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

In Immigration| Visas by Kumar946 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. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. ( Optional ) Affidavit of Support I-134 Form: This is an optional form, which is typically filed with family based green card applications by sponsors. This is to establish that the applicant will not become public charges while in the United States. If you submit this form, you are legally signing that you take all the liability and they will not become a public charge. I have used this form, when I was sponsoring visa for my parents in 2008. You may fill, sign and send the affidavit of support 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

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 :

  • 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)
  • Form I-134 ( Optional )

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 ( 946 )

  1. JM

    Hi, I am getting married in 3 months and would go to US for the first time after my wedding as my would-be is working there. I dont have my birth certificate as it was not recorded but I do have my passport and other school / college docs. Will it be a problem in getting spouse visa and later a tourist visa for my mom?

    1. administrator


      It would be ok to get dependent visa and later tourism visa for your mother, even though you don’t have birth certificate. However, if you and your spouse have plans to file green card in future, then this document would be needed when the time arrives.

  2. Anusha

    Currently I have a 10 years b1/b2 visa which I have applied for visiting my cousins last year. I got married recently and my husband is a h1 visa holder. Can I apply for h4 vis? If yes what will be the status of my current b2 visa?

    1. administrator


      You can appear for H-4 visa stamping, which would result in two possibilities –
      1. The officer will leave B-1/2 visa intact
      2. The officer will cancel B-1/2 w/o prejudice as you have been approved for H-4 which is a dual intent visa

      It is officer’s discretion as to what happens to B-1/2. As long as you have H-4 visa and spouse is working on H-1, there is no need for B-1/2.

  3. ravi

    Want to invite my in-laws but my passport is expired I have applied for reissue of passport, can I go ahead with visa stamping process at the US consulate in Hyderabad or I have to wait for new passport to be obtained

    Please advise

    1. administrator


      It would be a ok for them to appear now even when your current passport has expired and renewal is in progress.

  4. Radhika Venkat

    Hello! I have H1B and planning to travel with my baby by 1st week of July. My baby is one month old. But i need to travel since my visa is expiring in September. I am planning to take my mother too with me as i need support to take care of the baby. Can i apply visitor visa for my mother in this case? I have few relatives too staying in the US if my mom needs an invite letter. What are the documents needed in case we can apply H2 for her? My mother is 58 years old and not working. Please advice. Also the last name in my passport and hers is different. Will this be a concern? do i need to update her name in my passport? i can get it done in a week if necessary.

    1. administrator

      Radhika Venkat,

      Yes, your mother can avail tourist visa B1/2 and go to US on that visa. Were you in US previously on H-1 or is this your first trip to US on H-1? What visa is your spouse on?

      1. Radhika Venkat

        Hello Saurabh,
        Thanks for the reply!! This is the first time I am travelling to the US.. My spouse is on H4.. But will not be joining me immediately because of his current job.. Kindly let me know the procedures to apply for tourist visa.. Thank you!

        1. administrator

          Radhika Venkat,

          If you are just moving to US, it may be better if you go there first, stay and work for couple of months and then invite your mother to US.

          At this point, your mother has no one in US (as you have never traveled to US), and it may be difficult to get her tourist visa approved.

  5. Ashish


    I am planning to call my in Laws in Mid of June 2016 and my Parents in End of June 2016. Will there be any issues if they go for Visa interview within a difference of 1 week of each other?


    1. administrator

      It should not really matter. Dont worry too much. If you are sponsoring their entire trip, make sure you have enough funds to support them and send the same to your in-laws and parents.

  6. Aaliya Syed

    My younger sister are sponsoring my mom to visit us in USA. We have all the documents ready to be mailed to her. I wanted to know if we have to sign each documents before mailing it to my mom.
    For example: Should I sign my bank statement, ID proof, payslips?

    1. administrator

      Aaliya Syed,

      If you can then sign all the documents. If not, mention in the letter what all supporting docs are enclosed from your side.

  7. Koushik Das

    Hello Kumar,

    One question- In my last page of passport, my mother’s name doesn’t have her middle name mentioned (like “abc xyz”). But in my mother’s passport it has full name (including middle name) like “abc mno xyz”. First and Last name are matching properly but no middle name.
    So does it make any difference?
    Though i will mention full name in both invitation letter or cover letter. still are they gonna see or scrutiny my last page information with parents passport whether its matching or not?

