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 : 1596 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 consider filling up all the forms. It may be a good idea, if we do it because, we know what we are doing and we are sponsoring them.  Again, it is your preference. If you are filling forms at the end in DS-160, there is a section on ‘Sign and Submit page’, there you should fill out your details as third party and then inform your parents regarding the endorsement of the application by them and help them click on sign and submit button. You can check the DS-160 FAQs ( link above under fill out DS-160), it talks about it. Check out user discussion on this 

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.

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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 ( 1,596 )

  1. Zeeshan

    HI Friend,

    The above note for B1/B2 for Parents is awesome, its very good.
    But I have one Question

    My wife is going to India and she has to go for re-stamping for H4 with my Son too. I was planning to send my Parents (mother & father) with her for B1 /B2 so that they all can go at once for Stamping.
    Is that a good thing to send my parents along with my wife ? or do we need to send them separately.

    Regards
    Zeeshan

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      They can go on same day, but they cannot attend the interview together. Your parents can attend the interview together as a couple and your family can attend H-4 interview on the same day. You may or may not get the same time slot though. However, they cannot go to the interview window together as they would be receiving different tokens.

  2. Sudheer

    Hi,

    I am in US on L1-Visa, my wife also in US on L2. My child(2years) is in INDIA at my in-laws house.
    What documents required for my child to attend visa interview if my in-laws will take her to visa interview?

    Thansks,
    Sudheer.

  3. Amrapali

    Hello,

    I recently graduated (MSCS) and currently on Post OPT. We want to invite my in laws, my parents, and my younger sister(who has completed bachelor’s but not working) to attend my graduation ceremony. My husband is on H1B visa who is also going sponsor for all 5 family members.

    Can someone please suggest best way to get tourist visas for all 5 of them?
    Options are:
    1. Group all 5 together, since the purpose and sponsor is the same
    2. First schedule the group interview for my inlaws’ together, then schedule the group interview for my parents and sister.
    3. First schedule the group interview for my inlaws’ together, then schedule the group interview for my parents together, and lastly schedule the interview for my sister.

    Thanks in advance!
    Amrapali

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      IMO, you should go for option 3. Reason being you don’t want rejection of one to impact the other. When approving your parents and in-laws visas, they would look at assets and ties to India for both couples separately. Lastly, as the sister would be evaluated using different criteria as she has just completed her studies but is not studying.

      So it may be a good idea for them to go as described in option (3).

  4. Sumanto

    Hi Saurabh,

    What exactly needs to be done with the filled in I-134 form? Do I need to send them to my parents along with other documents and the same needs to be submitted by them to the US Consolate at the time of Visa interview?

    Or, I need to submit the filled in I-134 somewhere?

    Greatly appreciate your quick response!!

  5. Ieremia

    Hi, im a USA National not Citizen i was born in USA Territory, i was in States for 5+ yrs. What do i need to Bring my Parents in USA there not USA National or Citizen. I need Help ASAP. Thanks!

  6. SRao

    I have a rather unusual situation my father expired last sunday and I am an only son who recently moved to US on L1(a) and there is no one who can take care of my mother can I sponsor her for a visit visa? what are the chances of visa rejection? As we just have a house in India and no major properties. Any guidance on this will be very helpful

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It is worth a shot. I am not sure if they will approve or deny it, but you can try for the visitor’s visa. Prepare your answers to show that she will return to her home country after the visit and has no plans to immigrate. If she has any jewelry besides the house, then she can show that as well. Also, she should provide just enough information that is asked (but provide correct information always) and should try not to provide too much information.

  7. Praveen

    Hello,

    I’m in a very unusual situation. My wife got pregnant and would like to invite my in-laws and my parents. I’m on h1b visa, my h1b going to expire in Jan 2012 and my employer has filed for extension. So the question is, can I sponsor while I wait for my h1b approval ? Or I need to wait until my h1b is approved?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You can sponsor them while your petition is pending. You can submit the extension receipt (797C) as proof that you have applied for extension. If you have fears that their visas will be refused b/c of this, then you can upgrade your petition to PP so that you can get a quicker result and they can go for visa stamping w/ extended approved petition.

  8. ib

    Hello,
    i am a us citizen.i am getting married in about 4 monthes, and i want to invite my mother to attend the wedding ceremony, i know i dont have lots of time but how long do you think it will take? what form should i fill up first?
    Thanks for you time..

    1. Nick

      Hi,
      Where are you getting married and where does you mom live? Which country does she hold nationality of? I would be able to help you if you can clarify my doubts?

  9. jyothi

    Hi,

    I am applying for business visa and applied DS-160 form and submitted. But i selected passport type as official instead of regular. I fixed the appointment based on the filled application barcode. I called up cosulate office in chennai, and the customer support person told me to fill other application and get the confirmation letter.
    My doubt is which confirmation letter should i produce during the interview, is it the older one, or the recent one or both? does it create any problem?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      The new confirmation letter. As the DS-160 bar code is listed on the confirmation letter and the new letter corresponds to the updated DS form.

