5

Situation:

Drawing on https://travel.stackexchange.com/a/64098/83034 and the reference therein (https://fam.state.gov/FAM/09FAM/09FAM040202.html#M402_2_4_B_5), it seems appropriate for my partner who intends to join me while I'm in the US on my yearlong stay on a J1 Visa to apply for a B2 Visa. She would indeed motivate her request by the fact that we are and have been cohabiting partners and intend to remain so in the US.

Since we aren't married (and happily not in fact), a J2 seems to be no avenue for her – leaving B2 as an option which is perfectly fine as she anyway will be pursuing activities that are wholly recreational in nature.

FWIW, it appears that she and I will be going to the US Consulate General on separate days due to scheduling conflicts. Her appointment is roughly a week before mine.

Question(s):

  1. Does that make any sense at all to request a B2 on those grounds, i.e. ``tied'' to my J1 or is it completely unheard of? Any better idea?

  2. Her appointment at the US Consulate will be around a week before mine, which means that my J1 won't be issued by then. What supporting evidence does she need to take with her to convince the clerk that her request for a B2 is legitimately tied to my soon to be issued J1? I could give her my DS-2019 form and appointment confirmation for instance. Does she need to show that she has access to sufficient funds to cover her stay?

  3. Does she need to show evidence that we are indeed partners and not just a bloke and girl who met in the street last week? The most obvious that comes to my mind are bank accounts running under both our name and a lease agreement. Does she need to take ancillary items such as pictures?

  4. Regarding 9 FAM 402.2-4(B)(5), specifically:

    If such individuals plan to stay in the United States for more than six months, you should advise them to ask DHS for a one-year stay at the time they apply for admission.

    She'll be flying back every so often to our native Australia to take care of a few things we have going Down Under. How long should she say that she intends to stay in the US? The standard 6 months? Or should she say one year because that'll be the duration of my stay? At the time she'll enter the US, it won't be immediately clear exactly when she'll first fly back. It might be 2 months later, it might be 4. That requirement really depends on a number of external factors. The fact remains: is it fine to say something like:

    My partner will be there foreseeably for one year and I'd like to stay for as long with him. However, I might fly back every now and then but I honestly can't say when exactly at this stage.

  5. She'll be explaining all this to the US Consulate clerk. Does this all go into her ``file'' or does she have to explain it all again to the CBP officer at the border?

  6. Does she need to show a return ticket at all when she talks to the CBP officer?

In the end it's fair to say that the primary reason for her to be in the US is to be with me. She wouldn't technically be a tourist in the commonest sense of the word for a whole year. She has myriads of friends to visit, hobbies to pursue and cities to visit but at the end of the day she'll really be that, my cohabiting partner.

closed as off-topic by phoog, David Richerby, user90371, Ali Awan, Jan Doggen Aug 29 at 8:24

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    Had you and your partner been married, I assume that she'd be applying for a J-2 visa derived from your J-1 and not a B-2. Considering the circumstances, it doesn't seem like a great idea to have her interview take place before yours, since she'd be asking for a departure from the 'normal' B-2 'rules' based on your J-1, which has not yet been issued or approved. – brhans Aug 28 at 11:28
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    Off-topic language question: where are you from, and is "blokes" commonly used there to refer to females or people of unspecified gender? I've only heard it in contexts where it referred to males. – phoog Aug 28 at 12:28
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    @brhans the visa officer could grant the visa with an annotation to prompt the immigration officer to confirm that the partner's J-1 was granted and that the two are indeed planning to live together temporarily in the US. Whether they actually would do not know, and I agree that approval is more likely if the B-2 interview takes place after the J-1 is granted. – phoog Aug 28 at 12:31
  • @phoog From OZ. You're absolutely right, bloke commonly refers to guys. It's a bit of a stretch to use it for girls but it's a bit like saying You guys in the US when referring to a guy and a girl. – VH-NZZ Aug 28 at 12:53
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    @VH-NZZ thanks. Being from the US, I can confirm that this "you guys" is increasingly common. But I don't think anyone would say "a couple of guys" in referring to a man and a woman. That's probably why I was taken aback. – phoog Aug 28 at 13:04