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Invitation Letters for International Visitors

Effective July 1, 2023, Visa and Immigration Services will no longer issue invitation letters for international visitors to visit the United States, including in order to attend the Commencement ceremony.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s Visitor Visa, “Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant's residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support (I-134) to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant tourist visa.”

This page will guide you in writing an invitation letter if you choose to write one yourself.

Your Letter Should Include

  • Your full name and immigration status at SBU (ie F-1, J-1, H-1B, etc)
  • Visitor’s full name, date of birth, and relationship to you
  • Purpose of the visit 
  • Where visitors will be staying during their visit
  • Itinerary details and the length of time they will be visiting if known

Sample Invitation Letter 

Other Tips

  • In the letter, you may want to include a copy of your most recent I-20, passport ID page, F-1 student visa or EAD card (if available).  
  • If there are multiple visitors, you can write a separate letter for each visitor or include multiple visitors in one letter.
  • Letters do not need to be original. You can scan & email it or fax it to your family.
  • You may consider including your Enrollment Verification.
  • For additional information about U.S. consulate/embassy locations and application procedures, review the U.S. Department of State Visa information.

Additional Documentation

Evidencing the purpose of the trip
Evidencing intent to depart the United States after the trip
Evidencing ability to pay all costs of the trip