    1. administrator

      Koushik Das,
      I think, it should be fine. Yes, use the full name as it appears in passport. Well, I think it should not matter.

      1. Raquel

        Hello. Kumar, I want to get a visa b2 for my mom, I’m Citizens of the United States. And getting married in few months .. I have a 5 years old I own a good business here, but my mom she never work and does not have any property. So you think I ll be able to get a visa for her.. and for my sister she has a weeding services business in my country Dominican Republic.. plus can you tell me where I can find the form I 797.. Thank you..

        1. administrator

          You can apply and sponsor B2 visa for your mother, it is hard to say if it is guaranteed…it is always up to the visa officer discretion. You can mention that you are sponsoring the trip and supply the financial proof documents for the same. All we can do is hope for the best. Check with the local consular or embassy office website in the home country, where your mother lives for the detail process and forms, etc.

      2. Prasanna

        Hi Kumar,

        Me and my sister are planning to sponsor our mom and dad for tourist visa at the same time. Is it possible to have both me and my sister as sponsors for our parents?

        1. administrator


          Maybe prepare a joint letter. State in the letter that you and your sister want to invite your parents and include both yours and sister’s details. Sign the letter and give it to your sister for signature; and then send it to the parents.

          I assume you both will be sending your recent payslips and bank statements to show that you can support them. If you are living in different cities and VO asks about dual sponsorship then your parents can reply that at your location, you would help paying for expenses; while at sister’s place she would etc.

          1. Prasanna

            Thanks Saurabh for replying. Me and my sister are living in different states and if my parents come, they will be going back and forth between two states. I have a another question, Who should my parents put as a sponsor in DS-160 form since they can only enter one person info? Does it even matter if they put either me instead of my sister as a sponsor?

          2. administrator


            It can be either. There is no correct answer to this question. You can mention the name of the person where they would land first, or the person who is more financially stable.

  8. chitra


    we are going to apply b2 visa for both my parents and in laws. i have some doubts please fix it

    1. In my father’s case he was doing land brokerage and he doesn’t have a permanent income. And also they doesn’t have any property.
    2. In my father in law’s case he was doing chit fund business in home and he doesn’t have a proper documents.

    My doubt
    1.What do i mention in the working information?
    2.We are going to sponsor them, can we sponsor both at same time?

    please help!
    Thanks in Advance

    1. administrator

      1. I am not sure about the exact options. There should be options for self-employed business, you may select that.
      2. You may sponsor at the same time, you will need to show enough funds for the same.

  9. Kreeks


    I am on H1 and i am planning to apply visa for my parents. However, my mother’s passport would be expiring in April 2017. If i apply for their visa now, would my mom get a visiting visa only till April 2017 or would it be for the entire duration of 10 years which is normally the case.

    1. administrator

      It is up to the discretion of the Visa officer. Usually, the visa is given for 10 years, despite the expiry. As the passport is almost under 1 year to expiry, you should consider re-issue of the passport and then apply for passport.

  10. AKS

    I am on h4 visa and studying here. I am graduating and i wanted to invite my parents to attend my graduation? So, my question is:
    1. Being on h4 visa can i call my parents on visiter visa b1/b2 to attend my graduation ceremony?
    2. What documents i need?

    Please reply soon!
    need answers badly..


        1. administrator


          If the parents are supporting their own trip, then you don’t need to send any financial documents. If not, send copy of 3 most recent bank statements and include in the invitation letter that you will take care of their lodging and daily expenses.

          1. AKS

            thank you so much for the information. My parents got the visa.

            I have one more inquiry. I am applying b1/b2 visa for my brother also. he is engineer but handling my dad business. Having good bank balance also. but the business is on my dad’s name. can you please tell me what documents we need for him to prepare. He is 28 year old.

          2. administrator


            Nice to know that the parents received the visa. As for brother, it is ok to tell that he is actively involved in business which is owned by the father. That’s the typical arrangement of a family run business. If he is employed as engineer as well, then he should inform that too.

