There are several nations whose citizens might enter the United States with only a valid passport; all others must obtain a tourist visa prior to arrival in the U.S. (Reference 7). A tourist visa is an official document which grants the bearer permission to enter and stay in the issuing country for a given period of time for the purposes of tourism and business. In order to obtain a U.S. tourist visa, applicants are required to submit an invitation letter written by their host family stating the details of the visit and claiming responsibility for the visiting party while they are in the country (Reference 2).
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Letter paper
- Internet access
Visit an online visa assistance site and review the recommended format for visa invitation letters (Resource 1). Include in the framework of the letter: your full name, date of birth, address and phone numbers, your relationship to the visiting party, your occupation and your status as a U.S. residence or citizen. You must also attach proof of your status to the letter upon submission (Reference 3). Proof of your status can be a copy of your passport, birth certificate or green card.
Write the body of the letter to include a statement of invitation to the visiting party, the purpose of the visit, a description of what activities you intend to undertake with the visiting party while they are in the country and what benefits the visit will provide for both parties. The most important part of the letter is a declaration of stated responsibilities, which you intend to take on in support of the visiting party. This list should be itemised and might include living expenses, return tickets, health care while in the country, the dates of the visit and the address where you intend to house your visitors (Reference 3, 6). The letter should be written to the visiting party and not to the authorities.
Translate your letter into the native language of the visiting party and send it along with the English version. Your visitors might be asked questions about the visit, and they should be able to read what you have written on their behalf so that all parties are on the same page (Reference 2). The translated letter should not be included with the visa application.
Notarise your visa invitation letter at a local bank or legal office. Notarising the document serves as legal proof that you are the author and legally binds you to the statements within.
The steps to obtain a tourist visa
Tips and warnings
- Keep your invitation letter simple and to the point. Cover only the significant details in a polite and forthright manner for the best results (Reference 3).
- While an invitation letter might help your cause, visas are not guaranteed. Should you successfully obtain a visa, remember that your visa can be revoked at any time without notice (Reference 5).
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