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I'm a Spanish citizen currently a tourist in the Dominican Republic. Before I get into my question, let me list my recent moves, as they are relevant to the case:

  • Lived in California for five years on a Student Visa.
  • Visa ended so went to Spain for three months.
  • Flew back to the US under the Visa Waiver Program for three months.
  • VWP ended so have been in the Dominican Republic for three months.

During my student stay in the US I made a film, which I am now finishing. I need to get back to California so I can complete work on the film, submit to festivals, have meetings, etc. Also want to see my friends and spend time there with my film-making peers. I guess I can go back on the VWP again, but I would like to get six months to have time to complete all these things. I will not be working, I have money saved up.

That said, I'm thinking of applying for the B-1 or B-2 6-month visa here, at the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic, but I am afraid this may be useless. Here are my concerns:

  • B-1 or B-2?

Should I explain my situation with the film to justify the need for six months or would it make them suspicious that I would want to stay in the US indefinitely?

Maybe I should omit the B-1 (Business) and go for the B-2 (Tourist); telling them that I want to travel along the West Coast, which I didn't get a chance to while I was studying and didn't have money.

  • I assume the fact that I am a Spanish citizen applying in the Dominican Republic will raise some flags. Specially since I haven't been to Spain in between my trips US-DR-US.

Am I correct?

  • If I decide to pass on the B-1/B-2, will I have trouble with a new Visa Waiver trip?

I have been out of the US for three months, and I never overstayed my trip, but the Dominican Republic is considered adjacent territory and doesn't reset the 90 days within the VWP; so they may suspect I just went to an adjacent territory for a couple of months of ''vacation'' and now want to return to the US to continue ''living'' there.

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    You state you want 6 months to complete finishing the films, yet you won't be working? How is what you intend not working? – CGCampbell Aug 22 '14 at 21:01
  • I am the owner of the film and the work will not be done by me, but by other people working on it. I have to supervise the latest stages of post-production, submit the film to festivals and attend some meetings re. the film. So I will not be working for an employer nor will I be receiving any kind of salary or payment. – ivalero Aug 22 '14 at 23:07
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    @ivalero if you supervising others, I expect that would count as work, especially if they are paid. If you intend to make money from the film, then it's almost certain it would count as work, which isn't limited to employment. Besides, a B1 visa (and therefore the VWP) covers many business activities, and forbids others. The activities you describe sound to me like conducting business, except that activites of foreign filmmakers are explicitly excluded. See travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/… – phoog Mar 23 '15 at 13:53
  • Unless you have ties to the Dominican Republic, it may also be a bad idea to apply for a US B1/B2 visa there. In part because they will sometimes reject you for not being resident in the consular area for that consulate/embassy, and because it is harder for the consular officer to evaluate your nonimmigrant intent if you are not local. (People who apply outside their home country often only do so for renewals where they already have a visa of the same type.) – Guan Yang Jan 26 '17 at 19:51
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I dont know much about the VWP and how you applied for it and got it. I dont think I have ever used that as I've been in US on multiple visas: F1, F1-OPT, H1s and so on.

I was in the US last year on B1/B2 - mostly hanging with friends, but talking to friends about some new startup ideas and so on. With friends its always a bit of a mix of both.. But why put red flags up for the officers?

Went to Brazil for a month trip, back to US few months, then to Mexico trip, back to US and back to my country.

At the consulate when I got the 10 year multiple entry B1/B2 (2 years before this trip) I had just mentioned that I was overdue on catching up with lot of friends all across the US.

So, the same thing everytime I made a re-entry at the port of entry.

Bottomline, be relaxed and confident even if they officer throws a few curve balls. Less information, casual & simple.

I generally talk about loving traveling and flying all over the place.

If you add a lot of information to the discussion, you are making the Visa or Immigration officer think too much.. and if they think too much about it, then you have their attention.

The goal is to not catch their attention, but be friendly and pleasing.. which I am sure you learned as a student in California :)

protected by phoog Jan 26 '17 at 18:56

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