A letter of invitation is a letter written by a United States citizen or legal resident, confirming that they are willing to admit into their house an international with whom they have family ties or friendship, and also that they have enough room for the visitor for the entire period of their stay in the US.
The letter of invitation, by no means, guarantees the issuance of a visa to the applicant. The applicant has to fulfill the other US visa requirements such as means of subsistence, proving strong ties to their home country, etc. and go through the application process for a US visa in order to be granted a visa. In addition, the applicant must show that they will use the visa appropriately.
Usually, the visa applicant will have to submit a letter of invitation for a B2 visa application which is a US Tourist Visa. Keep in mind that it is not a must, but it is highly recommended. The host must fulfill the following requirements in order for the letter of invitation to be valid:
- must be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident
- must be your friend, boyfriend/girlfriend or relative
- must have a registered place (home, flat)
- must have enough room for the applicant
How to Write a Letter of Invitation for U.S Visa Application?
Writing a letter of invitation might seem challenging for both, the host and the guest. However, the process of writing is very simple. The letter should be addressed either to the consular officer or to the guest. When writing it, the guest must be very careful to include in the letter all of the required information which is:
- Host’s full name
- Host’s date of birth
- Host’s address and telephone number in the United States
- Host’s occupation
- Host’s status in the United States
- A photocopy of a document proving the host’s status in the United States
- Guest’s full name
- Guest’s date of birth
- Guest’s address and telephone number
- Guest’s relationship to the host
- The purpose of the trip
- Information on how long the guest intends to stay in the United States of America (specific dates)
- Details on accommodation and living expenses
- Signature of the host
The letter, when addressed to the guest, does not have to sound official. It should be more personal so that you show you have close relations with the guest.
Samples of Letters of Invitation for U.S Visa Application
There is no specific method or style of writing an invitation letter. If the letter contains the above-listed details, then the letter is okay. However, if you still have no clue where to start, or feel unsure about the letter you have just written, you can find two samples of letter of the invitation below.
Sample of Letter of Invitation Addressed to the Consular Officer
United States Consulate General
[Address of the Consulate]
Dear Honorable Consul,
[Visitor’s Name] – PASSPORT NO XXXXXXXX – Born on [Visitor’s Date of Birth]
My name is [Host’s Name], residing at [Host’s Address] and I am a United States citizen (or lawful permanent resident alien).
I am requesting that you issue a tourist (B-2) visa to [Visitor’s Name] who resides at [Visitor’s Address]. This is to allow him to visit me in the United States. We have known and been friends for the past 3 years and I would like him to visit me this summer.
[Visitor’s Name] will be visiting me from [Date of Entry] to [Date of Exit]. This will be a great time because we will both be off work at this time. During his/her stay in the United States, he/she will stay with me at my home at the address stated above.
I will be responsible for his/her accommodation expenses while he/she is in the United States. Upon the termination of his/her visit, he/she will return to [Visitor’s Hometown].
[Visitor’s Name] will be presenting this letter to you, together with other evidence to establish his close ties with [Visitor’s Home Country], and to assure you that he/she will return prior to the expiration of his/her stay in the United States.
Your kind consideration of this request will be highly appreciated.
[Host’ Phone Number]
Sample of Letter of Invitation Addressed to the Guest
(Work): [(xxx) xxx-xxxx]
(Home): [(xxx) xxx-xxxx]
Email: [email address]
I invite you to visit us and spend your vacation in the USA with us. We have planned to visit famous tourist places like [name of tourist places to visit]. It will also be an opportunity for you to see and experience the American culture and lifestyle.
I will be taking care of your entire USA tour expenses, including the round trip airfare food, housing, medical insurance, and all your other personal expenses.
Herewith I am sending all the required documents for getting the necessary tourist visa from the US Consulate, [Name of US Consulate, e.g. Mumbai Consulate]
[Host ‘s name]
Since the Letter of Invitation is not a requirement, the host is not obliged to send other documents alongside with it. Still, it would be very thoughtful if the applicant submitted any of the following documents alongside the Letter of Invitation:
- A scanned copy of the host’s ID/passport
- Evidence of means of subsistence (if the host will financially support the guest)
- Proof of home/flat ownership or rental contract
- Flight itinerary for US visa application
- Affidavit of Support – which is a USCIS Form I-134, available on the USCIS website. This should be submitted only in case the host plans to financially support the guest.