To get a visa for the U.S., you need to follow specific rules. Having an invitation letter from your American host isn't one of them. Even though you don't need it, your host can still send you a letter. This letter won't guarantee a visa, but it might help in some cases.
Some people feel more at ease sending letters than sending emails. Keep reading to see an example letter for a visitor's visa.
Necessary Visa Requirements for Tourists
If you want to visit the United States on a B-2 visa, you must prove that you meet the requirements. Not because of a letter or promises from a sponsor. A visa officer decides if they qualify by looking at their application and via interview.
To get a B-2 visa to visit the United States, they need to meet these three rules:
- Have a home in a different country to return after their short stay.
They check where you live by looking at your connections to your country. This could be things like your job, owning property, university/school, or having family there. Each person's connections are looked at separately by the visa officer.
- Intend to visit the country temporarily.
People must prove they will leave the United States and return to their home country soon. One way to do this is by showing you have enough money to get home.
- Plan to do things in the United States that match your visa
To get your B-2 visa, you must show the visa officer that your plans match the visa's requirements. This could be for holidays, tourism, visiting family or friends, medical care, etc. The invitation letter proves your intentions.
Understanding the B-2 Visa Invitation Letter
A B-2 letter is a note from your American friend or family saying you can stay with them in the U.S. It's more convincing if they're U.S. citizens or residents. The letter should say they're ready to host you during your trip and can mention specific dates or a timeframe.
It's also good to mention if you're family or friends. You don't really need this letter, but if you want one, it should include:
- Host's complete name and their contact details
- Guest's full name and their contact details
- How you're related
- Why they're coming and where they'll go
- How long they'll stay
- If the host will cover the guest's costs (if needed)
- Host's signature
Write in your own way, but give as specific details as possible. We've added sample letters for visitor visas as an example.
Sample Letter: Inviting a Friend for a Visit
Sofia and Mateo Perez
9876 Magnolia Lane
Greetings, Sofia and Mateo Perez,
I hope you both are doing well. I'm excited to invite you to the United States this summer. You can stay with me for your visit, and if you want to stay longer than four weeks, that's absolutely fine.
While you're here, we'll have some fun! We'll visit Universal Orlando and Disneyworld and explore museums. I know your son loves space, so I'm also working on a trip to NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
I know you'll handle your travel expenses, but I'll send Form I-134, a promise of financial help. I am excited to see you and your family!
0000 Oakwood Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Sample Letter: Inviting a Family for a Visit
David and Emily Johnson
456 Maple Avenue, San Bruno
October 1, 2023
Dear Dad and Mom,
I have great news! I'm inviting you to my wedding in the U.S. on October 16, 2023. Besides the big day, I'm thrilled to have you meet Macy and explore our city.
Don't worry about expenses. I'll take care of everything, from your travel to staying at my place for two weeks. Meals are on me, too. Plus, I'll get you visitor's insurance and cover any unexpected costs.
Macy and I can't wait to have you with us on this happy day! Your presence would mean the world to us, and we can't wait to share this particular moment in our lives with you.
With all our love,
123 Oak Street
Los Angeles, CA 90001
Stronger Supporting Proof/Evidence for B-2 Visa Request
It may be more challenging for travelers to show significant links to their homeland if they are:
- do not own property,
- or have little financial assets.
These instances worry immigration authorities that they will remain in the US. A Financial Support Declaration may dispel this concern.
Form I-134, also called the Financial Support Pledge/Declaration, works as a reassurance document. It states that someone in the U.S. will help with your financial needs while you're visiting. You usually don't need it if you can show you have your own money or a job back home.