If you are planning on travelling to the USA for business or leisure, you will want to make obtaining your visa as simple as possible.
Depending on your nationality, you may be eligible for a US ESTA visa waiver. Otherwise, however, you may need a B1/B2 visitor visa, in which case a sponsor invitation document could form a useful part of your application.
Fortunately, writing a sponsorship invitation letter for a US visa is a simple process and in fact, it’s not strictly necessary to visit the US for business or leisure. You could almost say that it’s an extra, contributory piece of documentation.
For the short time that it takes to write a sponsor invitation document, it can be worthwhile as part of your application. Here we tell you how, and other related, useful information!
How to Write the Sponsor Letter for a US Visa
A letter of support for a US visa is helpful to make your application as long as you write all the facts accurately and in English.
If your sponsor invitation document has incorrect information, this can delay your application as opposed to speeding it up. If for any reason you cannot provide accurate facts, then you are better to leave them out entirely.
If you are travelling to the US on a visitor visa and wish to include a sponsor invitation letter, the writer need not be a relative, but must know you in some way. Friends are acceptable as visa sponsors just as relatives are. The same goes for work or school colleagues, or even members of your church.
The sponsor must be present in the US legally, either as a citizen, a permanent resident or have a valid US visa:
- Citizen sponsors must prove their status with either a birth certificate or a passport.
- Permanent residents must prove their status with a copy of their green card.
- Visa holders writing to sponsor visitors to the US should provide a copy of their valid visa.
Format if You’re Visiting Family
If you are visiting family, the letter should come from them, stating their willingness for you to visit and that they will be accommodating you. Any of your relatives can write this document to strengthen your application.
It must be in one-colour ink, preferably typed. Handwriting is acceptable as long as there are no errors and the writing is clearly legible. The sponsor can be a US citizen, be in possession of a green card, or a valid visa.
Format If You’re Visiting a Business
For a business invitation letter to the US, the invitation must come from the company you intend to visit and state their business relationship with you, e.g. supplier, distributor, event holder etc.
It is advisable that this document be typed and completely accurate. Provide any relevant documentation as back-up to prove your connection – it all helps, whether that’s emails or paperwork such as invoices and receipts.
Be aware that the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) is quite stringent in their checks so, once again, accuracy is paramount. Get this right and it should be a breeze!
What Should the Sponsor Letter for a US Visa Look Like?
If you’re visiting family, the sponsor document should be personal and come from the heart, as a warm and welcoming tone will help demonstrate your relationship.
You can still obtain a sponsor letter for a USA visa from a close friend that you are not related to, but you must provide proof of your relationship to show a bona fide connection.
The USCIS must be assured that the visitor will not overstay their visit and has no intention of disappearing to work somewhere in the US. That said, you do not need to supply a ‘love letter’, just a sponsor document that proves your relationship!
Here are some guidelines as to what to include in the best invitation sponsor letter for a US visa:
- Make sure the letter is personal, and not written in ‘legalese’.
- Include both the relative’s or friend’s address (full details including their telephone number and email, if applicable) and your details as well.
- State the purpose of your visit, and where you may go to see attractions or tourist sites.
- State the length of your visit, plus how long you will be staying with your sponsor or if they have made alternative arrangements for your stay, e.g. hotel, apartment etc.
- Include any costs that the relative or friend is paying, including transportation to and from the US, and any other expenses that they will cover.
- Details are important, so include as much as you can that is relevant. The more facts about your whereabouts and intentions during your stay, the better!
Sample Invitation Letter for a US Visa
An invitation letter for a US visa sample would be something like this:
TO: Mr and Mrs Aamir and Kavya Patel
8 Prithvi Sadan, BP Rd, Bhayander
Dear Uncle and Auntie,
Subject: Invitation to Visit Us in the United States
I cannot believe it’s almost 2 years since we saw you last, when you welcomed us and our little ones for a wonderful holiday. Time really does fly, but thankfully we can speak quite often.
I would like to extend this invitation for you both to come and visit us in the United States for 6 weeks and we can catch up on life in general. It would be wonderful to see you both.
I was thinking Christmas and New Year, say from 16th December until the 30th January? Now the kids are much bigger, we could sing along and have hot dogs in Time Square on New Year’s Eve.
If you come a couple of weeks before, you will love the shops and decorations. We could possibly take a trip to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard for a few days, but it might be a bit chilly!
You paid for everything when we were with you, so we insist on doing the same for you now Uncle Aamir has retired. Let me know if the dates are suitable, and I will book and pay for the airline tickets in advance and pick up all the other expenses such as any hotels we stay in, meals, drinks and any attractions.
You know we have plenty of space here, so we will stay at home for the New York part of your holiday at the address below. I will let you know any other places we stay so that Auntie can look them up – she loves doing that!
We cannot wait to see you and we will have a great celebration!
Aditya and Saanvi Khatri,
100 Bleecker St,
We’ve now given you a complete overview of how to write your sponsor invitation for a US visa! In addition, find below the answers to some frequently asked questions.
What USA Visitor Visa Sponsor Documents Are Required?
You’ll require the following US visitor visa sponsor documents for your application:
- A filled-in affidavit of support form (form I-134).
- A letter of invitation addressed to the applicants (see our example above!)
- A letter to the US Consulate requesting that a US travel permit be granted to the person/s you are sponsoring.
- Financial documents to demonstrate your financial ability as a sponsor, such as:
- Your 2 latest bank statements.
- A verification letter to prove your bank account and bank balance.
- 1 or 2 recent official payslips from your employer.
- A copy of a few recent income tax returns or the last few W2 forms (if applicable).
- A copy of your personal tax return, if you are self-employed or a business owner.
- For parents visiting their children in the USA, the sponsoring child must also provide the following documents:
- The birth certificate of the sponsoring child. If the birth certificate is not readily available, an affidavit will be helpful.
- A copy of the sponsoring child’s passport.
- If you are sponsoring your in-laws, copies of your spouse’s birth certificate and passport (all pages) are required.
Do I Need to Fill In the I-134 US Visitor Visa Sponsorship Form?
The I-134 form is not 100% mandatory, but it can help contribute to a speedy approval of your US visitor permit. Whilst it asks for a lot of information, it’s not difficult to fill in as the information mainly relates to personal details.
How to Send an Invitation Letter for a USA Visa?
The letter should be sent, not just to the person/persons you are inviting, but also to the Consular Officer at the applicable address in their country. You should include full details about yourself and who you are inviting, including your relationship.
The letter should also include all relevant information in terms of accommodation, expenses, trips, etc. Make sure that the information you include is the same as your sponsorship letter to your guests.
We hope you have a wonderful time together in the USA!