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Process and Documents needed for Parents Visa to visit USA? B2 Visa/ Tourist visa Sample Documents

In Immigration| Visas by Kumar826 Comments

One of the most frequently asked questions among friends after they start working in US and typically whenever they are expecting a baby is “What is the process for applying visa to parents to come to USA ? What documents do I need ? How do I start ?” . I was in the same boat and found information I needed from friends and other sources. This article will focus on the whole process with documents needed and what to do step by step.

Getting Started  with B2 Visitor Visa for Parents to Travel to US:
When you have an idea that you plan to get parents to US, couple of things you have to plan are

  • Parents Passports: Apply for Passport to your parents if you have not done so.  Depending on the country plan for the passport based on how much time it takes. If you are from India, in the past it used to take 3 to 6 months, now with outsourcing to TCS, you can get passport in little under 30 days.  Also, there are new schemes of Tatkaal, if it is emergency and you can get you passport as soon as 7 days, but you have to pay extra fee. Check out the passport application website for details. We have an article on applying for Passport Renewal in India, it should give some idea.
  • Bank Savings for Sponsorship: Make sure you save some good amount totaling up to $10,000 dollars or more to cover their expenses. It is advised to start saving 3 months before and accumulate steadily rather than just borrowing money and putting in bank. There is no hard fast rule. Just an advice.

Step by Step process for Applying for B2 Visitor Visa for Parents or Anyone :

1. Employment letter from your H1B sponsor/ Current employer :  You need to get an employment letter verifying your current H1B visa employment, indicating your salary and other stuff. Typically employer knows this stuff and they will give you the letter. They may ask for your parents passports and sometimes the appointment letter of interview. Depending upon the employer rules and regulations. Some employers are quick and some are slow in doing this. Plan well and make sure you have it with you.
2. Get Scan copy of Parents passports:  You will need copy of your parents’ passports with all the information that is on the passport when you book the appointment online. You may ask them and get it item by item, but you may end up with mistakes. Best way to it is ask for scan copy for Parents passports. Ask your parents or anyone to send this to you. Your employer may ask for copy of Passports for giving the employment verification letter. So, it is easy if you get scan copies of parents’ passports.

3. Booking Visa stamping appointment for your parents: You need to book visa appointment at US embassy/ consulate for getting B2 Visa stamping to travel to US. In India, depending on the state you belong to, you will have to choose the consular office. Unless, your parents are well educated, you might want to book the appointment and fill up the application and other forms, etc.  If you are booking, make sure you have 15 days before from the day you are booking appointment. Because, you will need to get your documents straightened and send them on time.   To book visa appointment, the first step is to fill out DS-160 form.

  •  Fill out DS-160 Form:   You need to fill out the DS-160 form carefully. Check out the article on How to fill out DS-160 form  to get some idea.  Below are the links for relevant links for DS-160 form. 
  • Parents Visa booking Native Language vs English: If your parents are not comfortable with English, I suggest you choose preferred local language that your parents are familiar with.  Most US embassies give you that option to choose the local language. For instance, in India, you can choose interview language  such as your mother tongue like  Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, etc. It is better if you choose native language rather than English because, parents if they are not well educated, they can answer questions well with correct Tone of voice.
  • Filling up the forms and What you should fill : Unless your parents are well educated, you may want to fill up all the forms. It is good if we do it because, we know what we are doing and we are sponsoring them.  When you are filling forms, there is a section “Application prepared by”, you should put your name and sign it. There is nothing wrong in it. Think logically, if your parents are educated and fill up forms, why would they need native language visa interview ?  You are fine, just put in your name.

4. Bank Account Verification letter : You will need to go to your primary bank where you have your longest standing account and the bank which has your savings and ask them to give you a Bank Verification letter for Visa. Typically  Chase does it instantly. For Bank of America or others they make take couple weeks or more. Do this in advance.  All they do is, give a letter saying when the bank account was opened and average running balance since opening.  It is just a simple letter. If possible, get the visiting card of the bank manager( not necessary, more documentation the better) Check out  Sample Bank Verification Letter for Parents Visa

5. Fill out the Affidavit of Support I-134 Form: You will need to fill out the form I-134, which is the affidavit of support, sign it and send it to your parents.  It has some basic info. Nothing fancy and tricky out there. All you are telling in this document is that you are going to support their entire trip.  You can Download the I-134 Form, Affidavit of Support from USCIS website

6. Copies of W2 Form, Paystubs, etc : You will need copies of W2 Forms for all the years, last three pay stubs or salary statements, Last three bank statements, Copy of your passport, I-94, H1B visa approval ( I797 ). This is extra piece of documentation to be given to your parents to avoid any issues. This is like an optional, I strongly suggest that you carry these documents.

