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 Immigration| Visas by KumarUpdated : 1397 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), DS-160(if filled by you), 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 ( 1,397 )

  1. Krishna

    I’m planning to apply for B2 visa for my parents. In DS160, its asking for my address and address where my parents will stay. I moved recently and temporarily I’m staying with my friend. Currently my name is not in lease agreement. I want to initiate my parents visa before taking any lease. If my parents get visa then I’ll take 2 bhk and if they won’t then I’ll book 1bhk. Thats the reason I’m not able to take any lease and don’t have address proof. So what should I fill in address section of DS160?

  2. Priya

    Hello rajesh mentioned if applying for inlaws spoues passport(is it all pages ? If spouse holds old passport do we have to take copy of all pages in new n old passport?) Whatis i797? Is it required if im a PR?

  3. Tiru


    I am planning to bring my parents to US. Based on this blog , i am preparing all documents . Hear , have question about I134 form . Is it mandatory for this process . If yes, should i fill separate forms for my mom and Dad . Please help me here. Can i add my i140 approval notice with my i797 , will it be good to have this process . Please clarify for those two question

  4. Rajeshkumar

    Hi, This is a great link. But I suggest you add a tip that if applying for in-laws, it is mandatory to attach the spouse’s passport, visa and I797. I got my in-laws visa rejected as I did not attach this document. My bad, i should have read through in-laws visa processing steps instead of parents.

  5. ARK

    Hi Kumar,

    In my current checking account I have average balance of $3K(current balance > 10K) is good enough for sponsorship ?


    1. administrator

      Well, they usually look at your cash in Bank, in your case 10K, which should be fine. In general, these are all supporting documents and not always checked, but they can choose to check.

  6. NPK

    Hi, We(family of 3) are planning to see our relatives in USA and applying for B2 visa. Do we need invitation from our relatives. And do we need to fill DS 160 for each family member.

    1. administrator

      If you are visiting them, it is best to have it as you will enter their address details when you are filling out the application form. Yes, you will need to fill it out for each family member.

  7. ARK

    Hi Admin/Helpers,

    In US Parents Visa – Cover letter for Consulate for B2 Visa.docx, what should I mention in place for ‘Company name’, is it my employer name or my client name(where I work now)?.

    Thanks In Advance

    1. administrator

      In general, you should mention, who your H1B sponsor is and who pays you to keep you in status, because that’s the name that would be on your approval notice.

      1. ARK

        Thank you Kumar for response, but my employer address is in New Jersey and my current address is in Denver, CO(Client Place). DO you think that might cause issue ?

        In above case should I ignore Cover letter for Consulate for B2 Visa to avoid this confusion or its okay ?

        Appreciate your help, Thanks you

        1. administrator

          In general, it should be fine. You may avoid the cover letter as well, if you are unsure. These are all supporting documents and not really mandatory.

  8. Anjali

    Myself and my husband wish to invite my parents and brother ,sis in law and my niece to USA.Could you advise me if it’s better to apply as a group for all 5 or parents and brother family separately. Also like to know,whether we need to send the bank documents, pay slip and tax returns documents of my husband even if my family is going to take care of their expenses.

    1. administrator

      In my view, it is better to apply as a group. It is good to send additional supporting documents, they may or may not ask them, but good to have them handy, if needed…

  9. Chinna

    Hello Experts ,

    I would like to apply visitor visa for my brother.He is Central Govt employee in india. What are the chances of approving ? any difficulties ? I’m on H1.


    1. administrator

      It is very hard to give a very generic answer…it all depends on your brother’s profile, his ability to prove his ties in India, purpose of travel, etc….All you can do is apply with good intent with all proper documentation and hope it goes through…

  10. Anil


    Iam applying for B2 visa for my parents. I filled the DS 160 for them separately, but while scheduling the appointment should I create 2 profiles in US Travel docs or single profile? Also which option to select if I want both of them to go at once for the interview? Please help me on this.

    1. administrator

      You create one profile for your father as primary profile and then add your mother as dependent in the same. you can add up to four dependents.


    Hi ,

    I am in USA and filling DS160 for my parents on their behalf. In the Last page , i have 2 questions :

    (a) Did anyone assist you in filling out this application? Should i give Yes and Provide my details

    (b) Under E-Signature Section, it is asking Enter your Passport/Travel Document Number . Should i give my Parent’s Passport Number or My Passport Number

    1. administrator

      a. Yes, You should. I did the same.
      b. If it is for the entire application, it would be your parents info. You cannot sign for your parents as they are adults. You can walk your parents through the details, explain and let them sign with their info.

  12. JuanRene Manzilla

    Where do I submit all documents?
    Do I have to send all docs to my parents back home ? So they can book an appointment for the visa?

  13. Pankaj



    I want to bring my stepmom and half brother(11 year old) to visit US for 4-6 months sponsored by myself I am on L1 visa, when I am 20 year old my mother expired and father got remarried, recently father also expired, both my stepmom and half brother both have passports and all the documents like marriage certificate, my both parents death certificate but in my passport mother name is different its my biological mother name I came to know that it’s very difficult to get the dependent visa for step-parent, can I apply for B-1/2 visa then what documents required or is there any other way to bring them to visit US. Can you explain me step by step.


    1. administrator

      The process for B2 visitor visa is same as described above, it is no different. You need to send them invite letter and let them apply for B2 visa.

  14. B1visaquery

    Hi Admins,
    Thanks for your time and expertise on our visa queries.
    I am on h1b visa and I am planning to bring my wife on Tourist(b1/b2) visa. She can’t get the h4 visa as my h1b visa is already expired and extension is in progress. She is in Chille country as of now. So..
    1.Can she get the b1/b2 visa even I am on h1b?
    2. Is it possible to invite her on behalf of my relatives here in us?
    3. Will it make any impact on h4 visa if b2 visa get rejected?

  15. Ramesh


    I am planning to apply B2 visa for in-laws. When I requested my HR for current Employment verification letter, I was informed that they don’t issue EVL for such cases; looks they are not supposed to issue any EVL. and suggested to send my parents latest three paystubs for myself and that is enough to prove that I work for ABC company.

    Can you please let me know if the EVL is mandatory?

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