Inviting Relatives to the United States

Non-immigrant students in the United States may invite close relatives (other than their spouse or children) to the US on a B-2 visitor's visa by doing the following:

Write your relative(s) a letter in your native language, and include a copy in English, stating the following:

  • The period of time for the visit (usually six months or less)
  • The housing arrangements made.
  • The reason for the visit and your willingness to host him/her/them during the visit.
  • Acknowledge the requirement for your relatives to return home at the end of the visit.

Attach the following supplemental documentation to your letter(s):

  • Graduate students must include a letter of good standing from their academic department, while Undergraduates will include an enrollment verification form provided by the registrar.
  • If employed, include official verification of employment from the Payroll section in the Human Resources office.
  • Photocopies of your SEVIS Form I-20 / DS-2019 containing at least one recent travel signature.
  • If you are currently an F-1 Student on Optional Practical Training (OPT), provide a photocopy of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

The Application Process:

    • Send your letter(s) of invitation and other documents to our relative(s).
    • Either call, email or send a separate letter explaining the following:
      • She/he/they must bring everything you have sent to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy to apply for the B-2 Visa.
      • If the consular officer questions financial ability or intent to return, he/she/they should be prepared to show further documentation providing his/her/their own financial status and ties to their home country.
      • If the visa is denied, he/she/they should ask politely to be given the reason for the denial in writing. A second application may be accepted by the consulate if new documentation is produced addressing the reason for the denial. The most common reason for the Visa denial is intent to immigrate (failure to return to your home country). It is very important for our relative(s) to be able to show documentary evidence of close ties to their home country.
      • If the consulate requires that the tourist application be accompanied by an Affidavit of Support, you may request a Form I-134 from our office or on the USCIS website.

Graduating Students:

Graduating students may request a Commencement Letter from Visa and Immigration Services inviting their relative(s) to the United States to attend the graduation ceremony. Once you have applied for graduation, fill out a Commencement Letter Request on accessVIS

PLEASE NOTE: The commencement letter is not required to request a B-2 visitor visa.  Students may submit requests for Spring/Summer Graduation beginning February 20th.  Requests for December/January Graduation should be submitted beginning October 1st.

Please allow ten business days for processing, once complete you will be notified by phone or email.  Requests for commencement letters should be made no more than 60 days prior to the graduation ceremony in which you will participate.


The information listed above information in only a general guide for Stony Brook University students. We strongly encourage you to refer to the Department of State's website for official information on obtaining a visitor's visa and other consular services.


Form I-134

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