Parents Visitor Visa USA - Documents, Checklist, letters Templates

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

In US Immigration - Visas by KumarUpdated : 1518 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 ?” . Also, if you are on F1 visa, you may want to invite your parents for your graduation…In any case, 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 15 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 totalling 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.

F1 Student – Graduation Invitation : If you are F1 Student inviting for Graduation, you need to send your current status details like F1 Visa copy, I-94, I20 and Graduation invitation letter to your parents.

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 have access to internet and  are familiar with the process, 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 will need to create separate DS-160 applications / profiles for both of your parents or group, if you are applying as group. When you are filling out the first DS-160 form at the end, when you select ‘Email Confirmation’ on the confirmation page, you will go to Thank you page and on that page you will have an option to create a family or group application, you can choose this option so that some of the information from your first application will be copied over and imported. Of course, you can change those details as needed.
  • 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. If you feel your parents are not fluent in English, it is better to choose native language rather than English, so that they are comfortable and communicate clearly when asked by Visa Officer.
  • Filling up the forms and What you should fill : Unless your parents are familiar with internet and online process of filling up forms,  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 on ‘Sign and Submit page’, you should put your name and sign it. There is nothing wrong in it. You are fine, just put in your name. You can check the DS-160 FAQs ( link above under fill out DS-160), it talks about it.

4. Bank Account Verification/ Balance Status 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, Pay stubs, 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.

If you are a student on F1 visa and not working, you may not have pay stubs, so do not worry about it. Send whatever you have regarding your current status like I20, etc.

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 inviting them to 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 (optional), 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 cost me around $60.

Parents US Visa Documents Checklist for B2 Visitor Visa :

  • Copy of work visa approval  notice ( H1B, L1 – Form I-797).
  • Copy of Passport, Visa stamped on passport.
  • Copy of I-94.  (You can print it at DHS CBP I-94 website)
  • Current Employment verification letter
  • Copy of Bank statements from last 6 months.
  • Bank Account verification/ balance letter.
  • Copies of last three salary statements/ pay slips.
  • Copies of last year Tax Returns –W2 forms ( if applicable).
  • DS forms (if you have filled it and signed the same)
  • Copy of Green Card ( if applicable )
  • Form I-134 ( Optional )

If applying B2 Visitor Visa for in-laws ( Mother-in-law, Father-in-law) below documents are required:

  • Your Spouse’s Passport
  • Spouse’s approval notice I797
  • Spouse’s Visa Copy
  • Any other supporting documents like marriage certificate to prove the relationship.
  • Spouse Birth Certificate

Thanks to Rajesh for suggesting the above after his bad experience missing the documents of in-laws.

Sample Documents Templates to Apply for Parents US Visitor Visa from Sponsor:

Below are some of the templates that were used by me.

  • Parents US Visitor Visa Invite Letter Template : You need to send an invitation letter to your parents saying that you are inviting them and also specify, if you plan to pay for their expenses when in US. We have given a sample letter, but I recommend you edit it with your own flavour and make it unique : Invitation Letter Templates for Visitor (B-2) / Parents Visa
  • Employment letter Sample Letter Template for US Parents Visa : You should also send an employment letter that tells that you are employed in your company with your designation and salary. It can be any standard employment letter. You may use : Employment letter Template for Parents Visa USA
  • Cover Letter for Visa Officer at US Consulate: It is a good idea to put in a cover letter to the visa officer listing all the documents you are sending. You may use : Cover Letter for Visa officer – Parents visa USA

These are just standard templates that you can use, no hard fast rule that it has to be in this format. We highly encourage you to use them as guideline only and create your own letters with your own flavour, so that it looks unique.

Additional Supporting documents Checklist by Parents for Visa Interview.