      1. jyothi

        Thanks a lot for the reply Saurabh.
        But the appointment letter has the barcode which belongs to the old DS-160 form. Does this create any problem? Please help me.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          If you have filled a new DS form, then you need to reschedule interview using the new DS form. I don’t think you can use the interview letter associated w/ old DS form. You should also call VFS to confirm.

          1. jyothi

            I went to Chennai US consulate office with the original DS 160 form. No one asked anything. Got my B1 visa approved. Confidence matters.

          2. jyothi

            Saurabh,

            Thanks a lot for your reply. This website really helps people.
            I am travelling to Atlanta for the first time in US. I will be there for 3 months starting from 9th Jan. Could you please help me the necessary things which can be carried also about the baggage weight and other necessary information if you have any.

            Thanks,
            Jyothi

          3. administrator
            Saurabh

            Baggage weight is usually 2 bags and 23 kgs per bag. You can check on the airline website as well.

            What you should carry and not depends upon how you plan to stay in US. Looks like your’s a short visit. So if you will be staying w/ friends who already have househeld settled, then you can plan accordingly. For clothes, take a look at the weather for next few months in Atlanta. Usually lot of Indian food and snacks are readily available in lots of US cities. You can search for Indian stores near your destination city and if there is one, you can go easy on food items as well. Although that’s a personal decision as some people would like not to spend lot of money upfront.

            There is an article on this blog related to what to carry to US. You can go through it for more details and experiences.

  10. Anjali

    Hi,

    I am on F-1 (OPT) and my husband is on H-1. My parents plan to visit us next summer . They are taking care of their airfare and we would take care of their living and other expenses in US. What all supporting docs they need to take and we need to send them so they can get visa. My brother also plans to travel he is working and can come only for 2-3 week. What docs he should take and we should send. Also should parents and brother apply together or seperate. Is it ok to mention they all plan to travel together but my brother would return earlier. They got an affidavit made stating this. Do I need to send them original docs or scanned docs would work. My father is a retired govt. official and mother a housewife. They would be going to New Delhi consulate. Pls advice.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      From your side you need to show that you have been maintaining legal status and have the resources to take care of their expenses. The list in this article is good enough.

      I would suggest that your parents and brother go separately as you do not want one’s rejection to impact the other. All of them need to show that they are not potential immigrants and would return to India after their visit. For the parents, they need to show financial assets, land, FDs etc. For the brother he needs to show a leave of absence from work (if he is working) or from the school/college (if he is studying).

  11. Sumanto

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am planning to bring my Father and my in-laws (in total 3 person) to visit US during April 2012. As we all know because of the good exchange rate, I generally keep tranferring all my money to India periodially, thus making a poor figure in terms of average saving in US banks for the past 10 months. However I can arrange around $10,000 to be shown in my account.

    Please let me know if showing $10,000 would suffice to sponsor all the expenses for 3 of them and also whether the poor average saving figure in the US banks going to have any impact.

    Best Regards,
    Sumanto

    1. Kiran

      Hi Sumanto–

      I just did the above Procedure for my in laws and Today back in India was there Interview and they Cleared.

      The fact is none of these documents were even asked when they went for the Interview as well as Submission. So ideally i feel 10000 USD should be good enough if they ask for the document. As the fact is they did not even accept the Form-I-134, Employment verification Letter, Bank verification letter, Marriage certificate .. etc.

      so i think you should be fine.

  12. Kiran

    Hi Ashraf ,
    thanks for your help.

    So my Father in Laws Name is Appearing in Indian Passport as
    SurName :
    First Name: “Venkataraman”
    Last Name :”BalSubramaniam”

    So in this case how should i mention in DS160 , as per your comments can i directly mention Surname as ” Venkataraman Balsubramaniam” and Leave the Give Name” FNU” or
    Option 2 : Put the Middle Name as the Surname which would be
    Surname as “Balsubramaniam”
    Given Name as “Venkataraman Balsubramaniam’

    Please advice.

    1. Ashraf Pasha

      Kiran,
      As far I know, in the Indian passport the Name is shown in 2 fields, i.e
      – Surname
      – Given Name
      So,
      If in your In-laws passport if its given as,
      – Surname :
      – Given Name : Venkataraman Balsubramaniam
      then go with option 1 as you’ve mentioned. otherwise call the VFS Helpline and get the correct way.

  13. Shri

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am B1 Visa holder and recently I attend for H1B VISA in chennai and got 221(g) form. I have submitted all the requested documents on 1st week of November and waiting for reply from VISA officer (as you said in many posts :)…..)

