In order to obtain a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, you must be able to show that you have “strong ties” to your country of origin. This is simply because U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) wants to be as certain as possible that you will indeed return home once your journey abroad is complete.
But what exactly constitutes strong ties? Under section 214(b) of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, a consular officer may reject a B-category visa applicant if they fail to satisfactorily prove that they have a residence in their home country to which they will return. But the types of acceptable proof will vary from petitioner to petitioner, depending on their background.
A young student, for instance, may not have as strong a connection to their country of residence as, say, a more experienced business owner. But you can take heart in the fact that the consular officer is considering every aspect of your situation, so you shouldn’t be penalized for being young.
The following article will provide a list of common examples of strong ties, while going over the types of evidence you can use to substantiate your connection to home.
If you have a job, or if you own a business, you may be able to use this as proof of strong ties. To substantiate your professional roots in your home country, you can use the following evidence:
- Statement from employer specifying your job duties, length of employment, and salary.
- Letter written by employer giving you permission to take paid time off.
- Pay stubs, or other documentation proving your income.
- Statements showing revenue, if you run a business.
- Documentation used initially to establish your business — such as articles of incorporation.
Remember, these are just some examples, so if you can think of any other documentation that proves you are indeed employed in your home country, you may offer this as proof.
Financial Assets/Real Estate
If you own property or have significant financial assets located in your country of origin, this may be used to prove a strong connection to home. Some types of evidence include:
- Property deeds.
- The contract signed when you purchased your home.
- Mortgage payment or property tax receipts.
- Homeowners insurance in your name.
- Bank statements showing large sums.
- Investment papers.
This list is not exhaustive. You may provide other forms of documentation to prove your financial links to your country of residence. Remember, you can never be too thorough.
It may be the case that your strongest connection to your home country is your family, or wider social circle. If this is the case, you may be able to provide evidence including the following:
- Birth certificates of spouse and dependents.
- Marriage certificate.
- Photos showing a sincere connection to family and friends.
- Signed letters from family and friends indicating a close bond.
If you can provide substantiated dates with the photos, that’d be ideal. The more concrete the proof, the better.
You may also have strong ties to your local community, whether through school, volunteer work, religious affiliations, or political commitments. To prove this, you may provide the following evidence:
- Any documentation showing that you’re integral to the organization.
- Letters from members of the organization stating your importance to the community.
- Official documents proving your current status as a political figure in the community.
- Student ID, if currently enrolled.
Given the informality of community involvement, it may be more difficult to provide concrete proof, so you want to make sure you’re being as rigorous as possible. Consider any possible holes that a consular officer might notice and try to plug those holes with more evidence.
And if, for some reason, you are denied, there’s no reason to panic. You can always reapply later, learning from your previous application as you go.