            In the end, he needs to be able to convince that he is not a potential immigrant and has enough financial and social ties w/ India.

  11. Rupa

    Quick clarification of photographs. are pictures now taken at embassy ?
    Need any digital photo to be uploaded ?


  12. Saptharishi

    Hi Saurabh,

    My father(works in Southern railways) is getting retired by May 31 st , is it possible for me to apply visa before that without NOC(No Objection Certificate) ?
    Is it possible for me to get Visa by June 1 st week ?

    1. administrator


      Can he get at least an approved leave of absence of letter? That can be used in lieu of NOC. BTW, what’s the reason for not having NOC?

      I am not sure what the current visa slot availability is. But if he appears for interview and its successful, the stamped passport should be received within a week.

      1. Saptharishi

        Thanks for the response Saurabh ,

        There are two primary reasons why we are not able to get NOC ,

        1) The process for getting NOC takes more than 4 weeks and need lots of follow ups.
        2) My Parents have been to Saudi once , by that time they hadn’t requested for NOC as they were not aware of the process , so if we request for NOC now , we are afraid , if the officials might raise questions about the previous travel.

        While filling the DS-160 form is it possible to give the retirement date in future ?

        I am trying to raise Visa for them by April 3rd week , so we will have ample time for visa processing and approval.

        My father gets retired by May 31st .

        And by June i am planning to schedule for the Visa interview.

        Going by this time line , i am applying for the visa after my dad has actually retired , but while preparing DS 160 – he is still an employee of central government.

        That’s my confusion whether there will be a problem during interview or is it fine for me to proceed with having the retirement date mentioned in future while preparing DS 160 form.

        Please let us know your thoughts on this ….

        1. administrator


          If he would attend the interview after he has retired, then you can submit it with information which would be true on interview date.

    2. Rupa

      Hi Saptharishi

      Quick clarification of photographs. are pictures now taken at embassy ?
      Need any digital photo to be uploaded ?


  13. Jeevan

    Need help with I-134 form. Can some one please tell me what’s best to mention in Q.11 where its asked to mention the amount, nature and duration of contribution to support the visitor’s stay.
    I am not building or painting or doing anything extra ordinary, simply, will be supporting my parents entire stay. Shall i mention this in Q.11?
    Please advise.


    1. administrator


      IMO, you should not complete I-134 form if your parents are going for B-1/2 visa stamping. This form is for immigrant visa and not for non-immigrant visa like B-1/2.

      1. Jeevan


        Really appreciate that you replied.
        I am confused now… in your article you have mentioned to fill out I-134 support form to sponsor some one for visitor visa.
        To give you some background, I am on H1 in US and would like my parents to come visit me. If i shouldn’t fill out I-134, will you be kind enough and give me some guidance on what i need to do. Thanks for all your help.


        1. administrator


          The article was written by Kumar. In my experience, I-134 is mandatory when you are sponsoring green card petition for a relative. This form is required to state that you will take care of all expenses of the relative in case the relative becomes a public charge. This is more applicable to sponsored Green Card relatives and not visiting relatives on B-1/2.

          There are lot of experiences shared where folks were not asked about this form, and just a plain invitation letter worked. If you are going to invite your uncles and aunts, will you continue to sign this document and become legally liable for their expenses in US?

          In the end, if you want to complete the form, it is up to you. But remember, if this form is submitted and your invitees become a public expense, then you will be on hook legally to pay for all the expenses.

        2. administrator

          Jeevan and Others,
          I agree with Saurabh, it was written by me quite a few years ago and I used it for my parents visa and included it based on my experience. But, the Visa officer never asked for it at their interview. Some of my friends have used it as well as backup. It is not mandatory. I have updated the article as per feedback for more clarity and have it as an optional document.

          Apologies for the confusion folks !

      2. Gary

        I’m not sure what happened to my last post. The article says I fill I-134 for the parents. But your answer contradicts. Any reason?