    Now my question is during this wating period can I travel to US with my B1 VISA ?? Is this legal or not? Please kindly reply to this

    Thanks in Advance.
    Sreekanth

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If you have valid reasons to travel to US, then you can travel to US. Most likely the officer would have asked for loads of documents related to employer/job etc. and that has nothing to do w/ B-1 travel.

      Good luck!

  14. Ratnesh

    Hi,
    I want to call my mother. I am working on an H1B and my wife just started working on H1B as well. My wife is pregnant and due in a couple of months. Should we tell the VO (if asked) that she is pregnant and my mom wants to visit to help us with that? Or should we just say she is planning to visit US.

    Please reply ASAP. Thanks for the help.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Lot of parents come to US to help w/ pregnancy. So that’s a valid reason and can be told to the VO. However, wait for comments from others who may have experienced this.

  15. Kiran

    Hi ,
    I recently changed my Job in the US , I got my new H1B now . My visa Stamping is still from old Employer will it be a problem in such a case as the Visa is the OLD Employer and my new H1B is the Current Employer . In this case what document should i send to my Parents. Please advice.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It is ok to have visa from old employer and petition from new employer. You can send the same to your parents for their tourist visa stamping.

      1. Kiran

        Thanks Saurabh.

        Few more doubts please help as you are the Guru.
        1.Since i have not yet started with the New Job , can i send them the Verification letter of the New Employer and Pay Stubs of the Older Employer
        2.Do the Parents Require Birth Certificate of mine to produce in the counsulate
        3.Does the Form -I-134 need to be attested.

        Appreciate your response and help.

        Thanks
        Kiran Iyer

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          1. Yes. Just ensure there is continuity of pay slips until the most recent pay period.
          2. I don’t think so
          3. I don’t think so, but check w/ people who have gone for stamping recently

          1. Kiran

            Thanks .

            In the Form I-134 there is the Option e. which requests for I-94 Number
            should i enter my Newly received I-94 with the New employer Petition or the One that is Stamped in the Passport.
            I am confused.
            thanks
            Kiran Iyer

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            If you applied for H-1 transfer, the recently received I-94 will have the same number as that you received when entered US. So there is just one I-94# and you should mention that number.

          3. Kiran

            Hi Saurabh ,

            Question Related to the DS-160 , My Father in Law and Mother In Laws name in Passport does not hold a Surname instead there name Appears as (First Name and Middle Name ) but in DS-160 it is mandatory to enter the Surname so what should i enter there ?

            Please help.

          4. Ashraf Pasha

            Hi Kiran,
            I am answering your question about DS-160 with the Surname problem.

            Basically,I am in the process of getting a B2 visitor visa for my parents and I have exactly the same problem with the blank Surnames in the Parent’s passport.

            To fix this problem I called up the VFS consulate help center and what solution he told me was
            ” The Surname cannot be empty and so for that reason enter your ‘Given Name’ as shown in the passport into the ‘Surname field’ of DS-160 and enter ‘FNU’ in the the Given Name Field.”

            Hope this might help you!!

          5. Kiran

            Hi Saurabh ,

            My Wife is on H4 and I am on H1 and i am inviting my In Laws to the US so what should i write in the DS-160 where they have asked do you know someone apart from Parents ? Can i put my wifes name as she is there child or should i put my name as in an initial question whether who is making arrangements for your visit i have added my name as i am the sole bread earner.
            Please help.

            thanks
            Kiran Iyer

          6. administrator
            Saurabh

            Why not put both your and your wife’s name as son-in-law and daughter? Does it restrict only to blood relations, or asks about relatives in general?

  16. Shah

    My Son is on H4 & daughter-in-law is on H1b visa in US.

    I will write my son’s name and select – CHILD but Do I have to write my daughter-in-law’s name in this question?

    Do you have any immediate relatives, not including parents, in the United States?

    1. Spouse
    2. Fiance / Fiancee
    3. Child
    4. Sibling

  17. San

    I have just arrived in US one month back. I have come on L1 visa. I would like to invite my parents on tourist visa. I have applied for SSN for still waiting for Card. Can I invite my parents to USA although I dont have SSN or 3 months bank statements?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Who ever sponsors needs to have funds. As you have been in US for just 1 month, you may not have the funds (or I might be wrong). In that case, they can self-sponsor (if they have funds).

          I don’t think not having SSN will impact their processing. When going for interview the interviewer will look at following things:
          – whether you adhered to immigration laws or not (payslips, bank statements required)
          – whether the person sponsoring has enough funds
          – whether your parents are potential immigrants or not (strong ties to home country need to be shown including assets etc)

          1. San

            As mentioned above SSN does not play a big role.
            Regarding the bank statements, just one month statement will help or will be enough? What kind of pay slips?
            Since my father is an independent professional lawyer, who is still busy with his job activities , I can show this as one of the reasons that he will be returning back to his home country.

