Clinic update

We had 15 people present on complex immigration issues at last week’s legal clinic. Our thanks to Chris Lavery and Dan Harrington for their expert advice to those present and to our regular volunteers Neil and Sheila. Our next clinic is on June 4th at 630pm.

Visa to come and spend time with ill relative

I had a sad call recently from an Irish person who wanted to come to the US for an extended trip so he could stay with and provide comfort to a close relative who was stricken with cancer. He was concerned about the restrictions of the 90 day visa waiver program and the inability to extend the time if his relative got gravely ill. I was able to advise the caller of the B visitors’ visa option.

The B visitors’ visa

The B visa is usually issued for a period up to six months to individuals who can meet some basic requirements and provide genuine documented reasons for the extended stay in the US. To meet these basic requirements, the applicant should:

Ø Have adequate funds available to avoid unlawful employment in the US;
Ø If presenting assurances of financial support from sponsoring relatives or friends in the US, show compelling ties that would lend credence to the sponsor’s undertaking;
Ø Present specific and realistic plans for the entire period of the contemplated visit;
Ø Establish with reasonable certainty that departure from the US will take place upon completion of the temporary visit. The period of time projected for the visit must be consistent with the stated purposes;
Ø Demonstrate sufficient ties to home country-permanent employment, meaningful business or financial connections, close family ties, or other commitments that indicate a strong inducement to return abroad.
Ø Show adequate provision for support of any dependents while the applicant is in the US if the applicant is the family’s principal wage earner.
Ø A person seeking entry on B status should consider having a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) relative prepare a Form I-134 to demonstrate that the US citizen or LPR will provide support to the immigrant while visiting the US.

The person in question was able to get letters from his relatives doctors here in the US. The B visa application form is available free on line at the US Embassy website in Dublin. An interview before US Consular staff is part of the process.

From J visa to B visa

Another case we had at our clinic this week was an Irish person seeking review of her application to change her status from J visa to a B visa. Attorney Lavery reviewed her file and advised that while this is permitted such applications do draw scrutiny. A lot of documentation has to be submitted with such an application to explain why the applicant needs an extra number of months in the US.

If readers have question on any of these topics, work visas or US citizenship, call or email

Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.