  14. robel

    thank u for the helpful info, abd i need an advice i came to us last september m with schiol visa, but i did not go to my college ali just asked asylum in usa, and am waiting for my work permit soon, and i realy want to bring my mom , pls advice me wt i have to do,

    1. administrator

      I suggest you speak to an immigration lawyer as your case is quite different from the ones we have here. Wish we could advise

  15. Fareeed

    My wife .son and myself got the invasion visa or graduation ceremony visa for 10years for us. But my wife is pregnant so I have to travel after one year.but how I get the visa for new born baby.

  16. Gopal

    First i would like to thank you for this excellent post for helping the visa applicants with our queries,

    I am planning to apply for Visitor VISA for my mother in law. We are expecting baby on august. I am on H1b Visa just 15 days back in US. I started working in US for same company where I was working India from 4th April 2016. Any way I am planning to start Visa process after 3 months.
    My question is : Is there any minimum duration of stay in USA to sponsor visitor visa? other than all above mentioned documents?

    Please advice..

  17. Gopinath

    First i would like to thank you for this excellent website and forum for helping the visa applicants with our queries,

    I am applying for vistor visa for both my parents. I got pretty much good idea about the documents required from my side and from my parents. I am worried about about a couple of things which I am hoping to get some help here.

    1. My father is a farmer. So he never had to file income tax. Is it a mandatory to have it or nice to have ?
    2. My parent’s property documents, such as land or house .. Is it a mandatory to have it or nice to have ?
    3. There is a printing mistake in the address in the passport. It is different in my father’s and mother’s passport.

    It says “5th cross ” in my father’s passport and “5th cross street” in my mother’s passport.
    Is it really a big deal. Should I request for change of address/correction. It will take whole lot of time to fix it.. 🙁

    Please advice..

    1. administrator


      1. Nice to have
      2. Again, nice to have
      3. Should not matter

      Financial documents are needed to show that person has financial ties with home country and is not a potential immigrant. If your parents are able to demonstrate that they plan to return to home country and not immigrant to US, then it should be fine.

  18. Prakash

    Hi – I want to bring my parents for 3-4 months to US. I have my Visa till Sep 30, 2016. I have already started my visa extension process and it will be filed by my employer by May 10, 2016. We are expecting a baby so I wanted my parents to come and stay with us . Should I wait for my H1 extn to be approved and then apply for my parents visitor visa or I can initiate it now. If I do it now, will my current I 94 expiry date of Sep 30, 2016 affect their duration of stay? I am planning to call them in August 2016 and let them stay till December 2016. I have all the required documents, financial status described in your previous posts to sponsor the visas. Please advise.

    1. administrator


      They can appear for stamping now. Your current I-94 expiration date will not impact the outcome of their stamping.

      1. Priyanka

        Hi Saurabh,

        I am in a similar position, My H1Visa is expiring on July 10 , 2016 and my parents B2 Visa interview is on June7. Will it be a problem in getting their visa accepted?
        Can my parents show my husband Visa copies in interview which has 2 year validity(in DS 160 I have given my details all places). Pls suggest.

        1. administrator


          I don’t think your I-94 expiration will impact your parent’s visa. Think about it – the best I-94 duration you can have is 3 years, yet parents can get B-1/2 for up to 10 years. They don’t issue B-1/2 tied to your I-94.

          IMO, they can go w/ your information. If extension has been applied, then submit a copy of extension receipt. Employer can also issue a letter that they plan to file extension soon and you would remain their employee in near future.

  19. Cindy

    I am going to apply visa for my parents to visit US. Currently I am a student and don’t have employer/salary. There is enough deposit in bank account. Can I apply for them?


    1. administrator

      Yes, you can. Many students invite their parents for graduation ceremony, the only thing is that they need to show funds for their travel and expenses. You would need to send them invite letter.

  20. Vidhya

    Currently I’m having h1b visa till August 31 2016. I would like to invite my parents to USA. Now if I apply visitor visa for them did they get visa.

    1. administrator


      Stamping can always run into issues. There is no sure shot way of getting the same. However, the expiration date of your visa stamp will not impact the outcome of their stamping decision.

  21. Jeeva

    I am changing job in next month and will be sponsoring my parents after that. So section 7 of form i-134 – my job details, company, income I will be providing info based on new job. I hope there is no issue/confusion since my last pay stubs and w2 will be from previous employer. Do you think I need to add another document or letter in addition to what you mentioned here?

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