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B2 visa for short summer music program?

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I am planning to start a 10-day educational summer music festival, in partnership with a college.  The festival will be split into two main programs; the first will be for younger students (10 and up, traveling with their parents), and the second will be for serious conservatory-level music students.  The younger program will be more of a music festival / tourism hybrid, and will cater exclusively to Chinese students and their families.  The upper-level program will be focused more intensively on music education, and will recruit domestically and internationally (this program will also have a large base of students from China).  The college will issue an invitation letter that the students can bring to their visa interview.  

My problem is that I cannot figure out what category of Visa is the most appropriate for these students.  At first I thought B2 would work since the time period is so short.  "Short courses of study" are included in the approved list of B2 activities, however the study is supposed to be "incidental" to the tourism part and not the main reason for the trip.  This is not really true in the case of my program.  The B2 visa also covers "conferences, conventions, and participation in social organizations", however I am not sure that this music festival would count as a conference or convention.  On the other hand, issuing an F-1 visa for a 10-day program seems like overkill.  Does anyone have any recommendations for what I should do in this situation?  Any feedback would be much appreciated!

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Excellent point, thank you - on the topic of immigrant intent, since some of the students will be younger (10-16) and will need to be accompanied by a parent, would it be wise to advise them not to come with both parents? Since if one parent remains at home it gives the other parent and student more of a reason to return home?  Also, would the parent and student attend the same visa interview or separate interviews?

Edited by pianoman84

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I realize that... my point was to ask whether it looks relatively worse if both parents go with the student, not to say that one parent staying home is a surefire method to overcome 214b.  So in your opinion, what are the most important factors to show lack of immigrant intent?

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Thank you - that’s very insightful to hear from someone who was actually involved in the adjudication process.  From my limited experience and knowledge about visa interviews though, it sounds like consular officers often do not have the time to conduct the kind of thorough background checks you recommend, and therefore have to make a judgement call in just a few minutes.  That’s the reason I wanted to be as clear as possible in the invitation letter, although from what you said that might not make much difference.  I just want to be sure that the officer at least understands what the program is before he makes a decision.  I would imagine that most non-musicians, when they hear the words ‘music festival’ (which is what we call these types of programs), they think of something like Woodstock or Coachella and not an educational program.

Just to clarify, in the case of the music program I am proposing, the students are not traveling and applying for visas as a group; rather, each is applying to the program individually.  Not sure if that makes any difference to what you said so far.

Thanks for your perspective - I certainly appreciate the difficulty of the job and have respect for our immigration laws.  My goal here is to provide as clear a picture to the officer as possible in the short interview time so that they can make the most informed decision.

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