          2. administrator
            Saurabh

            I don’t know what kind of bank balance you have, but it is good if that bank balance is enough to sponsor your parent’s trip. Pay slips from your employer showing that you are getting paid the necessary salary. This not only shows constant cash flow, but also shows that you are maintaining status.

            Besides his profession, he should be ready to show any assets he has in India. This can include fixed assets like land, jewelry, FDs etc. If there are dependent children still residing in India, then that would help as well.

          3. San

            I dont have any pay slip yet. Due to some communication gap, my salary was credited in India. ok. Thanks for all the inputs.

    1. yoganand

      My parents were refused a visitor visa for apparently no reason. The officer did not even explain just gave a paper and them to read it. The staff simply sent them away not caring to explain. I referred them to Visavikings.in seeing their ad on the net and these people were so good at analyzing the reasons behind the rejection that they guided my parents the right approach in simple steps. Now on their second try, they have got the visa and about to join my family here in the US after winter.

      1. kumar

        hi
        can you please help me.
        did they go for stamping immediatly or waited for few months?
        my parents visa got rejected,can i send them immediatley again?
        thanks
        anil

  18. Shah

    I have submitted DS160 last week. I am confuse about one question and I want to check what I have written in that question. Now I can check or print out DS160?

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I checked again, and you are right. One can print it while completing it, but once it has been submitted you can only print the confirmation page which contains the barcode and not the actual information.

  19. Shah

    “Immediate Relatives in USA”

    I have question regarding DS160 “Immediate Relatives in USA”

    When I submitted DS160 that time I mention only my and my wife’s name in Immediate relatives. I thought its blood relation.

    Actually my father’s cousin brother (Father’s mama’s son) is living in USA. He also sponsored my wife when she came on F2 visa but right now she is on H1b visa.

    If VO ask my parents “Do you have any relatives in US?” What should they answer?

    YES or NO?

  20. Elias

    Hi there,

    I am a GC holder and wife is on F1. She is pregnant and we are planing to apply for her mom to come over in March. Is it ok if i sponsor my mother-in-law instead of my wife? i could provide marriage certificate, etc
    thanks in advance for ur time

  21. Deepak

    I just came to US in Jan 2011 on L1 visa and i want My mother along with my brother in law and my sister to visit US as Self sponsor. I have managed to have savings of $10000 in my bank accounts & requesting them to self sponsor the trip. I have following questions.
    1. Being an intercomany transferee i do not get salary in US but receive only per diems, so hence i cannot submit pay stubs- Will this be an issue.
    2. Is it ok whether they apply visa for all 3 of them simultaneously.
    3. My mother (widow) has some Fixed deposits and good bank balances along with some property in her name she is currently staying with my sister. Will this be sufficient or can i ask my brother in law to include my mother also as dependent & sponsor the trip.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. Could be. Check w/ people who have similar experiences
      2. Most of the tourist visa rejections are because VO found the applicant potential immigrant. Do you think your relatives will be able to show strong ties w/ India. If yes, then they can go together; otherwise they should go separately (so that one’s rejection doesn’t the other). I read a case on this blog where parents and sister went for interview together and all 3 were rejected because sister was found as potential immigrant.
      3. VO can question about the same. Again, the important thing is to convince VO that she is not a potential immigrant. I am not sure if showing her as a dependent would convince him or not.

  22. prabin

    Hi
    I am graduating this december and i have invited my cousin and her daughter.I am supporting them and i had sent all documents e.g I -134,bank statements,employment letter ,tax returns.Visa was denied on nov 3.should i sent re-invitation letter again to reapply for visa

    Thanks in advance

  23. rani

    Very informative post. Please advice for my situation–

    My parents visas got rejected twice since mar 2011. First time no reason given, no documents asked. This time parents asked for reason and VO said no strong financial and social ties. My dad has a small business, he files income tax on abt 4lacs per annum which is probably low but he also has lot of property and has done investments which can show strong finances problem is they never asked to show any documents so they could not present any. Regarding social ties – my brother n sister are in india although both are independant now since my sister is married and my brother just started working now. Im the only one here, so dont understand how else can we prove social ties.

    Any suggestions will be really helpful. Should i apply again? and what changes can i make to prove they are not potential immigrants?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      The only documents/information you can show is the one you have described above. They can try to apply again and convince the officer.

  24. Girish

    Hi Saurabh,

    I’m on a J1 visa here in the US. My parents are visiting the US to see me and attend my cousins wedding. They have enough money to sponsor their trip. Of course I’ll send them an invitation. Do I still need to show my bank statement if they are sponsoring their visa and trip?

