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Thread: B-1 visa issues

  1. #1
    RedBird is offline Member 514 points
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    B-1 visa issues

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    Has anyone been having issues getting their B-1 visa issued? I was under the impression that it could be applied for at the border but when I went the first guy had no idea what I was talking about, the second tried to tell me I needed a J-1 visa (and wouldn't believe me when I told him otherwise and wouldn't even look at the letter SGU gave me), and the third told me to go to the American consulate in Vancouver. What's the deal?

  2. #2
    kananaskis_girl's Avatar
    kananaskis_girl is offline Super Moderator
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    this has been discussed many times before...try starting here

    http://www.valuemd.com/sgu-medical-s...canadians.html

    if the border agent doesn't know about it, ask to speak with their supervisor, I've run into a few who haven't heard of how we go under this provision, but there will be one person at the crossing who will know. I've gone through several different airports as well as via ground transportation, no issues ever. You just need to be versed in what visa you are supposed to go under and WHY you can't go on the other ones. If you need more info than what is one the thread link I provided, please ask again. cheers
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    alzaeem is offline Junior Member 511 points
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    Hi:

    ...agree with kananaskis girl in term of need only B1 visa (vistor's visa) and NOT a student F1 visa for the same reason stated, ROSS, SGU.....are offshore schools = main campus is offshore and are NOT USA schools.

    There is a cost for the B1 VISA = 6.00CAD.

    True, not all officers are versed into this issue and they will give you the look when they see you insisting for a B1 VISA to be a student in the US!.

    Basically it is visitor's visa that you need to have to stay LONGER than a regular Canadian visitor = three month.

    You will be given this VISA as long as you provide document to show that you're a student and not getting paid, you're rotating in hospitals for an X number of months, and have an expected day of graduation.

    The starge thing is I had the first B1 VISA for one year and left and entered the US several times during this one year without a problem.

    Next time I stopped at the land border and told them I need the SAME VISA, I had to answer a LOT of questions and you could see some discomfort in the air.......turned out that I overshot my previous period by one month..i.e. you have to leave the US by the date stamped on B1 VISA on your passport even if you are in a middle of a rotation which I couldn't!. Also the officer told me I have to surrender the stapled card to the Canadian border authorities that will send it to them evry time I leave the US even if the VISA is still valid.......not sure about this.....there is a lot of confusion among the officers as how this visa is applied to us, canadians in offshore schools.

    Please share if you have any thoughts on the last point.

  4. #4
    kananaskis_girl's Avatar
    kananaskis_girl is offline Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by alzaeem View Post
    There is a cost for the B1 VISA = 6.00CAD.
    not always, I've never paid for a visa, and some people have paid more, I think it's discretionary upon the agent

    Quote Originally Posted by alzaeem View Post
    Next time I stopped at the land border and told them I need the SAME VISA, I had to answer a LOT of questions and you could see some discomfort in the air.......turned out that I overshot my previous period by one month..i.e. you have to leave the US by the date stamped on B1 VISA on your passport even if you are in a middle of a rotation which I couldn't!. Also the officer told me I have to surrender the stapled card to the Canadian border authorities that will send it to them evry time I leave the US even if the VISA is still valid.......not sure about this.....there is a lot of confusion among the officers as how this visa is applied to us, canadians in offshore schools.

    Please share if you have any thoughts on the last point.
    well, yes, just like with ANY visa, you need to be sure to follow the directions as per the visa. You overstayed your time period without permission, hence, this is a red flag by US homeland security. It doesn't matter if it's in the middle of a rotation, it is your duty to get it renewed either by crossing the border or by going to a consulate to help you out with it. You can renew it prior to it's expiry, which is what a lot of people do. You were probably hassled the next time b/c you overstayed the date stamped on the visa. I've never had to surrender the stapled portion if it was still valid, but you did something that you shouldn't have, they may need you to surrender it each time now.

    Do not mess this stuff up guys, it's really easy to become well-versed in the visa requirements, and if you do rotations without the visa, it may alter your ability to easily get a J1 or H1B needed for residency in the US. Don't get flagged by homeland security.....the more knowledgeable you are with the visa's, the less issues you will have at the border.
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  5. #5
    kananaskis_girl's Avatar
    kananaskis_girl is offline Super Moderator
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    also, try to give them a good reason to get the extended visitor's visa, both of mine were issued for one year, but many of my friends only got them for three months. If you are going to a clinical center, bring your rotation schedule with you to show them. The last time I asked for the longer extension, I had to go to the back room and get further processed, but it was less of a hassle than having to renew it every 3 months, only took 20 min total to get it done. And no, I didn't pay for that one either....
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  6. #6
    RedBird is offline Member 514 points
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    Thanks for the advice! I knew I was right but didn't know I could request to speak to a supervisor. I ended up calling the visa office and they confirmed that what's been said here is correct (I was worried that the policy had changed), so I'll be back in a few days to try again.

  7. #7
    kananaskis_girl's Avatar
    kananaskis_girl is offline Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedBird View Post
    Thanks for the advice! I knew I was right but didn't know I could request to speak to a supervisor. I ended up calling the visa office and they confirmed that what's been said here is correct (I was worried that the policy had changed), so I'll be back in a few days to try again.
    lol, after all the visa crap we have to go through, I've become somewhat of an "authority" on it....I could probably work as a border agent by now

    where are you going to get the visa? I only ever got it at the airport on my way into the US, never did it ahead of time, most of the airport customs agents are familiar with it....
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    RedBird is offline Member 514 points
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    I only live about 30 minutes from a drive-through border crossing, so I'll probably do it next week when i drive down to visit my bf. (Right now I'm in NY securing housing, and man, what a trial THAT has turned out to be. Luckily, we finally found something and signed the lease this morning).

  9. #9
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    CANeh is offline Elite Member 527 points
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    Didn't SGU give you a letter to show them about visa and why b1?
    Did you tell SGU you need a visa letter? The letter explains it on there and you just give it to them and go sit down while they figure it out.

    When I got my placement it came with a visa letter and my hospital emailed me a scan of a hospital letter.

  10. #10
    RedBird is offline Member 514 points
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    I did bring the letter, but they refused to look at it. The exchange went like this:

    Me: "Hi, I'm here to apply for my B-1 Visa. My school's given me this letter if you need it."

    Border guy: "B-1? Is it for school or work?"

    Me: "it's for an extended clinical clerkship thing as part of my program."

    Guy: "you don't need a B-1. You need an F. Or is it an internship?"

    Me: "it's sort of like an internship, but it's through my school. This letter explains it if you need more info."

    Guy: "okay, you need a J-1. You'll have to go to the consulate for that."

    Me: "No, I need a B-1. My school does this all the time and everyone gets a B-1. This letter explains it if you need it."

    Guy: "look, I deal with this all the time and what you need is a J-1. Go tot he consulate in Vancouver and they'll help you."

    Me: "But I've got this letter. Really, I need a B-1."

    Guy: "...next in line, please."

    And then they all ignored me for 5 minutes while I tried to figure out what to do, and then I left to figure it out at home.

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