U.S. in order to reside there permanently. Each applicant must demonstrate that s/he is traveling to the U.S. for ONLY a temporary stay and has strong ties to their home country that will compel him/her to return home.
Documents that provide evidence of the applicant's social, economic, and/or family ties to Russia, as well as correspondence from relatives or business associates you plan to visit, may facilitate the consular officer's decision.
Some examples of documents that may be helpful include:
- Evidence of employment. A letter from your employer can be useful.
- Evidence of income (and in some cases evidence of your spouse's income), such as earnings statements.
- Evidence of immediate family (spouse, children) in Russia.
- Evidence of ownership of property.
- Evidence of ongoing studies if applicant is still a student.
- Evidence of ongoing projects for those in entertainment fields.
- Your old passport bearing earlier visas and entry stamps indicating the date on which you returned to Russia (for those who have traveled to the U.S. previously).
As from my own experience, I did not have any problems in obtaining a private non-immigrant visa (B-2) when I wanted to check out how my future life would look like before I moved to the U.S. permanently. And there are several reasons for that.
First, it was 1996 when I applied for B-2 visa. Of course, you say, it is a long time ago, when there were different laws, less restrictions and it was way before September 11 catastrophe.
Secondly, at that time I was a third-year student in law school in Moscow, Russia. I was involved in many international projects especially with U.S. attorneys who visited Russia quite often.
Thirdly, I was one of the lucky ones! A lot of people were very surprised when they found out that I obtained my B-2 visa without any problems.
Nowadays, it is almost impossible for a young unmarried lady to obtain this kind of visa.
To Contact U.S Embassies and Consulates abroad
Visa Services (for Foreigners Traveling to U.S.)
Visitor Visas for Business and Pleasure
Visa Waiver Program
Online Visa Application Form
Nonimmigrant Visa Photo Requirements
Visa Services Fees
K1 Visa Information
Laurie Wu, Attorney
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