Inviting Family Members to the U.S.
According to the U.S. Department of State’s Visitor Visa Web page, “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 nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant tourist visa.”
ISS staff is unable to write letters of invitation for your family members. However, if your family have a limited English ability, such letter may help at the time of visitor visa interview OR when seeking admission to U.S. to explain the purpose of their visit. This page will guide you in writing an invitation letter if you choose to write one yourself.
What we recommend to include in the letter:
- Your full name and your International Student (F-1/J-1) status at UW Tacoma;
- Visitor’s full name, date of birth and relationship to you;
- Purpose of the visit (To sightsee and/or to attend your commencement. For commencement, make sure to include the commencement date);
- Where visitors will be staying during their visit; and
- Itinerary details and the length of time they will be visiting if known.
Example Letter templates
- In the letter, you may want to include a copy of your most recent I-20, passport ID page, F-1 student visa or EAD card (if available).
- If there are multiple visitors, you can write a separate letter for each visitor or include multiple visitors in one letter.
- Letters do not need to be original. You can scan & email it or fax it to your family.
- You may consider including Enrollment Certificate (in MyUW) or Verification of Enrollment Status or Degree (PDF).
- For additional information about U.S. consulate/embassy locations and application procedures, review the U.S. Department of State Visa information.