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I'm a U.S. citizen married to a Malian citizen and we live in Mali. Is applying for a tourist visa for a visit to the U.S. a bad idea (after covid restrictions obviously)?

I know that if you're married to a U.S. citizen, applying for a tourist visa is actually harder because of the assumed intent to immigrate. We don't have any future plans to immigrate. But we do want to visit my family. I have no idea if his visa would be approved, to be honest...he's a musician here in Mali, and I'm a freelancer, so neither of us has a formal employer. We do run a transportation business together here which is well documented and brings in enough money to support us, but its just about $10,000 a year. We have been together for two and a half years and married since February. I've been living here for more than 3 years, and my work here is also well documented online even though I'm a freelancer.

I have two questions. One, is that we don't have a ton of money. My dad would have to "sponsor" the trip, which he is willing to do. But not a ton of money in our banks accounts at all, as we put a lot of money into growing the transport business and it sustains our day-to-day living. Can my dad actually sponsor a short trip?

Two, does being denied hurt future applications? Is it not worth the risk to apply as soon as we can (whenever the embassy is processing tourist visas again) in case we ruin some future chance to go? Or do they not count denied applications against you?

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