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Author Topic: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?  (Read 2257 times)

thesmiths

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B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« on: May 26, 2016, 03:20:51 AM »
Hello everyone.  I have been looking into getting a B2 visa and on some sites I have read that they don't approve these for people under retirement age (to go travelling around America).  We would have strong ties to the UK which is something they need (own 6 houses, would have enough income to cover us when we were over there plus savings, both sets of parents here, my sister is here, daughter in school here though obviously we would take her out to go travelling).

I just wondered if anyone had any experience of this?  On one hand I could pay the fees and have an interview ($190 x 3) and hope we get approved but if there isn't much chance, then I would jeopardise my chances of getting in under the VWP at a later date.

The reason we want a B2 visa is that it doesn't make financial sense for us to only do 3 months touring under the VWP, we would like to spend at least 6 months there.

Thank you!

Tom

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2016, 01:01:15 PM »
Lots of folks get B2's approved, and I've not previously heard of the age restriction. I first got mine at the ripe old age of my late 20's (good for multiple entry over 10 years), although that was more than a few years ago and rules can change.

Might be worth some reading on the Department of State web site. You could also call the nearest US Embassy and ask if there's any validity to the age restriction.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 02:26:03 PM by Tom »
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thesmiths

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 02:43:28 PM »
Thank you Tom.  Unfortunately you cannot call an Embassy and ask, it is only an automated line and there is no way of getting through to a person unless you know their extension.

Thanks for the link - I have looked at that but there is nothing about age on there, I saw that on other websites where people were refused.

I'm half tempted to risk it (but do the interview a year or two in advance of when I want to go, i.e. soonish) so that if it doesn't get granted then we've got a couple of years before maybe wanting to go for a normal length holiday and therefore giving us some time for our record to get "good" again and our ESTA to be authorised, as I understand that if you have had a visa refused then it might take a year or two for the ESTA to be authorised again.

Tom

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 03:48:17 PM »
It seems to me that someone is giving you incorrect or incomplete information. Age aside, check out this page regarding re-applying after denial of a visa (scroll down to 'Can I re-apply for a visa?'

Like so many Federal and state web sites, it can take a lot of reading, searching, and branching off to other sites/pages (and going around in circles) to get the answer you're looking for.

FWIW I just tried calling the National Visa Center (603-334-0888) to get an answer on the age issue, but it seems I can only ask if I'm a visa applicant, and they don't respond to emails.

Among the most important things with the B2 visa application is to be able to show you don't plan to overstay, although there are legal ways to do that once you're here. Also, you need to show that you can support yourselves while here, and you have no intention of seeking employment.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 04:49:58 PM by Tom »
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jackiemac

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2016, 05:19:00 PM »
Hi, we are both in our early 50s and have just been given our B2 visitors visas. The process seemed unbelievably simple. We applied online (note I decided to get new passports for us so that we wouldn't have to end up taking 2 passports around when passport expired). The application is reasonably simple to do but if you can,  take screenshots of each page from your online application as you complete it because after you have submitted it you won't be able to refer to the information evenue if yout yse the save function as it can only be read by their software. We got our interviews around 12 days later. Stayed in a little hotel for 120 Shaftesbury Metropolitan Hotel which is a 25 minute walk across Hyde Park and just outside the congestion zone so we managed to park at the hotel tiny car park for 20.  I spent around 8 hours printing and scanning documents as I wasn't sure what info they would request - suggestions online from others was to take original docs and a copy in case they wanted to keep any paperwork. We had a filo fax plastic folder thing which held everything and I had a spreadsheet with a summary of what was there mostly to prove financial status.  3 queues outside Embassy right hand to go through security. Middle to get your name checked off for appointment and left hand to queue for other 2. So our appointment was at 9, the right hand 2 queues were for 8 and 8.30 appointments. There are staff there keeping things organised. You can't take in a suitcase just a small bag and maybe rucksack,  and filo fax was ok. We went through security, like an airport and walked round to entrance. You go to the desk and get sticky labels with your number on. You then go into the first room,  go to the front section and sit down. Your number comes up on a screen, you go to a booth like at the post office. Girl asked if we had been refused an esta, why we wanted a visa and took our fingerprints. We then went to a desk in the middle where they seat you in a row at the back of room. When your row is called you go into a queue next to the toilets that takes you into another room. You go to another post office window. The lady asked again why we didn't use an esta, where we wanted to travel to and if we owned our own home. Then said visa approved. It looked like most other folks were processed fairly quickly too. I didn't have to show any paperwork but still advise you take it. I had said retired on my application. Hope this helps,  if you need more info you can message me or ask on here.  Sorry about the size of post! Oh, and our Visas came within the week.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

