FINAL RULE ON B NON-IMMIGRANT VISA REGULATIONS

Practice Areas

By: Angelita Chavez-Halaka; Jacqueline Valle

SUMMARY

The Department of State (DOS) issued a final rule on January 24, 2020 amending the issuance of B nonimmigrant visas. Under the final rule, consular officers will deny B nonimmigrant visa applications under the assumption that a pregnant woman is seeking a visa for the purpose of giving birth in the US. 

What is a B Nonimmigrant visa?

B nonimmigrant visas are used for temporary travel to the US for business or pleasure, also known as tourist visas. The maximum allotted time on these types of visas is typically 6 months.

 Reasoning Behind Rule: The final rule creates a rebuttable presumption that an expectant mother wishing to travel on a B nonimmigrant visa will give birth during her stay in the US to obtain US citizenship for her child. The rule addresses concerns relating to national security and criminal activity that may be associated with giving birth in the US.

This rule also impacts those seeking medical treatment in the US. Individuals seeking treatment must demonstrate concretely that they have the financial means to cover all costs associated with the US medical treatment.

 Exceptions: The DOS rule does not impact the following:

  • Visa Waiver Program
  • Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) regulations relating to inadmissibility

Recommendations:

  • Speak early with an experienced immigration lawyer about your individual circumstances and reasons for US travel.

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