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Inviting Family & Friends

Family and friends may visit you in the United States provided they have permission to enter the country.

Visitors for business or pleasure need a valid B-1/B-2 visa or must be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. Travelers should contact their local US consulate or embassy with any questions about required documents. Upon arrival to the United States, most visitors are granted permission to stay for 3–6 months at a time.

Applying for a Visa

When applying for the visa or entering the country, visitors should be prepared to show that they can afford to support themselves during the trip and have plans to return home again.

A short letter inviting your family member or friend can be helpful in demonstrating the reason for their visit. This letter should come from you and be addressed to the individual, so they can use it during the visa interview at the US Port of Entry or elsewhere as needed. 

Download this Word document invitation template. Edit and update this sample letter to reflect your personal details and other information. Each visitor should receive a separate letter. Note: This letter is only a sample and does not include language that guarantees visa approval at the US consulate.

Special Note About Spouses/Children

Since your spouse and/or children would normally be eligible for a dependent category based on your current status, they may have difficulty getting a B-1/B-2 visa. 

Consider having them apply for a dependent visa category instead. Contact ISO to speak with an advisor about the process and considerations for adding dependents.