Tom

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2016, 07:58:24 PM »
Thanks for sharing that Jackie. A good reference for the next person who asks.
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jackiemac

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2016, 10:53:55 PM »
Tom, once we get a bit more settled and I get a proper keyboard I will write down our experience and you could maybe stick it in the library. I will do this once we have completed the registration process for our truck and trailer. I have a few things to share!  ;D
« Last Edit: May 26, 2016, 11:03:09 PM by jackiemac »
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

Tom

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 10:59:27 PM »
Great Jackie, thanks.
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jackiemac

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2016, 11:01:37 PM »
And one thing I forgot to mention was that we have been coming to the US for 10 years, sometimes twice a year. This has given them a history of our behaviour I guess which may have gone in our favour. I am hoping that the fact we have now bought a truck and trailer does not go against us when we leave and return!  Note that there is also an option to extend your visa for up to 18 months. As things may change it may very well be worthwhile applying now.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 03:35:50 AM by jackiemac »
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

Tom

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2016, 12:02:59 AM »
Quote from: jackiemac
... there is also an option to extend your visa for up to 18 months.

Aye Jackie, that would be the I-539 option to extend your stay.
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thesmiths

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2016, 02:20:25 AM »
Thank you Jackie that is very helpful.  We would be in our mid/late 40's when we apply although we will be taking our 8/9 year old daughter with us too.  Not sure if that is going to be a hindrence in our application or not!

jackiemac

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2016, 10:16:29 AM »
I wouldn't see it being a problem although she would probably need a visa too I think. Good luck and if you need more info let me know. We were really worried about the whole thing. I can give you my perspective from the state of Nevada, other states may be different.  :o
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Home in Scotland eagerly awaiting next trip!

Tom

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2016, 08:35:10 AM »
Just curious if thesmiths went ahead with their visa applications, and if they have anything to share from the experience.
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thesmiths

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 09:40:51 AM »
Hello there, sorry only just seen your reply.

We aren't quite ready to go for it yet (it was more a hypothetical question really) but if we do it would be in a couple of years' time.  We are just weighing up our options at the moment (and saving!), trying to decide how long we want to go for etc and dependent on that, whether we would need a visa or not.

Tom

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2016, 10:02:13 AM »
OK thanks. When the time comes, let us know which way you decide to go. Your experience will be helpful to others.
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ceejayt

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2016, 07:01:49 AM »
We recently applied in the UK  and had no problems getting our visas other than a lot of queuing.  I described the process in two posts on my bot here http://www.annie-and-chris.com/2016/10/17/us-visa-process/...

and here...  http://www.annie-and-chris.com/2016/11/16/us-visa-part-two/

Hope that helps
30 foot A Class motorhome - coming from the UK to US for a six month trip

Tom

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Re: B2 visa - likelihood of being approved?
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2016, 07:40:45 AM »
Thanks. Forum Staffer Jackie MacKenzie also covered it in her article recently uploaded to our forum Library.

Things have certainly changed since I first got B1/B2 visas (in the 70's). I didn't need to visit the embassy, although I can't recall if a courier visited on my behalf or if it was all done by mail.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 03:34:33 PM by Tom »
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