Let's talk today about the rules of entry into the United States on a B1/B2 visa. Recall that the B1/B2 visa is issued to applicants for which the purpose of the trip to the U.S. is:
- Visiting friends and relatives;
- Business meeting;
- Attending conferences and exhibitions;
- Medical examination or treatment that does not exceed 6 months.
As a rule, Citizens of Ukraine are granted a B1/B2 visa for 10 years, but there are some cases when the embassy decides to issue a visa for a shorter period. We also want to note that an open visa is not a guarantee that you will be able to enter the U.S. Your entry is decided by the officer who will communicate with you at the border.
So, here are our recommendations on how to enter the U.S. correctly:
- The information you provide during your first entry to the U.S. should coincide with what you said at the Embassy interview and with what you indicated in the questionnaire. For example, if you tell the Embassy officer that the purpose of the trip is tourism travel to New York and after the interview you decide to go to Los Angeles on business, this will likely appear suspicious and there is a chance that you will not be allowed into the country.
- Although you may be granted a visa for 10 years, each entry into the US is only good for 6 months. If you violate this 6-month rule, your visa will be in jeopardy and it may be cancelled. At the very least, the border officer will probably have serious questions for you about this violation. Don’t forget that the U.S. Embassy continues to check information about people to whom they have already issued visas and if even you are not questioned at the border, the U.S. Embassy can call you for a re-interview and cancel the visa;
- When you enter the U.S., it is advisable to have proof of the purpose of the trip. If it is tourism – a hotel reservation and return ticket. If it is a business - an invitation to an event or a letter from business partners and a return ticket. If it's a guest trip - invitation and return ticket.
- Before traveling to the U.S., read the country's customs regulations (https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/know-before-you-visit)
- When talking to an officer, DO NOT behave nervously and suspiciously. If the officer does not like your behavior or suspects something, he can take you to a separate room for additional questions. This is NOT a very pleasant procedure.
Using these simple guidelines, you will be able to enter the U.S. safely and easily. Furthermore, when you apply for your next visa and you have not violated these guidelines, you should have no problems.