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US Visitor Visa(B2) for Parents – Process, Sample Documents

One of the most frequently asked questions among friends, either during graduation time, or after they start working in US, or if they are expecting a baby is “What is the process to apply for visitor or tourist visa(B2 visa) to parents to come to USA ? What documents do I need ? How do I start ?” . The below article covers the step by step process to apply for B2 visitor visa for parents or family members, including sample documents, templates.

Basic Requirements – Passports,  Funds for US Trip

The two most important things you need to plan ahead before you even apply for visa are passports for parents and funds required for their travel.

  • Parents Passports: The first step is to apply for passport for your parents, if they do not have one. Depending on the country, the time to get passport can vary, so factor in that time in your entire US visa application process for their B2 visa. For example, 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. You may read our article on applying for Passport Renewal in India, it can give some idea.
  • Bank Savings for Sponsorship: You need enough funds for your parents trip. 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 Parents US Visitor Visa (B2)

Below are the various steps that you can follow to apply for visitor visa for parents. Some of them can be done in parallel, but below is a general step by step guide.

Employment Letter from your Company or Graduation Letter

When you invite your parents or family, one of the things US Consular officer would look at are your current Visa status and supporting documentation for the same. You may need to get different set of documentation based on your status as an employee working in US or student studying in US. Below are the details

Working in US on a Visa (H1B, L1, OPT)

If you are working on a work visa, you need to get an employment letter from your current company, verifying that you are working in US on H1B, L1 or other visa, including OPT or STEM OPT. This is to make sure you are in good standing in US and are getting paid to support the travel of your parents.

Depending on the company, your company may ask you for details of your parents or their passport copies and directly address the employment verification letter to the consulate. There is no rule that you need to have certain format. Check Sample templates section at the end, if you want a sample. All they care is, if you are employed and in good standing.

The employment verification Letter should have information like when you joined them and what role are you in and how much salary you make. 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 an F1 international Student inviting your parents for Graduation, you need to send your current status details like F1 Visa copy, I-94, I-20 and Graduation invitation letter to your parents.

Complete DS-160, Book US Visa Appointment

Before you book US Visa stamping appointment for your parents, you need to fill in DS-160 form. Make sure you have scan copies of their passport before you start the process to avoid issues. Also, your employer may need them.

Complete DS-160 Form Online for Parents   

Unless your parents are well educated and have all facilities like computer with internet access, etc. they may not be able to do DS-160 on their own. It would be better, if you fill it out for them and then declare the same at the end. It saves a lot of pain for your parents to fill it out without any mistakes.

  • Separate DS-160 Forms : You will need to create separate DS-160 applications profiles for every individual applying for visa. If you are inviting both your mother and father, then you need to create two DS-160 Profiles online for your parents.
  • Creating Family Member DS-160 from Thank you page : When you are filling out the first DS-160 form for first family member, 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.
  • Required info to Fill DS-160 form : You will need a lot of information like education details, work history, identification info etc. We have complied the entire list of required items for DS-160 and tips to fill the same. Read How to fill out DS-160 Form, Documents Needed to get full idea.
  • Filling up the DS-160, Declaration : If you are filling forms on behalf of your parents, at the end in DS-160 form, 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 may check more info and discussion on sign and submit  option.
  • Fill DS-160 online at Official State.gov website : You should go to Official US Govt State.gov website for DS-160 form Creation. Here is the link : US Govt ceac.state.gov Website
    • If any questions, you can visit any of the below links to fill the DS-160 form.  

Once you complete the DS-160 form, next step is to pay the fee and book visa interview appointment.

Booking US Visa Interview Appointment, Native Language

You need to book visa appointment at US embassy/ consulate for getting B2 Visa stamping to travel to US. It involves, paying fees, selecting location and interview language. Let’s look in detail.

  • US Consulate Location for Interview : Depending on your home country, there may be one or more locations in your country. You need to choose the US Consulate that is close to where your parents live. For instance, in India, each consulate has a list of states that they serve. Depending on your state, you need to select the respective Consulate.
  •  Parents US Visa Interview Language – Mother tongue vs English: If your parents are not comfortable with English, you should choose their preferred mother tongue or native language. Most of the 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.
  • Scheduling US Visa Interview : The US Visa interview appointment booking is handled by www.ustraveldocs.com website in most of the countries. Depending on your country, click on the country and choose the relevant website. For instance, for India, it would be www.ustraveldocs.com/in.
    • You need to create an account and follow the process in there. You will be asked to pay the fee online for booking appointment.
    • If you cannot pay online, you can go to bank, pay it there and get code to use the same for booking appointment.
    • You do not need two accounts, you can add your parents together as family in the same account and book visa interview appointment.