Fundamentally, your parents have to prove that they have enough ties in their home country, so that they would return after their trip.  Some of the ways that can be done is by good supporting documentation.  Sample checklist of additional documents you may include are :

  • Notarized documents of land/ sites, buildings ( any kind of property).
  • Bank Statements with enough balance
  • Pension / employment benefits letters, if applicable.
  • Fixed deposits, any financial related documents.
  • If there are Tax returns, then carry them as well
  • Any other documents that shows your financially strong and you will come back.

If you do not have all documents or big 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.

Health Insurance for Parents : Having visitors health insurance is important for parents to avoid any unforeseen health conditions, when in USA, so that it does not dent your financial situation with fat medical bill. It is always a good idea to get Health Insurance from a US vendor, who can support you. We recommend Buying Parents Insurance at Visitors Coverage – Parents Insurance as they have US support and you can compare all insurance plans.

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 ( 1,518 )

  1. Srikanth N

    Hi Kumar,

    Please help me with the below queries.

    1) If I’m not sure whether I did the right way of applying for a B1 / B2 visa interview as I tried to club my father-in-law and mother-in-law applications, is there a way to cross check the steps that I did in US travel docs. The Group Scheduling Request tab doesn’t show anything clearly.

    2) What is Group Scheduling Request and what should we fill under Group Name?

    3) I have Already scheduled Biometrics and Visa interview for my in-laws. To the same interview slot, along with them would I be able to schedule for my Parents so that all of the 4 members can go as one group?

    4) If we reschedule the interview, do we need to make fee payment again?

    5) From the three options listed here, which one should I select if the in-laws trip is only Tourism ?

    Travel Information – Purpose of Trip to the U.S. – Temp. Business Pleasure Visitor (B)
    Specify –
    a) Business & Tourism (Temporary Visitor) (B1/B2)
    b) Business/Conference (B1)
    c) Tourism/Medical Treatment (B2)

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You can only do group appointments, if there are more than 10 or 10 people at least. You can do it as family. They if they are visiting to visit you, it would be B2 option C.

  2. sravya

    Hi
    I am applying visa for my parents in DS-160 form there’s a question Intended length of stay in us what should I fill in that area?please let me know

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      It is the same process as described above, no different, if green card holder. Just that you would send green card info, instead of H1B documents.

  3. Sansan

    Hi Kumar. I am 10 yr free card holder and by next year I plan on bringing my parents here in the USA. My husband will be the primary sponsor for everything. My one big question is do they look for police clearance or will the immigration finds out that a person has a pending case (child abuse) it was 18 years ago. Will it be a ground to denial of entry? Thank you

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, frankly I don’t know…In general, visa issuance for your parents has no direct relationship with your pending case…If you are worried, talk to an attorney…

  4. RSiva

    Hi,
    The documents which we will be sending to our parents, how recent it should be? Like employer letter and Bank Letter. ? Can it be within 60 days? or Sooner than that?

  5. Ash Pradhan

    Hello kumar, My elder brother is on H1 visa and studying in the USA since 2 years and is graduating this December so he wants to submit embassy letter request form to his university so can you please tell me before how many months from the convocation can he submit the letter request form to his university? And please tell me what documents do I need to collect for the visa interview I’m studying and undergoing internship right now so please tell me regarding this.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You can apply for visa stamping up to 3 months before your travel date. Once your Brother has the convocation letter ready, you are good to go. The process is same as described above. But the main thing is that you will need to sponsor your trip as he is a student. That’s it. He will need to send our all his current visa, I-20 and convocation details, then you apply or Visitor visa using the same. Process is same as above…

  6. Kavitha

    Hello,
    My sister is sponsoring B2 visitors visa for my mother. I too live in the US. Do I need to send my Green Card copy too for the visa sponsorship documents or is my sister’s GC itself stufficient.
    Thanks,
    Kavitha

  7. Srikanth

    Thank you, Kumar for the detailed information. This is very helpful. Could you please answer the below questions?

