Graduate Studies

Invitation Letter

The following information can be found on the State Department's website:

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 is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.


Sample Invitation Letter

The following suggestions are meant as ADVICE only. We cannot guarantee how U.S. consulates will approach each individual situation. Please contact the US consulate in the country in which the person plans to apply for more information.

Note: This letter should be sent to the person who will be applying for the visa, and that person should present it to the U.S. consulate along with the application for the tourist (B-2) visa. The applicant should also present as much documentation as possible to establish that they will depart the U.S. prior to the expiration of their authorized stay in the United States.

To support the application for a B-2 visa, you can send the following:

  1. A letter from you to your invitee, in English, inviting the person for a visit.
  2. Evidence of your valid student status
  3. Copies of your transcript and/or current enrollment
  4. A photocopy of your I-20 or DS-2019, passport, visa and I-94 (DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS)
  5. Evidence of your ability to financially support your visitor during their stay (for example, your assistantship contract or a bank statement). This evidence is needed only if your visitor does not have the funds to support themself during the visit to the U.S.

Suggested Invitation Letter Format


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 Western Illinois University majoring in (Major). I am requesting that a tourist (B-2) visa be issued to (Person you want to invite), in order to allow them to visit me in the United States.  (The person's name) is my (Explain your relationship to the person) and will be visiting me from (arrival date) to (departure date). (Explain why you want the person to visit).

During their stay in the United States, (the person's name) will stay with me at my residence at the address stated above. I will be responsible for all of  the room and board expenses while (the person's name) is in the United States. Upon the termination of their visit, (the person's name) will return to (country).

Your kind consideration of this request will be greatly appreciated.

Very truly yours,