  25. hasan

    Hi,
    I am on H4 and want to call my parents for a short visit next spring. They are well off and can pay the travel expenses(i.e flight tickets, etc ) themselves. This excludes the accomodation, food because they will be staying with us. My dad is not much into putting money in banks. he invests it. So he does not have much of a bank balance.Only about 55,000 INR in savings account, but they have a monthly income of 50,000 INR or so in checking, from his pension and properties given on lease.
    Apart from this they have a school-going and a college-gonig sons(my brothers) andenough properties in india toguarentee their return. But do they need to show a bank balance to convince the VO that they can manage the expenes. Should my husband sponsor them? Or they self-sponsor? pls advise.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      If they want to self-sponsor then they need to show funds that would cover the expenses. These funds can either be in the bank or as assets that can easily be liquidated for cash (like FD). They can show combination of these to demonstrate that they take care of their expenses. If that is not possible, then your spouse can sponsor them. They may still need to show assets (along w/ school/college going sons) to show that they would return to India and are not potential immigrants.

  26. Venkat

    Hello,

    Well written !! I live in the US and am almost done filling DS160 forms for my parents visa renewal (Will provide my info as the preparer). My parents are not computer savvy and so can I submit the form on their behalf? Thanks a bunch and keep up the good work.

    -Venkat

  27. prav

    I am a permanent resident and going to sponsor my mom and dad for B2 visa. Both My mom’s sister(Permanent resident) and dad sister(American Citizen) lives in the USA .
    My question is in DS-160 is it a advantage to list both their names in the “Family Information: Relatives” section.Neither my mom and Das’s sisters are sponsoring my parents neither they are going to stay with them.
    is it a advantage or a disadvantage to list more relatives? if i hide this fact is there a possibility the embassy finding out that my parents siblings live here.
    Please kindly provide me an answer

  28. Shah

    I want to invite my parents on visitor visa. I fill out two DS160 form one for my dad and one for my mom.

    Now I am checking visa dates.

    My question is: I have to take two individual date and time for my parents visa interview?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You can take just one. I haven’t tried this myself, but as you proceed to take the appointment time, it will ask you if you want to add any family members. You can then add the other parent.

  29. prav

    Last year I sent my mom,dad and brother for the b2 visa interview and unfortunately their visa was rejected under 214B .My mom and dad has been given a pink slip with the rejection reason.There passport was not stamped with rejection.My brother was not even called for an interview as both mom and dad got rejected.
    Now again I am planing to sponsor all three of them for their B2 Visa.
    So my question is in the new i-134 Question 9-“I have previously submitted affidavit of support for the following person” should I include my mom and dad’s names? Can I exclude my brothers name under the assumption that he wasn’t officially rejected as he wasn’t given a pink slip.
    Please advice me on this

  30. Gabi Trickett

    My mother is a green card holder from Mumbai, India and has been coming to visit her kids/grandkids in the US always within the 6-month timeframe. However, she is getting on in years and was wondering if she can get a 10-year multiple entry visa. She is in the US at the moment & I have the following questions:
    (1) Does she have to surrender her green card if she applies for a 10-year multiple entry visa? Is this a B2 visa?
    (2) If she has to surrender her green card, will they give her the 10-year visa in exchange on the same day?
    (3) Can she apply for a 10-year multiple entry from the US side? If so, where does she need to go to apply? Or does she have to go to the consulate in Mumbai?

  31. Shelly

    Hi Saurabh,

    I do not have the project name in my client letter. Is that an issue? Is it compulsory to have a project name in the client letter??

    Thanks,
    Vaishaly

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Sometimes, projects do not have any name. So if the project name is not mentioned then it is ok. However, client information, contact person, start/end dates and job/responsibilities are must.

  32. Shah

    Dear Saurabh,

    I have question regarding DS160: Travel Section

    Person/Entity Paying for your trip:
    1. Self
    2. Other Person

    My Father & Mother-in-law is paying for round trip ticket and I am taking care about food, accommodation and all other expenses while they are in US.

    What should I write?

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      IMO, you can mention other person and provide your details. I assume you will be sending your recent bank statement and payslips to show that you can afford to support them financially during their visit.

  33. Sweety

    Hello
    We are inviting to my parents and my husband would like to sponsor for my parents.
    they are going to visa interview to Hyderabad and my Father can speak English but my Mother can’t speak english. we would like to send them together to interview . so would that be ok if i mention Interview language as English.
    Please reply me asap.
    advance thanks for your valuable advise.

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      You should be able to do that. If the VO asks any question to your mother, your father can help her answer it. However, this is my guess that it should be ok. I haven’t read about any cases where this arrangement work (or for that matter didn’t work).

  34. Aakanksha

    Quick Question:

    My parents have Visa interview. I need to send copy of passport to my parents in India.. They say Complete Passport… But I need to send scanned Copies of only Printed Papers from the Passport right…I need not send the Empty Papers also right? I am sure that they might be interested in only Printed Copies of my Passport..But just making Sure…Please help..

