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B-2 visas: When a visit is more than just a visit

No one plans on getting into a serious accident or suffering injuries that leave you unable to care for your family for months on end. This is just a part of life that causes most people to look to their family members for support while they recover.

Getting help from family members can be easy, however, if your loved ones live nearby, but what if they live in another country? Long stays to help out with the family require additional planning as well as travel documents such as a visa. This process can be complicated and may require help from an attorney.

B-2 visas

These types of documents are meant for nonimmigrant people, including family members and relatives, who wish to travel to the United States for a temporary stay.

Although these types of visas are generally obtained for tourism or other visits, these may be obtained by family members, such as grandparents, who are interested in watching their grandchildren while their son or daughter focuses on recovering from injuries suffered in an accident.

Grandparents or other family members who wish to apply for a B-2 may do so online, explains the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. Applicants must then schedule an interview, gather all required documents and attend an interview all before a B-2 visa application is considered by a consular officer.

Extending your stay

When entering the U.S., officials at the port-of-entry will make a record of a traveling family member's arrival date as well as their departure date. Although B-2 visas typically permit visitors to stay six months, you may be able to extend your stay if your loved one requires additional recovery time and they are still unable to care for their family during this time.

Getting help from an attorney

Anyone who is unfamiliar with the visa application process may find it complex and confusing. Traveling family members may not understand their rights or be able to identify when their application has been denied without reason.

As such, seeking help from a skilled immigration lawyer may be necessary, particularly from one who understands how devastating personal injuries can be. Attorneys with backgrounds in immigration and personal injury law are better equipped to advocate for family members who need to temporarily remain in the U.S. to care for their loved ones after an accident. 

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