There are lots of stories that aren´t exactly true that go around about the tourist visa procedure. The truth is, even though there are some basic requirements for this procedure, every case is unique. Some of those basic requirements are having a valid passport. Also paying the visa fee and proving you have enough economic, family or social ties to your country of residence. Nevertheless, complying with these requirements doesn´t always mean the Embassy will approve your request.
There are usually lots of lies that spread around, regarding the tourist visa procedures. One of those is that authorities grant the B1/B2 visa for ten years, but the truth is this can vary; depending on the country you are making the request from.
It´s imperative that you understand that a visa granted for ten years doesn´t mean that you can stay in the US for ten years. That established time determines how long the permit is considered to be valid. You actually can only remain in the country for a period set in the I-94 document. And this period is usually up to 6 months.
Also, the fact that US authorities denied your application in the past doesn´t mean that they will reject your request in the future. This depends on why the Embassy denied your visa. It depends if it was something small, like a missing document, or something more serious. US authorities will go through your application every time. If your conditions have changed since the last time you requested a visa, you always have a chance to get it approved this time. That is if you´re not considered inadmissible or ineligible.
Another one of those stories is that once the Embassy approves your visa, you need to travel to the US on the following six months. This is entirely false since your visa is valid from the moment it´s approved until it´s the date of expiration unless the US authorities revoke it for any reason.
Another one of those stories that are transmitted orally, supposedly states there is a limit to the number of tourist visas that are issued every year. This is also completely untrue. Indeed, the authorities don´t approve every tourist visa application. But it´s the immigrant visas that have a limited number, not the tourist visas.
What if I have family in the US?
Some people also seem to believe that authorities will reject their application if they have children or family in the United States. The truth is having children or family in the US isn´t a reason for rejection per se. Even though authorities could ask if you have family in the US and the reasons why you´re requesting a visa.
So if you have a child that´s a US citizen, this doesn´t mean the Embassy will deny your visa application, as some people seem to believe. If you can prove your intention is not to remain in the US. And you provide all the information required, having a child doesn´t mean authorities will deny your visa at all.
Do recommendations work?
Also, if you think that a letter of recommendation from an important figure will make the Embassy automatically approve your visa, think again. The truth is this procedure has precise laws that the country´s lawmakers designed primarily to avoid any external interference. So don´t waste your time asking anyone for favors.
Also keep in mind that the law establishes the validity of your visa, and you cannot request a permit specifically for six months. Neither for a year or 3 years, as some individuals seem to think. It´s the US immigration authorities that will decide the validity of your visa, according to US laws.
And my travel history?
Another one of those legends is that it´s always negative if you traveled to a country considered “dangerous” to the United States. Supposedly, then authorities will automatically deny your visa. US authorities will indeed check your travel history. But if every trip has its justification (which they will probably ask for), then you should be ok.
Many people also believe that if they already had a visa in the past, this means authorities will automatically approve a new one. Truth is you have to go through the procedure each time. And there is no absolute certainty that the Embassy will accept again.
And finally, if you had your visa approved and asked for an I-94 extension, this doesn´t mean your next visa application will be a failure. If you stayed longer than permitted without asking for the extension, this would get you into trouble. But if you requested an I-94 extension, this means you acted according to the law. So don´t believe everything you hear. And keep in mind there´s a group of professionals willing to guide you through every step at Visa USA Now.