7. Invitation Letter : You need to send an invitation letter to your parents saying that you are inviting them to visit you and sign it. It legally supports your parents intent to come to US and  you are sponsoring the visit. Download sample copies below.

8. Visa officer Cover letter: It is recommended to send a cover letter with all the documentation addressing the visa officer. It just lets you keep in track of what you are sending and if visa officer needs to check, it is easier for him and more clear for our parents.

9. How to send and What all to send: Ideally, you want to print out everything and sign all the documents where you filled forms I-134, DS-160(if filled), invitation letter and cover letter. Make copies of all the documents as listed above. Send originals of Employment letter and Bank letter. You can use DHL or FedEx. I used DHL as it was cheaper and it reached in 3 working days. It is around $60.

Parents US Visa Documents Checklist :

  • Form I-134.
  • Copy of my H1B approval (Form I-797).
  • Copy of my Passport, Visa along with I-94.
  • Employment letter
  • Copy of my last three Bank statements.
  • Bank Account verification letter.
  • Copies of last three salary statements
  • Copies of last year Tax Returns –W2forms.
  • DS forms (if you have filled it)

Sample Documents Templates Needed for Applying for Parents visa from Sponsor:  It can be hard to get all documents, here are the templates that were used by me. They are quite generic.

These are just templates that you can use. No hard fast rule that it has to be in this format.

Additional Supporting documents by Parents for Visa Interview. 

Fundamentally your parents have to prove that they have enough ties in the home country back at home.  Some of the ways that can be done is by good supporting documentation.  Sample list of documents may include.

  • Notarized documents of all your property.
  • Bank Statements
  • Pension / employment benefits letters
  • Fixed deposits, any financial related documents.
  • If there are Tax returns, then take them
  • Any other documents that shows your financially strong and you will come back.

If you do not have enough documents or property back home, it is OK. No big deal. Because, you are the one in US, who is sponsoring the visitor visa for your parents. So, do not worry. Also, if your parents are older, then they are fine.

That’s it folks…not so much complex, all  you need to do is get all the list of documents and have things rolling as per plan and schedule. You can check out  some experiences like Parents US Visa Stamping Experience -Telugu  and  English Stamping Experience US Parents Visa 

Do you have any other ideas or documents that are important  ?  Do share your experience and thoughts.

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Comments ( 826 )

  1. Sriram Devalapuram

    This is really a great document for those who doesn’t know the process to get the tourist visa for the dependents. I really appreciate all your efforts in educating all of us. This article has each and every step clearly explained. Thanks a lot for all this.
    Thanks,
    Sriram

  2. Rajesh Badri

    I am here in the US for last 3 months and do not have W2 yet. Is it okay to just share the pay stubs and HR letter stating the salary and time period I am working in them? Is W2 mandatory to invite / sponsor my parents to US?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Rajesh Badri,
      W-2 for 2015 will be issued in Jan 2016. You are ok to not have any W-2 at the moment. For parent’s visa, you can send recent payslips and a letter from employer mentioning salary, start date, designation etc.

      1. pooja

        Hi Saurabh,

        I am on H1B. I want to apply visitor visa for my parents. So, i recently applied passport for my mother and father at same time and they got passport. Mother and father address in passport is different (only house number is different because their Adhar card also has different house number). Is it ok to have different permanent address in passport and to have same current/residential address for both of them in DS-160 ?
        If it is ok to go ahead Do we need to be prepared for any possible queries during interview?
        Please help me with this.Thank you in Advance.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          pooja,

          I don’t think it is an issue that the passport addresses are different. If asked, they can respond truthfully why it is.

          The only concern this could raise is that they are not married, or are separated. So they can carry recent photographs, copy of your passport which would have their names mentioned or similar proof. IMO, chances of this is pretty low.

  3. saradha

    hi frds

    my mother name is naga laxmi.in my passport mother name is naga laxmi.in my mother passport name nagalaxmi.plz tell me any problem in visa stamping.plz reply urgent..

      1. Rajesh Badri

        what is the first name and last name?

        If First name in the passport is mentioned as Nagalaxmi and there is a last name separately mentioned, it should not have any problem.

  4. NAGARAJU

    Hello,
    I am holding L1B visa, I would like to invite my parents for around 2 months. Please let me know the documents requirements for visa processing. what is the best visa type B1/B2.

    Kindly suggest.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      NAGARAJU,
      On the Archives page, there are several articles on this. Search for keywords like Visitor, Parent, B1, B2 etc to learn more about the process.