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      It’s better to send all the pages, as then they are sure that you didn’t miss out on any page(s). If you send just the printed pages, then it doesn’t confirm that no other page is non-blank. So it’s better to send all the pages.

      1. Aakanksha

        Thanks Saurabh… One more question.. The HDFC receipt that we pay for..Is it valid for only once.. I mean if they reject the visa and if want to reshedule another interviee say after 3 months, do we need to pay the fee again?

  35. imane

    Please give me some advice on my issue.
    I am a permanent Resident and living in USA with my husband who is American born Citizen.I am planing to get my mom because i am pregnante i want ask question what kind visas i can do for her ?

  36. PRAV

    Please give me some advice on my issue.
    I am a permanent Resident and living in USA with my husband who is American born Citizen.I am planing to get my mom,dad and sister here or a 4 week vacation from India to spend the Dec holidays with us. In 2010 when i applied for my mom,dad and sister together their B2 visa got rejected under 214 B.since my sister is still 20 and living with my parents ,my parents expect to bring her along with them.So my questions are
    1.If I apply mom,dad and sister together is it a risk of getting the visa approved?
    2.If so what is the best way to apply.Should I apply individually in 3 different times.
    for e.g if i first sponsor my father and gets his visa approved , and then in the next week if I send my mom will it be a disadvantage.
    3.if I file individually and if the first person gets approved (e.g dad )will he have to travel and return back for the next person to get their visa
    our main expectation is ,all three of my family members to travel together. So please advice me with the best solution

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I would suggest parents going together and sister separately. All 3 of them need to demonstrate strong ties to India to show that they are not potential immigrants and would return to India after their US visit. For parents it is shown by job, financial assets, land etc they have in India. If the sister is still studying, then she can get a letter from the college informing they are granting limited vacation and expect her to come back and complete her studies.

      1. PRAV

        Thank you.It is amazing how quickly you responded. Just to be clear I have few questions on your suggestion.It would be great if you can provide me an answer
        1. Parents going together and sister separately -does this mean I file parents together and sister separately but send them to the interview on the same day as two separate applicants? OR
        2. Should I first send my parents together and once their visa get approved send my sister for the interview on a separate day?Will it be a question why my sister didn’t apply with my parents if she wishes to travel together.
        What kind of excuse can she give.
        3. Should my sister mention that parents are traveling in her interview and she decided to join hem or just keep quite?
        Please advice me on this. I am really looking forward to hear from you

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          From your initial question it looks like sister was considered as potential immigrant and because all 3 went together, all 3 visas were rejected. That is why I suggested parents going together and sister going separately. She can go on the same day as parents. She doesn’t need to inform about parents visa unless VO asks about it.

          As their visas have been rejected in the past, it may be little difficult in getting approval this time. As all 3 went together last time, VO can also inquire about other family members’ travel plans (and one shouldn’t lie at that point).

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      I think you should be able to sponsor their visa. When do they plan to travel to US? If you plan to get your L-1 petition extended and they don’t have to travel until that time, then a more safer option would be to send them for visa stamping later once you have got your L-1 extended.

  37. raghu

    Hi
    i am in ead (opt) and my graduation has done. i want to invite my parents. could you please help me how to invite parents and what documents i need to send?

    Raghu

  38. Aaakash

    I am filling I-134 separately for my Parents. There is a column which says “Name of Spouse and children accompanying or following to join Person.” So when I fill I-134 for my Father,. should I enter details of my Mother in this column since both of them are attending interview together and will travel together?

    1. Aaakash

      I have another Question.. Does the Parents need to know any details about my SSN. Should they carry a copy of SSN card. I know SSN is somthing not be shared with anyone. Would the VO be interested to know SSN details?

  39. Aaakash

    Hi,
    I have scheduled Interview for my Parents on 31st Oct 2011.

    1. My Father gor Retired in May 2011. Will it be a Problem if my Father is not working currently?

    2. I came to US in Jan 2011 and hence I do not have any W2 Form. Will be cause any problem?

    3. Should my Parents show Bank balance in India also , even though I am sponosring their trip?

    4. Should I send Invitation Letter and Visa Officer Cover latetr separately for my Parents or can I send a common one for both. They both have interview at Same time.. I mean I took slot together for them?

    5. Should I fill I-134 separately for both of them?

    6. Can I send Scanned copies of all Documents to my Parents throuh email or are there any documents that need to be sent via Courier?

    Appreciate your help in anwering the above questions…

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      1. He will have to show ties to India and give enough supporting documents to demonstrate that he would return to India after the trip. If officer finds that he is a potential immigrant, then he wouldn’t issue the B-1 visa.
      2. No as you do not have W-2 form for technical reasons.
      3. Yes, they should as it would demonstrate their ties to India. Land, fixed assets etc are also good to show.
      4. You can send one letter covering both of them as they will be attending the interview together.
      5. Yes, that needs to be separate.
      6. Scanned copies are fine. They can then take print outs of those documents.

