Many a time, embassies all over the world repeatedly request documents from applicants that appear unclear, more particularly to travelers that apply for visas for the first time.
However, with a little bit of research and digging, the applicant can get a lot of information about each document – how to obtain it, how to process it, and even know why it is needed.
In this write-up, we will be discussing one of such documents – a letter of invitation – to help you know why it is important and why you need one.
Table of Contents
- What Is An Invitation Letter?
- Samples of Invitation Letters for US Visitor Visa
- Why Do I Have To Provide An Invitation Letter for US Visa?
- Are There Any Other Documents I Have To Include?
What Is An Invitation Letter?
A letter of invitation as it is normally called is an official or formal letter that a legal US resident or national writes to an overseas relative to invite them to their home in the US.
By writing this letter, the host shows that he/she is able to house the visitor into his/her home and pledges that the guest will return home as soon as his/her visa expires.
In addition, the host is required to substantiate the relationship between himself/herself and the visitor, and further show that he/she has adequate funds to cover the whole period of his/her stay in the US.
It is important to however to state that the letter of invitation does not by any means guarantee the issuance of a visa to the applicant.
It is a must for the applicant to satisfy all the other US visa requirements such as evidencing solid ties with their home country and go through the application process in order for him/her to be granted a visa.
Samples of Invitation Letters for US Visitor Visa
In this section, we will share with you samples of an invitation letter for a US visa. The sponsoring party is expected to write two different letters to the two parties involved.
First, he or she is expected to write a letter and address it to the consular officer and follow it up with another one to the US visa applicant.
He or she can write this letter to either invite friends, parents, relatives, or any other person he/she desires to invite.
1. Sample of Invitation Letter Addressed To The Consular Office
[Write Date Here]
United States Consulate General
[Put Address of The Consulate Here]
Dear Honorable Consul,
[Put Your Visitor’s Name Here] – [Put Your Visitor’s Passport Number Here] – [Put Your Visitor’s Date of Birth Here]
I am [Host’s Name], located at [Host’s Address]. I am a citizen of the United State, (or lawful permanent foreign resident) and do request that you issue a tourist (B-2) visa to my [Relationship With Visitor] [Name of Visitor] who resides at [Location and Address of Visitor].
This is to let [Name of Visitor] visit me in the United States. We have known each other and been [Relationship With Visitor] for a period of [Years You’ve Known Each Other] and will want [him/her] to visit me this coming month.
[Name of Visitor] will be visiting me exactly from [Date of Entry] to [Date of Return]. It has been a long while since we met. This will be a good time to meet and talk about things which are not of work.
We will both be off work at this particular time so that will help with his stay. During [his/her] time here, [he/she] will lodge with me in my residence at the address stated above till the time [he/she] returns back home.
I will provide shelter and accommodation for [him/her] while [he/she] is here, and ensure [he/she] has a wonderful time here. When [his/her] stay here is up, [he/she] will return to [Visitor’s Place of Residence].
[Name of Visitor] will be presenting this formal letter to you, in addition with other evidence to establish [his/her] close ties with [Visitor’s Home Country], and to pledge to you that [he/she] will depart to [Visitor’s Home Country] prior to the expiration of [his/her] stay in the United State.
Your thoughtful consideration of this request will deeply be cherished.
[Name of Host]
[Address of Host]
[Phone Number of Host]
[Signature of Host]
2. Sample of Invitation Letter Addressed To The Guest
[Write Date Here]
[Name of Host]
[Full Address of Host]
United State of America
[Work]: [(XXX) XXX-XXXX]
[Home]: [(XXX) XXX-XXXX]
[Email]: [Host Email Address]
[Name of Visitor]
[Address of Visitor]
Dear [Name of Visitor]
I write this letter to invite you to visit us and spend your vacation with us in the USA. During your visit, we will visit famous tourist places like [name and location of tourist places you will visit]. Also, it will be an opportunity for you to experience and witness the true culture and lifestyle of America.
Don’t worry about expenses, I will cater for all of that during your time here, including the round trip airfare food, medical insurance, housing and all your personal expenses.
Together with this, I am sending to you all the necessary documents in receipt of the necessary tourist visa from the US Consulate, [Name of guest’s capital]
[Name of Host]
[Signature of Host]
3. Sample of Invitation Letter Addressed To Parents
Invitation To Visit Me In The US
April 14, 2021
3997 Walnut Drive
Fargo, ND 58104
Email: [email protected]
Frank Essien and Ruth Essien
Shop No.11, Hill Top City, Adenta Municipality, Oyibi, Accra, Ghana.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I write this letter to invite you to the USA to spend your vacation this coming summer with me. We will have enough time together.
I have planned to visit certain well-known tourist places like the Empire State Building, the Grand Canyon, and the beaches of Miami with you both. It will be a time for you both to see and experience the true American culture and lifestyle.
