Change to Tourist (Visitor) Visa (B2)
I have a few questions regarding change of status.
I am a 28-year-old male from Belgium, currently on a F1 student visa. I came first to the US in March 2007 on a J1 visa (and DS-2019 form), valid for 1 year. I extended this visa (and received a new DS-2019 form) for another year (valid until March 2009.)
After that I applied for a student visa without leaving the country and I enrolled full-time in a language school. The USCIS took a long time to process this request (I never received the actual visa -- only the confirmation from the USCIS that my request is being processed which made me a legal non-immigrant.) I decided to visit my home country in June 2010 so I started the process of a new request from scratch to obtain my actual F1 visa by going to the American embassy in Belgium. With success! In June 2010 I obtained a F1 visa valid for 5 years (although I only requested one until the end of July 2011 as stated on my I-20.)
This the situation I am currently in. My school will end on July 15th 2011. That will give me 60 days from that day on to either leave the country or change my status.
I have the desire to stay in the US for another 6 months to finish things up. I am planning on going to Canada for 1 week in August. I was wondering whether it is recommended for me to visit the American embassy in Canada and request a tourist visa (B2) for 6 months or not. As I am from Belgium (a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program) I have been told I do not need a visa to be in the US for a stay shorter than 3 months. If that is the case, might it be better for me to leave to Canada, just re-enter the US after a week in Canada, stay for up to 3 months in the US, leave to Canada again, stay there for a few days and re-enter the US again for another 3 months?
I would like to know (as far as your knowledge reaches) which of these 2 options is my best bet.
- Is there a chance the American embassy in Canada will deny my request for a visitors visa considering my history of J1 and F1 visas (although I have NEVER been illegal, have ALWAYS filed the correct paperwork, have NEVER had any kind of trouble obtaining a visa so far and have ALWAYS lived by the rules/limitations of these visas)?
- And what happens if my visa request is denied? Will I still be able to re-enter the US for less than 3 months as part of the VWP?
- Or is it a bigger risk to try to re-enter the US twice after leaving for a short stay in Canada?
- If I opt for this last option: how long do I need to be out of the US (in Canada) to be able to re-enter the US without any problems. Is 24-48 hours enough?
- Also: might it be better to visit the American embassy in Belgium instead of Canada and request a 6 months visitors visa there? Do you think the embassy in Belgium might be more likely to grant me a visitors visa?
- Can you think of any other options to extend my stay in the US for another 6 months (without a student visa)?
I hope you understand my situation and I appreciate you helping me answering these questions. I really do not want to make any mistakes.
Thank you so much!
Looking forward to hearing back from you.