      1. Aaakash

        Hi Saurabh,
        Thanks a lot for answering all my questions.

        Myself and my elder sister are both in United States currently. My Sister came to US 2 years back on L2 visa. Since both of us are in United States, will it be a Problem?

        However, my Younger Sister is with my Parents. She is still Studying. Will that be sufficient for the Officer to believe that my Parents will come back to take care of my Younger Sister?

        Is it mandatory to have Bank verifictaion letter? BOA says they need 7-10 working days to give that letter. I do not have enough time. Will it be fine if I send Statements from BOA? Even with Statements I have them only till Sep 30th. To get statement till date, BOA does not have any option. All they say is take a Printout of current Month Transactions? Should that be fine?

        Please provide your inputs on the above questions as well.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          I don’t think it will be a problem if 2 children are in US. Yes, it would be nice to show that the youngest daughter is still in India and studying and they will return back to India as she is financially dependent on them.

          Statement until Sep is fine. What they look for in statements is your salary getting credited to the account. As long as your can submit 2-3 statements showing that salary getting credited, it should be fine.

          1. Aaakash

            Thanks Saurabh for your quick Response.

            Can you share any link you are aware of which lists the questions that are generally asked by VO for B2 Visa for Parents?

          2. Aakanksha

            Hi Saurabh…

            Thanks for all your help. My parents got their Visa..
            The VO office asked soem standard questions to my Father, like:

            1. What are you doing?
            2. Where does your son stay?
            3. Where does he work?
            4. How many children you have?
            The VO did not ask any questions to my Mom.

            Thanks Once again..!!

  40. Anshul

    Hi, I am on a L1-B Visa. Currently my visa is expired but I have a valid I-94 (till 2013).
    Can i sponsor my parents visa based on valid I-94 and expired L1-B. My extension is not yet filed.?

      1. Anshul

        Hi Saurabh,

        I-129S is not expired, it says that petition valid indfinitely, i have another letter in my petition which says “request for a admission for a three year period” which says that whenever i will come to US (with a valid visa) i will be allowed a 3 years of admission (means i-94 for 3 years). So i am authorized to work in usa on I-94 even in the visa is expired as I-129 S says petition valid indefinitely.

        If you think this is valid, please let me know the answer onf my main question (repeating below)
        Hi, I am on a L1-B Visa. Currently my visa is expired but I have a valid I-94 (till 2013).
        Can i sponsor my parents visa based on valid I-94 and expired L1-B. My extension is not yet filed.?

        Thanks in advance.

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          So when you say visa is expired, you are referring to the physical L-1 visa stamp in the passport, right? As long as you are authorized to work in US, have recent payslips and employment letter, you can go ahead and sponsor your parent’s visa.

          1. Anshul

            Hi Saurabh,
            You are correct that I was referring to physical L-1 visa stamp in passport but my actual I-129S is valid and I am authorzied to work in US. I do have my recent payslips and employment letter as well. I will do the sponsorship.
            Thanks a bunch for the information. Appreciated a lot.
            Anshul.

  41. Parul

    Hello,
    We have a very unusual and emergency situation an any kind of guidance is greatly appreciated. My husband had to visit India in emergency due to his father’s sudden death and he wants to bring his mom with him to unites states because there is noone else in India to take care of her. My husband and his 2 siblings lives in US and all are US Citizens and so is myself. My father-in-law (who died last Saturday) had given up his green card twice and my mother-in-law (who my husband is trying to bring with him to USA asap) also gave up her green card once because they did not want to live permanenetly in USA at that time. They visited several times but did not stay permanently and let the green card expire when they decided to not live here in US anymore. But now the situation totally turned around. My father-in-laws sudden death left my monther-in-law alone and we want to bring her here asap. So we are thinking to go to Bombay directly apply for emergency visitor visa or somehting like that and present our situation in front of the immigration officer to see my husband can get an approval to bring her here within a week. My husband cannot stay in India longer than 2 weeks due to his job/business here in USA. After we bring our mother here, we can apply for permanent visa. Is there any procedure or emergency visa procedure to bring her here along with my husband who is US citizen? If anyone has any info on how to handle this situation, please advise. We all Thank you very very much in advanc.
    Parul

  42. Parul

    Hello,

    We have a very unusual and emergency situation an any kind of guidance is greatly appreciated. My husband had to visit India in emergency due to his father’s sudden death and he wants to bring his mom with him to unites states because there is noone else in India to take care of her. My husband and his 2 siblings lives in US and all are US Citizens and so is myself. My father-in-law (who died last Saturday) had given up his green card twice and my mother-in-law (who my husband is trying to bring with him to USA asap) also gave up her green card once because they did not want to live permanenetly in USA at that time. They visited several times but did not stay permanently and let the green card expire when they decided to not live here in US anymore. But now the situation totally turned around. My father-in-laws sudden death left my monther-in-law alone and we want to bring her here asap. So we are thinking to go to Bombay directly apply for emergency visitor visa or somehting like that and present our situation in front of the immigration officer to see my husband can get an approval to bring her here within a week. My husband cannot stay in India longer than 2 weeks due to his job/business here in USA. After we bring our mother here, we can apply for permanent visa. Is there any procedure or emergency visa procedure to bring her here along with my husband who is US citizen? If anyone has any info on how to handle this situation, please advise. We all Thank you very very much in advance.