Don’t worry about the expenses, I will be taking care of everything, including housing, the round trip airfare food, medical insurance and all other personal expenses
Together with this, I am sending to you all the necessary documents in receipt of the necessary tourist visa from the US Consulate, in Accra.
[Signature of host]
Why Do I Have To Provide An Invitation Letter for US Visa?
Generally, it is expected of the visa applicant to submit a letter of invitation for a B2 visa application which is a United State Tourist Visa. It is important to however state that this is not a must, but highly recommended and necessary. The host has to fulfill these requirements before the letter of invitation can be deemed valid:
- The host has to have enough room for the applicant
- The applicant has to be your friend, relative, boyfriend/girlfriend
- The host has to have a registered place of residence (home, flat, etc.)
- The applicant has to be a US citizen (national) or lawful permanent resident
How Do I Write A Letter of Invitation for a US Visa?
Sometimes, it can really be challenging for a host or guest to write an invitation letter for US Visa. They ask; how should I start? What are the requirements? And the list of questions continues from one set to another.
But then, the process is very simple, simple when you know what you are doing. When writing the letter, it is expedient to either direct the letter to the consular officer or to the person visiting you.
The visitor must be very careful to add to the letter all the necessary documents or information to substantiate the application. The list of documents include;
- Signature of host
- Full name of the host
- Full name of the guest
- Occupation of the host
- Date of birth of the host
- Date of birth of the guest
- The purpose of the visit
- Status of the host in the United States
- Telephone number and address of the guest
- Proof of relationship of the visitor with a host
- Address and Telephone number of the host in the United States
- Details on accommodation and living expenses and who is to bear all expenses
- A photocopy of necessary document substantiating the host’s status in the United States
- Information on how long the guest will be staying in the United States (be specific with dates)
Note: The letter which will be addressed to the visitor needs not sound too official. It should be more personal, so you demonstrate how close the guest is to you. When your letter contains the listed details, you are good to go.
Are There Any Other Documents I Have To Include?
As we shared with you earlier, the letter of invitation is not a requirement, due to this, the host is not mandated to send any other documents together with it.
However, it is always great to include any of the listed documents in your application before submitting it. The documents include:
- A scanned copy of the ID or passport of the host
- Proof of means of sustenance (if the host has it in mind to financially support the guest)
- Evidence to prove a place of residence (home or flat ownership) or rental apartments
- Flight schedule for US visa application – You can submit a dummy ticket as proof of flight itinerary.
- Affidavit to support application (which is a USCIS Form 1-134, can be seen on the USCIS website. This should be submitted if and only if the host has it in mind to financially support the visitor)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
#Does Having An Invitation Letter Guarantee Visa Issuance?
The answer is a big No. Having an invitation letter does not guarantee the issuance of a visa. To be fair, there are no required documents for tourist or business visa applicants.
All visa applicants are expected to qualify for the visa in accordance with their own conditions, and not on the basis of the sponsor’s promises.
Based on the information you provide within your application and the outcome of your interview, a consular officer may determine whether to issue a visa to you or not
#What Should I Do To Qualify For A Visa For Business or Pleasure?
To qualify for a visa for business or pleasure in the United States, the applicant must be ready to demonstrate that they qualify for a visa based on the US immigration law and the following;
1) They have a residence in a foreign nation to which they plan to return to after their temporal stay or visit to the United States;
2) They intend to visit the United States for a specific (limited) time duration; and finally, 3) They have to prove that they’re going to the United States to engage in legitimate activities that link to business and pleasure
#How Are The Requirements Processed?
The first requirement, that is, proof of residence, is usually determined by assessing an applicant’s relationship with their country of residence.
Examples of such relationships could be; property ownership, employment, family and/or university studies. A consular assesses and considers each applicant’s relationship with residence uniquely and exclusively.
In the case of tourist or business visas, an applicant must be able to prove to the satisfaction of the consular that their travel plans fall within the limits of the demanded visa class (limited travel for pleasure or business of short durations but not in the case of employment).
Also, applicants must be able to show that they will leave the United States immediately after the purpose of their travel is done.
In addition to proving a strong relationship with residence, an applicant must show that he or she will use the approved visa appropriately.
Therefore, he or she has to be able to persuade the consular officer that all activities in which they expect to participate in while in the US are legal and consistent with the demanded visa class. This is so regardless of the applicant’s relationship abroad or financial situation
#Where Can I Submit The Letter of Invitation?
The Letter of invitation is normally submitted by the visitor at the embassy or a consular alongside the visa document file.
The host has to first scan it and send it to the visitor for the visitor to later submit it with any other supporting documents on the day of their appointment at the embassy or consulate.
#Are All Invitation Letters The Same?
The answer is a big No. They are all not the same. The type of invitation letter you will need will depend on the purpose of your travel.
Each invitation letter is written exclusively, and it does explain what you expect to accomplish when you visit your invitee or relative.
The letter will carefully be assessed and looked into by the consular, and if there are any confusions, your visa will outrightly be rejected. It is therefore expedient to know the requirements and processes before you start writing any.