    1) Does the process of filling the visa petition starts with filling DS-160 form?
    2) Can we book the appointment first and start gathering the documents as appointment dates were far off?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      1. Yes, assuming you have passport.
      2. No, you need the number generated from DS-160 to book appointment. Completing DS-160 does not mean anything, you can use that to book appointment. You can also fill out another DS-160, if anything changes.

      1. Srikanth

        Hi Kumar,

        While filling the DS-160 form for my Parents-in-law, I came across the below questions, could you please clarify assuming their travel purpose is for Tourism.

        Travel Information – Purpose of Trip to the U.S. – Temp. Business Pleasure Visitor (B)
        Specify –
        1) Business & Tourism (Temporary Visitor) (B1/B2)
        2) Business/Conference (B1)
        3) Tourism/Medical Treatment (B2)

        Q: Among these three which option should we choose 1 / 3 ?

        Is the address of the party paying for your trip the same as your Home or Mailing Address?
        Yes/ No (Options on the form given)

        Q: Should we answer Yes assuming they are asking in-laws info where would they stay in the US as Home or Mailing Address?

        Thanks,
        Srikanth

        1. Srikanth

          Do we need to book the flight tickets now if we are planning for our in-laws trip to the US in the first week of November as I do not see any slots up until October for Visa interview?

        2. administrator
          Kumar

          It is 3 as they are there for Tourism only.

          You have look at it from the perspective of your in-laws right ? So, if you are paying for the trip, it is not same because your address is different from their address. So, choose accordingly depending on who is paying for the trip.

          1. Srikanth

            Thank you, Kumar, for the quick revert. I’m paying for the in-laws trip, in which case I should select as No option as my address in US is different than their’s in India.

  8. John J

    Hello kumar,

    I am applying B2 visa for my mother, due to some reasons i cannot apply for my father. Will it be a good idea to get a letter from my father explaining why he is not
    applying ? If so is there any template for that

    Thanks

  9. Lydia amedekah

    Hi am on green card now and I would like to invite my mum who is 48 years to come and help with the kids.what do I do

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You can follow the above listed process, there is no separate process for Green Card holders inviting visitors, it is the same.

  10. Sadia

    Hello,
    My father and mother are travelling to US in July to see me and my husband. My father is taking the responsibility of booking the tickets for both of them. As this is a self sponsored trip, apart from my parents documents, what other documents do we need to send from US apart from Invitation letter ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Maybe you can send your home address proof, both of your visa status proofs, just to say that you are in status and they will stay with you all.

      1. Sadia

        That makes sense. I also read somewhere that my birth certificate and passport are also required. should I send copies of that too ?

  11. Nakul

    Hi, I moved to US 6 months back on H4 and now working on EAD for 3 months. My wife has been here for past 3 years. Am planning to get my parents here for a vacation. So can we send invite letter, letter to consulate,etc with both our(me and my wife) names as sponsors or just my wife’s name would be sufficient ?

  12. Arvind Verma

    I have scheduled my parent’s visa interview. I am sending all the checklist documents with DS160, fee receipts etc to my parents. my question is, when does all documents get checked by USCIS / Visa officer ? during visa interview ?

  13. dipa br

    Hello
    I would like to bring my mother to US and she is over 68 years old. Earlier she visited US with a B2 visitor visa that was valid from 2009 to 2019. What are the steps she need to follow for re-applying or extending her visa.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      She could be eligible for dropbox, check the requirements when filling DS-160, you would get an option for the same.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      You could…it is up to the Visa officer though as it does not say anywhere that you need to have money for 6 months or so…All they validate is that, if there are funds for travel and expenses.

  14. Sonali Mital

    Sir my husband is going to fill DS 160 for my parents. We both are US citizens. I would like to know what additional documents we would need apart from the additional documents.

    Sir what is I 797 and do I need to fill that..?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      I-797 is not applicable for you both as you are US Citizens. You just send copies of your US passports to them, that should be sufficient.

  15. Kun

    I am trying to get my mother when my baby come, do you think it is a good idea to have a doctors letter attached to it?

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