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

In Immigration| Visas by Kumar1159 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 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 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 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 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 “Application prepared by”, you should put your name and sign it. There is nothing wrong in it. 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 (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 Visa :

  • 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  . Once you have visa, you need think about buying travel health insurance for your parents like Patriot America Plus , to avoid any unforeseen health issues.

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

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Comments ( 1,159 )

  1. Juhi

    Hi,

    I have a small kid so my mother would be accompanying me to US. My husband is already there since 3 months. Since he is not yet financially eligible to sponsor my mother, can his employer sponsor my mother’s trip. If yes what documents will be required.

    Thanks,
    Juhi

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Juhi,
      Well, I am not sure, how it works with the employer. Usually, employer never sponsors for in-laws or parents. All your husband needs is to have enough cash in bank account. Maybe he can ask the employer to give advance cash to support so that your spouse can be the sponsor.

  2. Venkat

    Hi

    Thanks for the service you are providing. I have a clarification and request your feedback. My sister and brother in law are staying in USA. They are green card holders. They have also applied for citizenship. My brother in law is working while my sister is homemaker. My mother’s B2 is expiring next month and we are renewing the same (my mother has to attend the interview at consulate as she does not qualify for interview waiver).

    My brother in laws Indian passport has expired and the renewal is not yet done as he is expecting the US citizenship. As he is sponsoring my mothers trip is it necessary that he need to have a valid passport and does my mother need to carry a proof of the same.

    Thanks in advance

    Venkat

  3. Rohit Vyas

    Hi,
    I want to sponsor my mother’s and mother in law’s trip to US together.
    Although Its not much time, I have been in US. I have been here for more than 2 months. And I am planning for their interview after 2 months i.e in August to travel in December this year for a month
    I also have currently $5K balance.
    Will this be sufficient? Or do my mother and mother in law need to show more assets in India.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Rohit,
      If you are the sponsor, you need to show enough funds to support their travel and expenses (as they can stay up to 6 months). It is recommended to have $10k at least, if you are the sponsor. Unlike, if you are not the sponsor, then they will need to show cash and assets to cover the cost of their trip. So, you need to make that decision and prepare accordingly.

      1. Rohit Vyas

        Thanks Kumar for the answer. Can I go ahead with their interviews separately i.e initially for my mother in August and then interview of my mother in law in November? Also I will plan their travel in separate time(although overlapping)
        Will this lead to their successful visa stamping of both with 5k in my account?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Rohit,
          Well, I am not sure, if you should be doing that. The goal is to have enough funds to cover expenses, when they arrive in US. It is all done in good faith. I recommend, you have enough cash for both, if you plan to have them iN US, and then go for stamping. Also, just having cash in bank does not guarantee visa stamping, it is based on many factors.

  4. Anuja

    My husband is on h1b and will be sponsoring my parents when they come to U.S. both are above the age of 60 and retired from their services.
    Although, my parents do no own any property back in India , they stay in a rented apt. they have their savings well enough. My father works for two social organizations. Will any declaration from the organizations be of any help as a supporting document. What else can they show as supporting documents

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Anuja,
      I think showing their savings are good enough as long as it can cover their trip to US and expenses. Well, it does not hurt to carry them as supporting documents. Nothing in specific, just show what they have got in terms of savings and cash, that should be fine.

  5. Sudhakar N

    Hi ,I would like to ask one question here. Present i am holding valid H1B visa and now I want to bring my aunty(Mothers young sister) as a visitor.Could you please let me know the possibility of getting VISA from hyderabad.Thanks.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sudhakar,
      You can always send the invite letter and let them apply for the Tourist visa. It should be fine, in general. Overall, the chances of visa are always dependent on many factors and it hard to tell.

  6. Rahul

    do we need to submit any documents to consulate before appearing for an interview? OR just carry everything during interview is all that needed? If someone can answer

  7. MK

    MK
    I have two questions regarding my mother-in-law’s visa application.

    (1) Me and my wife are currently living in the USA with expired visa but valid I-94 based on our I-797. So, if I am applying for my Mother-in-law’s visa, will there be any problem as our visas have expired?

    (2) Should I be marking myself or my wife’s name in all the places in the forms for person to contact in the USA, sponsorer, invite letter, etc for my Mother-in-law’s application?

    Thanks,
    MK

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      MK,
      1. It should be fine as long as you are maintaining your status properly. Visa is just an entry document, what matters is your status in US. You can send your paystubs, I-797 copy for their reference.

      2. Either is fine. Ideally, it should be the person who is working.

  8. Preshet

    Can USA Visitor visa for Parents be applied from Germany ?

    As my parents are visiting Germany and i am short of time to apply visa when they are in india and appointments date delay!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Preshet,
      You will need to check with the US embassy. In general, you will apply for visa at your location of residence or home country and sometimes in neighbouring countries… In case, your parents are visitors and not residents along with you in Germany, this could be tricky and you will need to check with the US embassy in Germany…

  9. Pranab

    Hi,

    I want to know how soon I need to set the visa appointment and send all the document after submitting DS 160. Can I submit DS 160 first and then can take some time to set up the visa interview and send the documents. Is Submitting DS 160 is linked to visa interview dates ?

    1. MK

      I have two questions regarding my mother-in-law’s visa application.

      (1) Me and my wife are currently living in the USA with expired visa but valid I-94 based on our I-797. So, if I am applying for my Mother-in-law’s visa, will there be any problem as our visas have expired?

      (2) Should I be marking myself or my wife’s name in all the places in the forms for person to contact in the USA, sponsorer, invite letter, etc for my Mother-in-law’s application?

      Thanks,
      MK

  10. Sameer

    Hey Hi,

    this is a good piece of information. One thing wanted to confirm, what about tickets? Do we need to show return tickets at the time of interview?

    Please suggest.

  11. Anita

    Hi-
    This is very good and precise information. Very helpful. I had a question. I read somewhere that birth-certificate of child whose parents are visiting is required. My parents are visiting but my spouse is sponsoring. So my parents need to carry my birth certificate. May you please confirm if this is required. Thank you.

  12. Manju Patnaik

    Hi,
    My dad passed away last month, now I would like to take my mom with me to US. My husband is on L1 and he would be sponsoring the trip. My brother is in Australia. How can my mom get a B2 visa and what extra documents does she require to prove her stand and get the visa approved ?

    Thanks
    – Manju

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Manju Patnaik,

      Sorry for your loss.

      In general, the officer wants to check if the candidate is a potential immigrant or not. This is typically demonstrated through financial and social ties. So keep documents to show ties to home country (bank statements, FDs, land ownership etc). If asked for the purpose of trip she can say that she wants to spend some time with her daughter and plan to return in few months to take care of the belongings back in India.

  13. Sean Bradford

    Visa documents for expectant parents coming to the US can be baffling.
    Thanks for helping folks sort all this out. When a couple can make a calmer decision based on what you’ve kindly presented here, I wouldn’t be surprised if they name their first-born after you!:)

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