California B-1/B-2 Visa Attorney
Your choice when your temporary minister, missionaries or parishioners need to come to the United States
B-1/B-2 visas are for foreign visitors who want to temporarily enter the United States for business, tourism, or a combination of both purposes. For churches and religious workers, the B-1 visa provides a simplified path for several short-term religious activities:
- Ministers who are engaging in an evangelical tour or who are exchanging pulpits with a U.S. counterpart may qualify for a B-1 visa instead of going through the more laborious process of obtaining an R-1 visa.
- Missionaries who traveling to the United States to proselytize, provide instruction, aid the elderly, or engage in similar activities may also qualify for a B-1 visa if they will not be receiving remuneration.
- Foreigners who wish to travel to the United States to participate in a voluntary services program may qualify if they are members of a recognized religious organization and will not receive remuneration from a U.S. source.
The B-2 visa provides an option for parishioners who want to travel to your church to participate in religious services, tour religious cultural sites, or engage in other tourism travel.
Eligibility Requirements for a B-1/B-2 Visa
To be eligible for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, you must demonstrate the purpose for your stay in the U.S. and prove that you will only be in the country temporarily. You can establish the purpose of your stay with a personal statement and documentation from third parties. This will usually entail getting a letter of support from the U.S. church, having a planned travel itinerary, and proving you have sufficient financial resources to pay for the cost of your trip. B-1/B-2 applicants must also prove that they have strong social and economic ties to their foreign residence and that they do not intend to abandon it after they are approved for the visa.
B-1/B-2 visas do not require employer sponsorship or an approved petition. Applicants apply directly with a U.S. consulate abroad. You will need to make a visa interview appointment with the U.S. embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your permanent residence. You will also have to submit the following documents:
- Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application)
- A valid passport with an expiration date at least six months beyond your intended stay
- Passport-style photos
- An invitation letter from your relative or church in the U.S.
- Proof you have sufficient funds to cover the trip and your living expenses in the U.S.
- Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support), signed and notarized if a third party will provide financial support for your visit
- Proof of travel arrangement, such as round-trip tickets
- Evidence of homeownership or other real estate properties you own in your home country
- Monthly bank statements and balance verification letters
- Proof of regular income, medical insurance, and other documents that can establish your binding economic ties
- Proof of other family members not traveling with you
- Copies of your previous visas, approval/denial notices for extension requests, and/or boarding passes to prove that you have not violated any immigration regulations on your previous visits to the U.S.
- A cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip and any specific issues
Our attorney has represented some of the largest religious denominations in the world and will gladly help you devise a strategy to pursue your immigration goals with confidence.
Contact us online or call (530) 418-0906 to discuss your immigration options.
I am the principal attorney at the Davis Legal Center, a boutique immigration law and consulting office in Northern California. I have more than ten years of experience working on human rights and immigration law and policy matters across the globe.
Decade of Experience
Our principal attorney has more than a decade of experience working in human rights, immigration, and international policy.
Davis Legal Center only works with churches and religious workers, so you benefit from our specialized expertise.
Global RepresentationDavis Legal Center has represented clients in more than 50 countries and has the experience to provide full legal representation no matter your location.
Davis Legal Center is experienced working with all religious denominations and cross-denominational staff.