  5. Krishna

    Hello ALL,
    Can anyone clear my doubt, I have filled out separate DS-160 for my Mom-Dad, and my Dad will be sponsoring the trip. Now while taking VISA appointment, should I make only Dads account and add Mom as dependent or separately make accounts for both separately for taking VISA appointment?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Krishna,
      Enter through your dad’s application and then schedule it as a family application. You should then be able to add your mother to the same interview slot.

  6. Flower

    Hi I am a green card holder and a college student. I am a part time worker at Wal-Mart as a deli associate.I have 5000$ in my account. I would like to know if i can send an invitation letter to my cousin to come visit in the US
    My income is too low

  7. Mercy

    Hi,

    I want to get my mother over. The issue I have is my father has passed away and he was not a gvt job holder. So my mother do not have any property or pension to her name. There are no supporting document from her side. Please advice.

  8. shraddha

    I am having trouble with the amount in the bank to invite my mother. How much money is required to be in the bank. She is by herself, and i am the only daughter. me and my husband are the greencard holders. My income is not enough eventhough i am a fulltime. So, we decided to sponsor through my husband as he has better standing job and income.

    1. Anonymous

      I guess you do not need to worry at all as you both are working and you will earn further and are green card holders which even USCIS & Consulate knows.
      Well for minimum amount; one of my friend got his mother’s visa approved when his bank balance was just $5000.
      And in some websites I have read that the minimum expected amount to be spent on each person is $5000. So you are expected to have extra amount apart from $5000.
      However, looking at my friend’s scenarios it is no where a reality. As USCIS or consulate or…no one has set any rule of such sort. And I am pretty sure, if you dig deeper into your friend circle you might hear similar stories like my friend’s.
      My best advice would be to have your account joined in bank so you wouldn’t have to worry in future.
      Hope you got your answer and do not take this as any legal advice.

      I wish you all the best

    2. Anonymous

      one of my friend got his mother’s visa approved when his bank balance was just $5000.

    3. Anonymous

      Hi All, I apologize for the multiple posts. There was an error in my System browser.

    1. anonymous

      I did not notarize mine and also most of my friends didn’t notarize the I-134. However, if you wish you can.

  9. Michelle

    I have question , I understand all your step but right now i have a baby so I can not go back to work . I just stop working about 1 month ago . So it is ok I can ask the letter from my old work and put with my application or not. Or I do not have to put the letter from work. What should I do?

  10. David

    Why do I need to fillout Step 8 if its just a B2 Visa, for I 134 looks more specific for a person who wants to sponsorship. Please clarify.

  11. Blessy

    Hello Saurabh,
    I am currently on H1b in US. I have a valid H1B visa stamped on Passport. One year back I changed my job with a reputed company now I am planning to go to India for vacation and need to get my VISA stamped again with the new petitioner. I am also planning to get my mother and in-laws(2) also for their tourist visa. wanted to know if it is OK to take our parents (3) for their visa stamping (B2) with us at the same day ??

  12. Mary

    I am a US citizen and I would like to invite my mother to visit. I really appreciate your explanations. I understand I have to prepare documents, but I am confused about DS forms. Should I fill this form too? Also after I provide all these docs. Where I should send them? My mother lives in IRAN. Where should I post these docs? Could you please advice? I appreciate your time and help. Regards,

  13. Henry

    Pls is i don’t have 10.000 in my acount can i look for somebody else that can help me in that aspect and can the same person help me with affidavit of support.

  14. Naru

    Hi

    Am planning to apply visa for my parents.I work for a consultant here in US.In form i134 in place of company address,we should mention Consultant address or my client place address.

    1. Anonymous

      If you are talking about question (7) in form I-134 then, It should be your employer address…meaning the address of the company with whom you are employed. In your case it is your consultant address.
      Anyone correct me if I am wrong.

  15. Sunil Dooda

    This is really help full. Well documented and explained. Thank you very much. Can you please add more information on B2 visa fees details and DS160 hyderabad is not opening up. Please suggest.

  16. Sunil Dooda

    This is really help full. Well documented and explained. Thank you very much.

  17. tahira

    I am applying for my parents visit visa(B2) they live in Pakistan. My husband is a US citizen and he will apply as a sponsor for their visit. I pretty much know what documents i need, i just want to know that is there any document which i have to get notarized like form I-134. we will fill DS-160 online so there is no logic to get it notarized. Please help me to resolve this confusion that whether i should send all required documents to my parents by filling and signing it by myself or should i get it attested/notarized by an attorney.

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