Inviting Family Members to the U.S.

Family members (other than your spouse or children) wishing to visit the U.S. must enter either on WB/WT status under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) or with a visitor visa (B-1/B-2). Spouses and children can enter the U.S. as visitors for a short stay. However, for a longer stay, they should enter on dependent visas.

Citizens of certain countries are eligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. If your family members are eligible to enter under the program, they do not need to apply for a visitor visa (B-1/B-2) at a U.S. embassy.

If your family members are not eligible to enter under the Visa Waiver Program, then they must apply for a visitor (B-1/B-2) visa at the U.S. embassy in their home countries.

The U.S. State Department/Bureau of Consular Affairs has additional information about applying for a visitor visa. In addition, many individual consulates will have more specific information on their websites about inviting family members to the U.S. Visit the U.S. Department of State for links to U.S. consulates around the world.

There is no documentation available from ISSS for visitor visa (B-1/B-2) applications.

Ensure that your family members have the following evidence, which will be helpful during the visa application process for B-1/B-2 visas:

  • Invitation letter from you: Write a letter of invitation that includes your name and your reason for living in the U.S., the names of your family members who wish to visit, the purpose and approximate length of the visit, and whether you will provide room and board or any other financial assistance for the visit. ISSS does not have a sample letter and will not write a letter for you.
  • Evidence of funding: If you will provide room and board or any other specific expenses for their trip (such as airfare), you should supply evidence of your funding such as a bank statement or employment letter. There is no minimum dollar amount that you must reflect, but you should indicate an amount that is reasonable for the level of support you are providing.
  • Evidence of funding: If your family members intend to cover their own expenses, they should provide a bank statement, employment verification, or other evidence of their own funding.
  • Evidence of your visa status in the U.S.: Provide your family members with a copy of your visa status documents (do NOT send the originals) and other documents verifying your status in the U.S. It is not necessary for you to get new visa documents when inviting family members as visitors.
  • Evidence of intent to return home: Your family members must prove that they will return home after visiting the U.S. Documents showing employment, property ownership, or enrollment in school (in the home country) are considered good evidence of intent to return home.
Last updated: June 23, 2021