Inviting Family & Friends to Visit

At some point, you may want to invite your parents, other family members, or friends to visit you – either to celebrate commencement with you or to see the U.S.

The following suggestions are meant as advice only and is meant to help your friends or family apply for a visitor’s visa (B-2) at a US consulate or embassy in their home country. We cannot advise how U.S. Consular Officials abroad will approach each individual situation; thus, we cannot guarantee that a letter of invitation from you will allow your friend or family member to obtain a visa to visit you in the U.S.

NOTE: : International Student and Scholar Services no longer provides any invitation letters for family members or friends.  This page provides information about how you can prepare your own invitation letter.

BRINGING A SPOUSE OR CHILD: If you are an F-1 or J-1 Student and you want to invite your spouse or child(ren) to join you in the U.S. as an F-2/J-2 dependent, please see our page on processing F-2/J-2 Visa Requests.

To facilitate their visa interview process you should do the following:

Write a letter of invitation.  A sample of the letter can be found in this Invitation Template (also available as a word document). Include the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the individuals, a statement of your status here, itinerary details and the length of time they will be visiting (usually less than three months). It is best to emphasize the temporary nature of the invitation and to demonstrate their intention to return to their home country following the visit. If you will provide their financial support while they are here, include that information as well.
Include with your invitation letter an Enrollment Verification Letter from the Office of the Registrar to confirm your student status – https://registrar.ua.edu/student-services/verifications/. Graduate students who hold an RA/TA appointment may want to also attach a departmental funding letter.
Provide details of the visit – e.g. information about Commencement Ceremony if you are inviting family for graduation.

For additional information about U.S. consulate/embassy locations and application procedures, review the U.S. Department of State visa information.

Providing your family members with your invitation letter and supporting documentation may improve their chances of obtaining a visa; however, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of their request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S.