Inviting Family, Friends to Visit U. S.

Many students wish to invite family or friends for a short visit to the U.S. The B-2 visitor visa is a good choice for visits of 6 months or fewer in duration. The most important aspects of the B-2 visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad are:

  • Applicant's demonstration of ties to the home country
  • Demonstration of the short duration of the trip
  • Dates of departure from and arrival to the home country
  • Ability to pay travel

As a student, you can assist your family member or friend by providing them with some of these documents. Others will be up to the visitor to prove or obtain.

Documentation Needed

UNK STUDENTS PROVIDE:
  1. A letter of invitation written by YOU in English stating that you would like to invite the person for a visit. The letter should include:
    1. Full name of the visitor and their relationship to you
    2. The length of the visit
    3. Who will provide financial support for the visit (if it is you, provide evidence of support—see #4 below)
    4. The purpose of the visit, such as to attend graduation. See page 2 for an example letter.
  2. If the visit is to attend your graduation ceremony, you can obtain a letter from the Registrar’s office stating the date of your expected completion.
  3. Evidence of your student status such as a photocopy of your I-20/DS-2019 and a print out of your transcript, current enrollment from MyBLUE.
  4. If you will support the person’s visit financially, you should provide evidence of financial support (a bank statement, your employment letter, your sponsor’s letter, etc.)
    1. If you choose to send a bank statement, this document should show the history of the account so that it is made clear that the current balance is not the result of a recent, large deposit. Also include information about the date the account was opened and the average monthly balance.
    2. In lieu of a bank statement, you could submit Form I-134 Affidavit of Support. If your visitors will pay for their expenses themselves, you are not required to complete Form I-134.

FAMILY MEMBER/FRIENDS PROVIDE:
  1. Application for the tourist (B-2) visa.
  2. Documents that show intent to return to the home country prior to the expiration of his or her authorized stay in the U.S. Examples of this can be:
    1. Proof of employment
    2. Proof of property or business ownership
    3. Bank accounts
    4. Family ties to home country

Additional Information

Length of Stay:


The length of a visitor’s initial permission to stay in B-2 status is determined by the officer at the port of entry. The maximum initial period is six months. If your friends/family members want to stay longer, they must apply for an extension. There is no specified limit on the number of extensions allowed. Be aware that USCIS requests at least four months to process an application for extension in B-2 status. That does not mean your visitor needs to apply for an extension four months in advice. Their obligation is to make sure that USCIS receives the extension application before their current visa expires.

Visa Waiver Program:


The Visa Waiver program allows visitors from certain countries to visit the U.S. for pleasure or business up to 90 days without a visa. For a complete list of participating countries, please visit the Department of State website for a list of countries that participate in this program and the visitor requirements.

Health Insurance Reminder:


Be sure your visitors have health insurance that will cover them while in the United States.
Most guests will require “major medical coverage” which is health insurance that goes into effect if they are unexpectedly hospitalized as a result of an accident or an illness. Without coverage, your guest could experience extraordinarily large debt to a hospital should a medical emergency occur.

Implications of Staying in the U.S. Longer than the Period of the Visa:


It is important for you, and your visitors, to understand that precise entry and exit information is kept electronically on all U.S. visa holders. This means that anyone who “overstays” his or her visit to the U.S. will have that information immediately available to immigration officers. If you have visitors come in on B-1 or B-2 status, or who may come on the Visa Waiver program, remember that they are allowed to be in the U.S. only until a specific date which is stamped in the passport upon entering the U.S. If the B visitor does not leave the U.S. by that date, they will be considered to have “overstayed” the visit to the U.S. (unless they have filed for an extension). Consequences of overstaying a visit to the U.S. may vary from a review with immigration officials to removal from the U.S. or even a bar from future entry, depending on individual circumstances.

Sample Invitation Letter

Below is a sample invitation letter to assist you as you write your letter of invitation. It is very important that your invitation letter be typed in paragraph form in a Microsoft Word document and that all information below be included in the letter.



Date:

United States Consul General
(Address of Foreign Consulate Where Person Will Apply for the Visa – check online)

Dear Honorable Consul:

My name is (Last Name), (First Name) and I reside at (Your US Address). I am a student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney majoring in (Major). I am requesting that a tourist (B-2) visa be issued to (Person you want to invite), in order to allow (her/him) to visit with me in the United States. (She/He) is my (Explain your relationship to the person) and will be visiting with me from (arrival date) to (departure date). (Explain why you want the person to visit).

During (her/his) stay in the United States, (she/he) will stay with me at my residence at the address stated below. I will be responsible for all of (her/his) room and board expenses while (she/he) is in the United States. Upon the termination of (her/his) visit, (she/he) will return to (Country).

Your kind consideration of this request will be greatly appreciated.

Very truly yours,

(Signature)

Name
Address
Email