  43. Murali

    I am on F1 visa and i am working now for last 10 months in a mechanical company. i got my parents visa when i was student and now i want to apply VISA for my brother and he is employed now working in IT company.
    Is there any chances of rejection of VISA for him?

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      When applying for tourist visa, the onus is on you to show that you will return to home country after the visit and are not a potential immigrant. For this, your brother needs to show ties w/ his home country. As he is working right now, it would be good to get a letter from the employer stating that they are granting him leave of absence for xx weeks/months and he will join them back after the vacation. This way, VO has more confidence that he would return to home country after the visit.

  44. Brenda

    Hello,
    My situation is a little different. I’m trying to bring my in laws from Mexico to the USA. I am an american citizen and my husband is a resident. Would the process be similar to the one you explain above? Would the same type of programs apply for us too? Any input would be greatly appreciated. I really want my husband to be with his parents for the holidays, but unfortunately, due to our jobs, we will not be able to go to mexico.

  45. Ana

    hi
    i am on F1 visa, getting graduated this december, 2011. I want to invite my parents for the graduation ceremony. My father is a government employee and my mother is a home- maker. The above information you gave here was very helpful. I got a question regarding sponsorship letter/ bank verification letter/ I-134 forms/ W2 forms as you mentioned in 7, 8 and 9th points. I am a student then what about this sponsorship letters? Is there a seperate process for f1 students to apply for parents visiting visa??
    is september the right time to apply???
    thank you,
    regards,
    ana.

  46. P.geetha

    Dear sir,
    My son has recently graduated this summer and will be attendin graduating cermonies this Dec 2011. He is employed. Will an invitation letter from the university be enough for him to sponcer us for attending the cermony.What other documents will we need to make atrip to us to attend the graduation.
    Geetha

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      When going for visitor’s visa, following things are looked at:
      – purpose of trip (attending graduation ceremony is a valid reason). Letter from university would be sufficient
      – who is sponsoring the trip. If you are paying for your own expenses, then you need to show funds for the same
      – whether you would return back to home country or not. This is proved by showing ties to home country. You can submit land documents, employment documents, bank statements, FDs etc to show that you intend to return to your home country after the trip.

  47. Tamil

    Hi,

    Should we submit the original employment verification letter in the interview? will it be an issue if the person in India takes a color printout of the scanned copy of employment verification letter?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Well, it may work. In case you are questioned about it, you can let VO know that you were emailed the scanned copy and that’s the print-out of that letter. However, it’s VO’s discretion whether he wants to see the original letter only or if s/he can accept photo-copy.

  48. Mridu

    Hi,
    I am in US on L2 waiting for my EAD for past 2 months. My brother is here on H1 for 4 years. My brother is planning to sponsor visa for my parents. My father is retired govt employee and mother is a homemaker. Will it be a problem since both the siblings are in US? Although my parents have property and bank balance in India. Could you please give some advise as to what proof we need to stress on?
    Regards,
    Mridu

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      They need to show strong ties w/ India for successful stamping. So they should emphasize on the property and balance they have in India to show that they would return to India after visiting you guys.

      1. Mridu

        Hi,
        My parents had their visa interview in Kolkata today. They kept my father’s passport and returned my mothers saying for administrative processing. They were asked to give contact details of 2 people who are not relatives. When my parents told that they don’t stay in Kolkata for resubmitting my mothers passport, they said we can authorize someone in Kolkata to resubmit her passport.
        What does all this mean? Does it mean that my fathers visa is approved and mothers need more information?
        Could you please clarify?
        Regards,
        Mridu

        1. administrator
          Saurabh

          Looks like that – father’s visa has been approved while mother’s need to undergo additional processing. I see no reason to approve one and reject the other. Also, the query is a simple one – they need references of people that can vouch for your mother. I think it should get approved once you submit those documents.

          1. Mridu

            Hi,
            Just wanted to inform that my parents got a call to submit my mothers passport for stamping on Oct 24th, 12 days after their visa interview.

  49. aparna

    Hi, thanks for the info. My husband is sponsoring my mom who is on L1 since April 2011. So he did not have W2 forms, Is it going to be a problem?

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