B2 Tourist Visas – Update from the Non Immigrant Section in Shanghai: Can Pregnant Mothers Get Visas?

The Rome District Chapter of AILA (RDC) offered the following information from the NIV Chief in Shanghai, Mr. Mr. Richard Larsen. We specially wanted to update on the issue on non immigrant visas and in particular visitor visas for certain kind of applicants.

What is the status of B visa adjudications for pregnant mothers? B for dependent parents? Domestic Partners? What should be provided above and beyond a standard B visa applicant?

Mr. Larsen stated, The law does not prohibit pregnant mothers from applying for B visas or to have their babies in the U.S. The post reviews an application from a pregnant mother like other applications, looking for ties to China, financial resources, credibility, etc. If the post is
concerned that the applicant may incur substantial medical expenses in the U.S. and leave
the U.S. without paying the bills, the applicant would need to demonstrate that they have
the financial resources and commitment to pay for their medical expenses in the U.S.

For dependent parents, the post looks for the same basic elements: proof of their ties
outside the U.S. and what they intend to do in the U.S. if granted a visa. For applicants
visiting relatives in the U.S., officers may naturally inquire as to the immigration status of
their relatives to help understand the applicants’ ties and intent. The post rarely sees any domestic or same-sex partner application in Shanghai.

What about B-1 in lieu of H-1B? What should be provided above and beyond a standard B visa applicant? Does your post make annotations for B1 in lieu of H1B cases?

Applicants must clearly demonstrate that they qualify for this classification. The post is
concerned with applicants who use this category to circumvent U.S. labor law. This visa
is used rarely. Post does not advise applicants to rely on this type of visa except in rare
cases. For long term work requirements applicants should apply for an H or L visa.

So it seems that as long as an applicant can overcome section 214(b), the visas should be granted. Being pregnant in itself, should not be a reason for refusal according to the Consul.

INA Section 214(b), also found in the United States Code at 8 USC 1184(b), states:
“…every alien . . . shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, and the immigration officers, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15).”
This simply means that before you can be approved for a nonimmigrant visa, you must prove that you will return to your home country. You must show that you have no intention of abandoning your residence there. The law places the burden of proof on you to prove that you have “strong ties” in your country that would compel you to leave the US at the end of your temporary stay and return home.

Thus, to avoid a 214 b visa denial, applicants must convince the Consular Officer of the following:
• that they intend to return to their home country after a temporary stay in the United States,
• that their financial situation is such that they can afford the trip without having to seek unauthorized employment in the U.S., and
• that the travel is for legitimate purposes permitted by the applicant’s visa category.

From the above discussion, one thing is certain: having strong ties with your home country matters a lot when it comes to getting a nonimmigrant visa for United States.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.