Visitor Visa for Family Guests

Many international students have family members who consider visiting the United States (for example, to attend your commencement) and, to do so, many will need to apply for visitor visas to enter the United States.

The U.S. Department of State’s visitor visa page can be a very helpful resource for family members planning to pursue a U.S. visa to visit you.

Visitor visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it may not be one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.

If your family member still wishes to carry a letter of invitation to their visa interview, you can compose the letter for them. It is recommended that you include: your name, school, relationship to the applicant, name of applicant, applicant’s country of citizenship/permanent residency, dates expected to visit the United States, duration of visit, preferred arrival date, and how the applicant will be financially supported during the visit. The letter should be addressed to the specific U.S. consulate or embassy where your family member will be applying for their visitor visa.

If you have questions or would like assistance with a letter of invitation, please feel free to contact Associate Dean for International Student Programs, James Reese.