B2 visa - really that difficult?

Old Apr 22nd 2015, 11:14 pm
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Default B2 visa - really that difficult?

Hi all, I'm incredibly confused as to whether I should apply for a B2 visa or not. I want a B2 visa instead of the visa waiver because there is simply not enough time for me to do everything I want to do in 90 days.

Firstly, my boyfriend is from the USA. We've been visiting each other for long and short periods of time for over 2 years now. Secondly, I do a lot of travelling, volunteer work and work exchanging (farms etc), and I enjoy doing it in the USA particularly, as I find the knowledge I gain there most rewarding of anywhere I go. I have a great track record in terms of my past entries and exits to the USA, never overstayed visas and always left when I initially said I would. Plus I have a lot of savings, perfectly sufficient funds for my stay. However, as I said, I'm a traveller. I don't know what I will be doing afterwards. I'm a nanny at home but I've already handed in notice for the coming summer.

Bearing in mind I'd like to stay for about 5 months, most of that wouldn't even be spent with my boyfriend. I'm going much more for the voluntary work, and could provide an itinerary. Advice please!??
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Old Apr 22nd 2015, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Carry on using the vwp.

Plan a shorter trip.

Be very careful with regards to all these volunteer activities to make sure they are actually volunteer and not just unpaid labor. Saying working on farms makes it sound like you are taking liberties.

Finally, consider marriage and the various fiance/spouse visas that entails.
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Old Apr 22nd 2015, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Don't apply for a B2. The reasons you state are not good ones for needing more time in the USA. You highly risk getting a B2 visa denial, which means you then need to redo ESTA to declare the visa denial, which them leads to ESTA denial for about 6 to 12 months.

Having a USC boyfriend and no strong ties outside the USA dies not work in your favor. Declaring your intent to volunteer for 5 months in the USA does not help your case. Just curious, what is the organization you volunteer for? How will you survive for 5 months in the USA without earning any income and not getting any perks (such as room and board) from the organization? Do you have that much money saved up?

Just enjoy going to visit, using the VWP, as you have berm doing.

Rene
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 6:10 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

She works in exchange for board and lodging.
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 8:15 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
She works in exchange for board and lodging.
Surely that is equivalent to being paid.. it certainlt would be part of the remuneration for other jobs, such as nanny etc.
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 9:49 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
Don't apply for a B2. The reasons you state are not good ones for needing more time in the USA. You highly risk getting a B2 visa denial, which means you then need to redo ESTA to declare the visa denial, which them leads to ESTA denial for about 6 to 12 months.

Having a USC boyfriend and no strong ties outside the USA dies not work in your favor. Declaring your intent to volunteer for 5 months in the USA does not help your case. Just curious, what is the organization you volunteer for? How will you survive for 5 months in the USA without earning any income and not getting any perks (such as room and board) from the organization? Do you have that much money saved up?

Just enjoy going to visit, using the VWP, as you have berm doing.

Rene
Thanks for your replies everyone.

The kind of volunteer work I do is through organisations such as workaway and HelpX. They're designed for travellers to use throughout countries all over the world. I do indeed work a few hours in exchange for room and board. It's a well-known thing, not dodgy in the slightest.
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 9:52 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
Carry on using the vwp.

Plan a shorter trip.

Be very careful with regards to all these volunteer activities to make sure they are actually volunteer and not just unpaid labor. Saying working on farms makes it sound like you are taking liberties.

Finally, consider marriage and the various fiance/spouse visas that entails.
Hey. Taking liberties how? I like working on farms because it teaches me how to be self sustainable. These are small farms by the way, often just farming for their own self-sustainability.
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 9:55 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by stk View Post
Hey. Taking liberties how? I like working on farms because it teaches me how to be self sustainable. These are small farms by the way, often just farming for their own self-sustainability.
Work that you do for any sort of remuneration, be it food, lodgings etc, could well be construed by the US immigration as 'work' which is illegal under the VWP, doesn't matter how big or small the farms are it could well be classed as work,
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 9:58 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
Work that you do for any sort of remuneration, be it food, lodgings etc, could well be construed by the US immigration as 'work' which is illegal under the VWP, doesn't matter how big or small the farms are it could well be classed as work,
Hmm. Well, they must know people do it. It's a very common thing!
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 10:02 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by stk View Post
Hmm. Well, they must know people do it. It's a very common thing!
That doesn't make it legal.......
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 10:15 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by Pollyana View Post
That doesn't make it legal.......
Come to think of it, I've actually mentioned it to US immigration when entering the states and they didn't bat an eyelid.

It doesn't make sense to me, for it to be illegal when it's so commonly done and there are so many genuine organisations that supply the opportunities.
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 11:53 am
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

True volunteering, in the eyes of USCIS, involves no compensation whatsoever. .. money, room, board, meals, gift cards, etc. My guess is that on the VWP, no one really knows what you're doing, but a B2 visa interviewing officer is going to ask a lot more questions and be a lot more picky.

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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by stk View Post
I want a B2 visa instead of the visa waiver because there is simply not enough time for me to do everything I want to do in 90 days.
With respect, the US doesn't actually care whether or not their rules and regulations are inconvenient for you.


Firstly, my boyfriend is from the USA ... I'm a nanny at home but I've already handed in notice for the coming summer.
Both of these will likely work against you from a US immigration point of view.


Well, they must know people do it. It's a very common thing!
Lots of people cross the US border at night. US immigration knows that people do it... and it's a very common thing. However, it's still illegal... just like working on the VWP. Visa issues aside, the question you seem to be asking is: "Can I get away with it?" Answer: maybe... maybe not.

Bottom line - you are free to do whatever you want. We just want you to be aware of the risk you're taking. A visa denial will follow you for the rest of your life.

Ian
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

I'm also curious as to why 88 days is not enough time to live on a farm doing volunteer work? Why does it have to be 5 months?

Rene
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Old Apr 23rd 2015, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: B2 visa - really that difficult?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
I'm also curious as to why 88 days is not enough time to live on a farm doing volunteer work? Why does it have to be 5 months?

Rene
Farming is just one of the things I volunteer with. Usually when I go abroad to volunteer/work exchange I do so for months on end. This is partly because each place often requires a minimum of a month's dedication to the opportunity. If I spend time with my boyfriend for a month, that doesn't leave me much time to volunteer in various places.
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