4

I've applied for US B1/B2 Visa and scheduled an interview. I have to attend a 4-day conference but I have entered the length of stay in the US as 10 days in the DS-160 form. This is because my conference is in Nashville and my port of entry in the US is New York City.

Now, I can take another flight between Nashville and New York, but I've decided to travel by bus (since this will be my first visit to the US and I really want to explore it by land). The round-trip time via bus is 2 overnight trips, and this adds to the total number of days to stay. To be clearer, following is my rough schedule:

24th evening - arrival in NYC

25th - recover from jet lag (travelling from India) and hopefully some sightseeing

26th - overnight bus trip to Nashville

27th - arrival in Nashville

28th to 31st - conference

1st - overnight bus trip back to NYC

2nd - arrival in NYC and flight back to India

Now, if the consular officer asks me about my purpose of visit, should I just say "attending a conference", or "attending a conference + sightseeing". Also, if s/he asks me why I'd be staying for 10 days, I want to genuinely answer that "I want to do some sightseeing as well" (and go through my above schedule if needed), but is this a "good enough reason"? I don't want my visa to be rejected on the grounds of "unclear purpose of travel".

8

This should be fine. A few extra days for a bus trip "adventure" is perfectly reasonable, and it's acceptable for a business visitor to engage in "pleasure" activities during the visit.

Now, if the consular officer asks me about my purpose of visit, should I just say "attending a conference", or "attending a conference + sightseeing".

It probably depends on the officer's manner. If the officer is very officious, I would likely just say "attending a conference." But I wouldn't hesitate to add "and doing some sightseeing" if the officer is more receptive.

Also, if s/he asks me why I'd be staying for 10 days, I want to genuinely answer that "I want to do some sightseeing as well" (and go through my above schedule if needed), but is this a "good enough reason"?

Yes.

I don't want my visa to be rejected on the grounds of "unclear purpose of travel".

That seems unlikely. Your explanation here is perfectly clear. You might want to try coming up with concise ways of expressing your goals quickly, in case the officer tends to cut your answers short. For example, instead of "I've decided to travel by bus (since this will be my first visit to the US and I really want to explore it by land)" you could say "I want to take the bus to explore a bit."

  • 2
    I don't think it depends on the officer's manner at all. The asker is attending a conference and sightseeing. An unfriendly officer is surely going to be more concerned at the change of story from "conference" to "conference and sightseeing and, actually, the sightseeing is taking longer than the conference" than a friendly one. – David Richerby Oct 2 '18 at 15:50
  • @DavidRicherby my point is that one should not insist on adding information about secondary plans for sightseeing if the officer is impatient or otherwise seems uninterested in that information. Do you disagree? – phoog Oct 3 '18 at 7:00
  • My experience is that "What's the purpose of your visit?" is usually the first thing I'm asked (possibly after "Hi, how are you?") so I've not really had time to gauge the officer's mood at that point. Since "I'm going to a conference and doing some sightseeing" is barely longer than "I'm going to a conference", I don't see any reason to not say it. – David Richerby Oct 3 '18 at 11:15
5

Just tell the truth.

You have nothing to hide, you're doing nothing wrong. Your purpose for travel is crystal clear: you're attending the conference and doing a bit of tourist stuff, too. That's completely normal. I like to see a bit of the place if I have to travel half-way around the world, too.

4

Your primary purpose is to attend the conference. Tell the consular you are going for a conference and planning to stay a couple of days for sightseeing. That's what I told the immigration officer at the airport on my last trip. Of course, he was more interested in the conference.

  • "he was more interested in the conference" - this matches my experience when I traveled to the US for a conference. I had a week sightseeing and a week conference, they didn't ask anything about the sightseeing but several questions about the conference. – Midavalo Oct 2 '18 at 22:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.