For the frequently asked questions and its answers on Visitor and Business Visa type, please see the information below:
B VISA:- Athletes, amateur & professional / Business visitors / Domestic employees or Nanny/ Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitors, medical treatment
Q1. Is it permissible to enroll in school while in B-1/B-2 status?
A. No, it is not. The regulations, at 8 CFR 214.2(b)(7), specifically prohibit study in the United States while in B-1 or B-2 status. Before enrolling in classes, individuals who are in B-1 or B-2 status must first acquire F-1 (academic student) or M-1 (vocational student) status. Enrolling for classes while in B-1/B-2 status will result in a status violation. Individuals in B-1 or B-2 status, who have violated their non-immigrant status by enrolling in classes, are not eligible to extend their B status or change to F-1 or M-1 status. These regulations provide no exceptions.
Q2. If I am on B1/B2 status how can I obtain F-1 or M-1 status?
A. If you currently hold B-1 or B-2 non-immigrant status and would like to enroll in classes, you may apply for a change of status to F-1 or M-1, as appropriate provided you have not yet enrolled in classes, your current status has not expired, and you have not engaged in unauthorized employment . To change your non-immigrant status from B-1/B-2 to F-1 or M-1, you must file an Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status (Form I-539), and include the required fee and documents listed in the filing instructions.
Q3. I am on a B visa. Can I enroll for a short recreational course of study?
A. Yes, if it is not for credit towards a degree or academic certificate.
Q4. If I enroll in classes before USCIS approves my Form I-539, will I be ineligible to change my non-immigrant status from B to F or M.
Q5. If I am applying to extend my B-1/B-2 stay and have already enrolled in classes will USCIS approve my B-1/B-2 extension because of the status violation?
Q6. If I am not eligible to change my non-immigrant status to F-1 or M-1 what is my option?
A. You may apply for an F-1 or M-1 visa at a consular post abroad. You should work closely with the designated school official (DSO) to coordinate the timing of applying for change of status and enrolling in classes.
Q7. How do I know if I am eligible to extend my B1/B2 stay in the United States?
A. You may apply for an extension of stay in the United States if: you were lawfully admitted as a non-immigrant; you have not committed any act that makes you ineligible to receive any immigration benefit; there is no other factor that requires you to depart the US prior to extending status (for example, officer at Port of entry makes a notation on I-94 that no change of status is allowed or if officer determines that you should obtain a new visa prior to extending your status); and you submit an application for extension of stay using Form I-539 before the expiration date on your I-94. Note: under very limited circumstances only USCIS will excuse a late submission.
Q8. I am planning to extend my B1/B2 stay but my passport will expire before the period of extension that I am requesting. Should I have the passport valid for the entire requested period of stay?
Q9. Can I file Form I-539, Application to extend/change my B1/B2 non-immigrant status using USCIS ELIS?
A. Yes. USCIS ELIS is a comprehensive end-to-end system that allows applicants to electronically file a benefit request, upload and submit evidence, make payments, receive notifications from USCIS, and manage the account information.
Q10. Can I get an extension o my B1/B2 if my authorized stay or visa has expired or is about to expire?
A. Usually, USCIS will not grant an extension of stay. However, if you believe that you have compelling unforeseen circumstances beyond your control that prevented you from filing on time, USCIS may grant an extension. If you stay is about to expire make sure you file the application in time for USCIS to receive it before your status expires.
Q11. If I am eligible for an extension of stay and file on time will my stay of B1/B2 be extended?
A. An extension of stay is not automatic. USCIS will look at your situation, your status, the reasons you want to extend your stay and decide. If USCIS grants it, they decide how long to extend your stay. Usually, USCIS will not grant an extension if circumstances indicate than an extension is not warranted.
Q12. What if I file for an extension of stay of my B1/B2 on time but USCIS does not make any decision before my I-94 expires? Will I accrue “unlawful presence?”
A. Your lawful non-immigrant status ends, and you are out of status when the I-94 expires, even if you have timely applied to extend your non-immigrant status. Generally, as a matter of discretion, USCIS will defer any removal proceedings until after the petition is adjudicated and USCIS decides your extension of non-immigrant status request. Nevertheless, Department of Homeland Security may bring a removal proceeding against you, even if you have an application for extension of status pending.
Even though you are not actually in a lawful non-immigrant status, you do not accrue “unlawful presence” for purpose of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the INA, while your extension of status application is pending if it was filed prior to the I-94 expiration.
Q13. I came to the USA on B1/B2 visa. After my stay and before my departure I forgot to hand over my I-94. I still have it. I am worried that when I enter next time POE might question me or not allow entry. What should I do?
A. It depends on which mode was used to enter USA. If you entered the United States via a land border port of entry or were provided a paper Form I-94 at an air or seaport and returned home with your Form I-94 (white) or, if you arrived by land under the Visa Waiver Program, Form I-94W (green) Departure Record in your passport, it is possible that your departure was not recorded properly.
If you departed by a commercial air or sea carrier (airlines or cruise ships), your departure from the U.S. can be independently verified, and it is not necessary to take any further action, although holding on to your outbound (from the U.S.) boarding pass – if you still have it – can help facilitate your reentry next time you come back to the United States.
If you departed by land, private vessel or private plane, you will need to take steps to correct the record. Include an explanation letter in English with supporting evidence and retain a copy. If you are a VWP visitor and you left the U.S. by an air or sea carrier, you don’t need to worry. If you failed to turn in your I-94 Departure Record, please send it, along with any documentation that proves you left the United States to:
DHS – CBP SBU
1084 South Laurel Road
London, KY 40744
Do not mail to any U.S. Consulate or Embassy, or to any other CBP Office in the USA. To validate departure, CBP will consider a variety of information, including but not limited to:
Original boarding passes you used to depart another country, photocopies of entry or departure stamps in your passport indicating entry to another country after you departed the US (you should copy all passport pages that are not completely blank, and include the biographical page containing your photograph); and photocopies of other supporting evidence, such as: dated pay slips or vouchers from your employer to indicate you worked in another country after you departed the U.S., dated bank records showing transactions to indicate you were in another country after you left the U.S., school records showing attendance at a school outside the U.S. to indicate you were in another country after you left the U.S., and dated credit card receipts, showing your name, but, the credit card number deleted, for purchases made after you left the U.S. to indicate you were in another country after leaving the U.S. Carry it with you the next time you come to the U.S. in case the CBP Officer has any questions about your eligibility to enter. Carrying those materials with you will also allow your record to be corrected at the time of entry if, for some reason, the London, Kentucky office has not yet done so.
Q14. I am on B1/B2 in USA. Is it possible to go to Canada to see Niagra Falls and come back to USA using the same I-94?
A. Yes. If taking short trips (30 days or less) to Canada (or even Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands) during the course of your visit to the U.S., hold onto your I-94 or I-94 (W); it should only be turned in when you leave the U.S. to return home.
Q15. I am on B1/B2. I had a medical emergency and needed doctor’s care and my I-94 expired. Would the overstay be a problem?
A. Medical emergencies requiring a doctor’s care, etc. are not considered unauthorized overstays, however, you will need to bring proof of the cause of your overstay next time you travel to the U.S. in order for it to be forgiven.
Q16. I am on B1/B2. My flight back to India got cancelled and I-94 expired. Should I take any precaution so that my next visit and entry into U.S. is smooth?
A. Delays beyond the traveler’s control, such as cancelled or delayed flights, are not considered unauthorized overstays. Ask the airline for a letter affirming the delay or a copy of your cancelled boarding pass and bring it with you next time you travel.