Family Visitors to the United States
Family members who are not the children or spouse of the F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor must apply for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa to gain entry into the U.S. Family members from certain countries may be eligible to travel to the U.S. to visit for stays of up to 90 days without obtaining a B-1/B-2 visa through the U.S. Department of State Visa Waiver Program.
Documents needed to apply for B-1/B-2 Visa
The following documents are required to apply for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa:
- Valid passport
- Visa application fee
- Visa application forms
Additional Recommended Documents
B-1/B-2 visa applications are sometimes denied. To help strengthen your B-1/B-2 visa application, we recommend that you provide additional documents to clarify that the visit is temporary and/or is for a specific occasion (e.g., graduation ceremony), and that the visitor will be supported financially while visiting the U.S. Most importantly, the additional documents should show proof of ties to the home country to prove that the visitor does not intend to immigrate to the U.S. Proof of ties to the home country may include proof of economic, social, family, or other commitments that will help demonstrate that the family visitor intends to return home after a temporary stay in the U.S. Examples include:
- Proof of employment – The best document would be a letter from the employer indicating that this individual is currently employed and is taking time off, but is due back at his or her job on a specific date.
- Proof of property ownership, such as a house, an apartment, or a business, if such a document exists.
- Proof of contact with other family members in the home country.
- Proof of finances – Proof that your family member can support himself/herself during his/her entire stay in the U.S. without working. Examples include:
- A bank statement
- Proof of assets such as stocks or property
- Proof of a scholarship or fellowship
- If you are an employee at the University, a document which shows your position and salary
- Proof of your family member's salary, employment, and/or income
- A formal letter of invitation [PDF] (written by you as the F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor) indicating the specific reason for the visit (e.g., graduation, wedding, illness, birth of a child). The letter should include information about the purpose of travel and planned itinerary or schedule. It may also include information about your U.S. immigration status as an F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor.