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B-1/B-2 Extension and Change of Status During the Pandemic

May 1, 2020 Comment: 0

By: Perry & Alznauer, P.C.

The B-1/B-2 Visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa issued to individuals who wish to come to the U.S. for business, pleasure, or a combination of both or for medical treatment purposes. It is valid for a temporary period of stay in the U.S. individuals in the U.S. under B-1/B-2 status.

Below is a description of the category and its application. However, B-1/B-2 status may be particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic environment. For example, according to a recent Los Angeles Times article, nearly 250,000 nonimmigrant workers could lose their jobs by June, as a result of the pandemic. Generally, most employment-based visa categories are eligible for a 60-day grace period for the worker to either find a new job or to leave the country.  It is not always so easy to leave the country in a 60 days, while still trying to look for a potential job.

Currently, there are over 30 million American workers unemployed. So, the chances finding employment are slim at best.  Simultaneously, some foreign nationals may have been in the U.S. for years, even decades, with children that sometimes speak English better than their native language. Furthermore, relocating a family with young children can be an enormous project, including uprooting a whole family to a new country, worrying about health issues while traveling during the pandemic, finding a place to live and supporting the family during the transition period. In fact, it may not even be possible to fly out to a home country because several airlines have been systematically cancelling the flights.

Applying to change status to B-1/B-2 is a viable strategy to request more time to accomplish these goals.  It is important to work with an experienced and attorney to help prepare the strongest application that addresses issues such as nonimmigrant intent, the public charge rule and other financial considerations.  Perry & Alznauer, P.C. can help you prepare a strong application that covers all the necessary issues. Changing status to the B-1/B-2 category may be that one-time solution to help and figure out the next step to wind down and leave or have that unexpected change of plans and an offer of employment. To help with this important opportunity, transition, our firm is offering free services for a limited time to those who qualify. If you or someone you know is in the same situation we described above we encourage you to call our office at (818) 849-5905 or send an e-mail to inquiry@perryalznauer.com

[B-1 Visa – is issued to individuals who wish to enter the U.S. temporarily to engage in legitimate business activities, such as consultations, attend a scientific, educational, professional or business conventions or conferences, estate settlement, and contract negotiation. Additionally, personal or domestic assistants who come to the United States with a U.S. citizen or with a foreign nonimmigrant employer traveling on a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, R, or TN visa, may also be issued the B-1 Visa.

B-2 Visa – is issued to individuals who wish to enter the U.S. temporarily for pleasure or tourism purposes or medical treatments. In order to be approved and issued the B-2 Visa, the individual must establish nonimmigrant intent, more specifically, he/she is only coming to the U.S. for a specific period of time; will not be engaging in work and will engage solely in legitimate touristic activities; and that he/she will continue to maintain foreign residence that has absolutely no intention of abandoning during the period of stay in the U.S.

The B-1/B-2 Tourist Visa is applied directly at the United States Consulate Offices abroad. Although some applications may be done by mail or drop box, majority of the applicants must present himself/herself during the appointment at the closest consular post in the home country. This process must involve detailed and careful preparation by the applicant in order to have higher chances of being issued the B-1/B-2 Visa. Those individuals already in the U.S. may apply to either extend their B-1/B-2 status, or to change status to B-1/B-2, as applicable.]


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