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I got admitted into a university in USA and received my I-20 for the same. I am yet to apply for my F-1 visa. The program start date is 8th August, 2016.

Meanwhile, I also got selected for a Youth Cultural program by an organization in USA, which requires me to travel to USA from 18th June to 10th July on Visitors visa (B1/B2). I am yet to apply for that, too. I am planning to return to my home (India) on 10th July and then go back to USA in August to start my studies.

Now, 3 timelines would be possible for me:

  1. I apply for F-1 visa first, and then for B1/B2. Thus, obtain both the visa before 18th June.
  2. I apply for B1/B2 visa first, and then for F-1, and obtain both the visa before 18th June.
  3. I apply for B1/B2 before 18th June, and apply for F-1 after coming back, i.e. after 10th July.

Can you please suggest me the best option out of these three considering following points :

  1. Getting a F-1 visa is more important for me than the B1/B2, as a very good study program in good university is at stake. I don't want the B1/B2 visa approval/rejection to affect my chances of getting F-1 visa successfully.

  2. Is it possible to have two valid visas stamped (B1 and F1) at the same time?

  3. Would there be a problem at entry port on 18th June if my passport has two valid visas stamped (both B1 and F-1) ? I can produce enough documents stating my purpose of visit (cultural program for the first visit).

  4. If in case my B1 visa is rejected, will that decision affect my chances of getting F-1?

  • Did you ask at the US consulate? I suppose the answer is "yes," in which case they'll tell you "yes." – phoog Jun 19 '16 at 18:51
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This question was asked and answered by the US embassy in an article in the Jamaica Observer - You are allowed to have multiple visas:

Multiple non-immigrant visas are routinely issued at the Embassy - common combinations include the B1/B2 visitor's visa in addition to crew member (C1/D), student (F, M), employment-based (J, H) and performer (O, P) visa categories. As long as you still need multiple visas, and they are valid, your visa will not be cancelled when you apply for a visa in a different category.

This appears to fit your situation.

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