The US Department of State extended it’s typical practice of granting B1 Business Visas and B2 Tourist Visas to the duration of 10 years. This press release provides the details. While this will save many Chinese applicants the hassle and more importantly the risk of being denied a tourist visa, it unfortunately does not solve a problem that many Chinese travelers face when entering the US. A visa gives someone the right to request admission into the United States in a certain status, such as B1 Business traveller or B2 Tourist status. However, Chinese applicants for admission often face a lot of scrutiny from Customs and Border Patrol, especially when the applicant is required to travel to the US for business or pleasure purposes. If a business traveler is deemed to have spent too much time in the US whereby CBP believes the persons has been trying to live in the United States on a B visa, they will be denied entry. Often times the denial of admission may lead to the revocation of the B visa, which may make it difficult for the applicant to be approved for a B visa in the future. While having a 10 year visitor visa (B1/B2 visa), if they are denied entry and the visa is ultimately revoked with prejudice, a future and subsequent visa application will require evidence to counter the CBP decision to deny entry. It may be difficult for a Consular Office to overturn such a finding. Strong evidence of the B visa applicant’s substantial ties to China will be required to be shown such as home ownership, employment, community ties, etc. Additionally, explaining the frequent travel into the United States will be essential. Such an explanation may include affidavits from business contacts, explanation of extended accommodations, and other reasons for the denied entry. Often a freedom of information request from CBP requesting the denial notice and any other relevant information from CBP’s reasoning for denying the entry would be important prior to the reapplication of the B visa. Unfortunately a freedom of information request can take many months and in some cases over a year due to recent CBP foia backlogs. While the decision to extend the B visa term to what most other countries experience (ie. 10 years), it does not mean Chinese applicants will receive relaxed inspection when requesting admission into the United States.
After 22 years of immigration ban preventing anyone with HIV/AIDS from entering the U.S., the ban has finally come to an end. As of January 4, 2010, HIV infection is no longer defined as a communicable disease of public health signficance and HIV infection will no longer make an alien inadmissiable under 212(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This is definitely a positive move, as President Obama said in the White House yesterday: “We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic, yet we are one of the only a dozen countries that still bar people with HIV from entering…if we want to be the global leader on combating HIV/AIDS we need to act like this”. In the past, a person with HIV/AIDS who wanted to visit the US, would need to file a Waiver of Inadmissibility. The application usually involved a tremedous amount of stress and an application fee was required. Under the currently law, HIV/AIDS is no longer considered to be a factor to make a person inadmissible. Definitely a positive news for those who suffered long-term seperation from their families and loved ones under the ban. It is time to plan your visit to the US. Click here if you wish to know more about this USCIS update.