If you are in the U.S. by an F-1 visa and want to bring your family along, then only F-2 visas can be attached to it, which is for the spouse and minor children. However, if you want to bring your parents to the U.S., the only way is through the B-2 visitor visa, which is explained below.
A foreign national student with an F-1 visa can have parents accompanying him/her in the U.S. for a maximum period of six months under a B-2 tourist visa. Unfortunately, the parents cannot stay throughout the study period, but they can revisit after a gap of at least six months.
What is a B-2 Visa?
A B-2 visa is a tourist visa that one must have to enter America for tourism or to visit friends and relatives. Unlike an F-2 visa where the spouse and children get an automatic qualification as dependents, the B-2 visa is not a dependent visa or in other words, doesn’t qualify your parents automatically.
For getting qualified for a B-2 tourist visa, your parents must be able to convince the immigration authority on why they want to travel to the U.S., and also that they will return to the home country before the visa period ends.
Eligibility Criteria for a B-2 Visa
Your parents should be able to prove the following points to the U.S. consulate during the application stage to get qualified for the B-2 visa, which are:
– The reason for coming to the U.S. is to visit you and not to work or live permanently.
– They will stay for a limited period only, as specified in the application form, and will return to the home country before the visa expires.
– They have a house outside the U.S. and other ties that will compel them not to stay permanently in the U.S.
– They have permission to enter the home country or any other foreign country any time, especially when the U.S. stay period ends.
– They have sufficient financial means to pay for their visit to and exit from the U.S.
The mere mentioning of the above points will not be sufficient, and your parents will have to provide documentary proofs for the above points to the immigration authorities during the in-person interview.
Once the B-2 visa application form gets through the immigration office, your parents will be able to collect their B-2 tourist visas. Thus, your parents can visit you in the United States, even when you are studying in the U.S. on an F-1 visa.