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I'm applying for a J-1 visa to do an internship in the US for 3 months, and I want to bring my wife with me. Of course the most obvious solution is for her to apply for a J-2 visa, but the procedure for J-2 visa is much more complicated, and also much more expensive as compared to a B1 visa.

If my wife applies for a B1 visa to stay with me during my internship, i.e. 3 months, how likely is it to be accepted? My wife had a B1 visa in the past.

  • B1 is business visa; is your wife going to the U.S. for business? – user102008 Sep 4 '14 at 4:11
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This website clearly states that "... spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States" must apply for J2 visa.

Even if your wife applies later for a B2 tourist visa, she may have to provide your details in the application. The consular will be able to easily see that your status is J1 and hence ask her to apply for J2 instead.

The J2 visa process is much easier when combined with your J1. Much of the documentation will be common to both of you and both applications will be processed simultaneously.

Note: From what I have read and seen (but not experienced), having a previously approved US visa doesn't affect your chances of getting a present visa. However, a previously rejected application does draw further scrutiny into your present application.

  • by the way B1 is business visa; B2 is tourist visa – user102008 Sep 4 '14 at 4:10
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I'm answering my own question. 6 months ago, I accepted Prometheus's answer, I really thanked him for searching information for me. But I removed the acceptance, because I afraid that people may get wrong information.

The reason I want to apply a B2 visa for my wife, because J-2 is not reasonable for us. First, my internship was only 3 months, and my wife only intended to visit me for 1 month. However, if we applied for the J-2 visa, we would have to pay the insurance for 3 months for my wife. i.e. as long as my stay. And believe me, the insurance is extremely expensive.

After searching for a while, I realized that spouse or under-21 children who intend to stay less than 6 months (some pages say only 3 months) in the US have the option to apply for a B visa. So I applied for a J-1 and my wife applied for a B2. We arranged to have the appointment at the same time, but the US Embassy in London processed our applications separately.

The funny thing was that: my J-1 visa was valid only for 5 months, but my wife's visa is valid for 1 year. Moreover, she applied for a B2 visa, and they granted her a B1/B2 visa.

However, note that a J-2 application is easier to be accepted than a B2, since the dependent also has the sponsor from the host company etc. We took a risk of applying B2 because my wife had travelled to the US alone several times before.

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