You can read Complete guide apply for US Visa Appointment for step by step process.

Prepare for US Visitor Visa(B2) Interview, Documents

You will need to prepare and carry all relevant documents for the US Visitor visa interview for your parents. You will need to send them invite letters, sponsorship letters and other info. Let’s look at each of them.

Funds Proof – Bank Account Balance Letter, Sample

If you are sponsoring your parents or in-laws trip, you need to send the relevant proof to show that there are enough funds in your bank. While you can print out the Bank statements online, it is recommend that you go to your Bank and get a Bank verification or Bank Balance Statement Letter signed and stamped by the Bank officer.

Go to the 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. Depending on the bank, the process can vary. 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

Invitation Letter, Visa Officer Cover Letter, Other Documents

Below are other set of documents that you will need to have ready for the visa interview, so that your parents or in-laws can show the same.

  • 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 template copies below.
  • 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. See templates section below.
  • 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.
  • F1 Student – Status 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.
  • ( 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. 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
  • Sending Documents to Home Country : 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. It may cost you up to $60 USD.

Below is checklist of B2 visitor visa stamping for parents

Parents US Visitor Visa(B2) Documents Checklist

  • Copy of work visa approval  notice ( H1B, L1 – Form I-797).
  • Copy of Passport, US Visa stamped on passport.
  • Copy of I-94.  ( Check How to get I-94 Online )
  • 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 previous years Tax Returns –W2 forms ( if applicable).
  • DS forms (if you have filled it and signed the same)
  • Copy of Green Card ( if you are not working on visa )
  • Form I-134 ( Optional )

US Visitor Visa(B2) Documents Checklist for in-laws

If you are sponsoring for your in-laws like mother-in-law or father-in-law, in addition to above checklist of documents, you need to include spouse’s details and documents as well along with the package.

  • Your Spouse’s Passport
  • Spouse’s approval notice I797
  • Spouse’s US 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 Document Templates for Parents US Visitor Visa

Below are some of the templates that you can use. Make sure you change the content to fit it for your situation.

  • 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 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. The below list of documents are intended to prove that they will return to home country:

  • 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.

Attend US Visitor Visa Interview, Sample Questions

Having all documents is important, but the most important thing is to give your parents the confidence and all the details related to you and what you do in US so that they can answer the questions. You need to coach your parents to do well in the interview. You can expect to see questions like below for your parents in the visa interview

  • Who lives in US ? Son or Daughter ?
  • What does your Son or Daughter do in US ?
  • Did they study in US ?
  • Where did they study ?
  • What does your son or daughter do for work ?
  • Which city do they live in ?
  • Do you plan to settle down there or come back ?
  • What is the purpose of your visit ?
  • When do yo plan to go ?
  • When do you plan to return to India ?
  • What is your son or daughter salary ?
  • How long have your son or daughter lived in US ?
  • Do you work or retired ?
  • Do you get pension ? Have you paid taxes ?

You can check out  some experiences like Parents US Visa Stamping Experience -Telugu  and  English Stamping Experience US Parents Visa  .

Hopefully, your parents get their US Visa in the interview. One last thing is health insurance.

parents-insurance-728x90

Health Insurance for Parents : After you get US Visa and plan to arrive in US, having visitors health insurance is important for parents to avoid any unforeseen health conditions, when in USA. 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.

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

   

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1,649 Comments

  1. Hi Saurabh

    I have scheduled B2 visa interview only for my mother. Now, I would like to schedule B2 visa interview for my father as well, along with my mother. What should I do?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Can you please respond? Should I schedule interview for my father individually at the same same and same slot?

      Reply
  2. I believe in this case, you were sponsoring the visit for your parents. In case, parents are self sponsoring this visit, which documents are need? Do I still need to send them by financial documents and paystubs, and affidavit of support?

    Reply
    • Rahul,
      No need. If they are sponsoring themselves, then they need to show proof of funds to support their trip. You can send your current info like paystubs, visa copy to prove you are in valid status.

      Reply
    • Rahul,

      If parents are self-sponsoring then no need to send your financial documents. Still send an employment letter to show that you are employed (as they would mention you as family residing and working in US), and maybe copy of rental agreement (as they would be staying at your place).

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for the reply. I have send them bank statements which have my address on it. Will that double as address proof? How important is a renters agreement? The reason I ask that is whether I need to be living in at least a 2 bedroom apartment as the time of the visa interview? At the moment I am not, and my parents don’t intent to come immediately, but I can move to a bigger apartment when they arrive. Can small apartment be an issue at the interview, and can bank statements be used as address proof?

        Thank you.

        Reply
        • Rahul,

          Apartment size will not be an issue. If asked about address, they can say that the address mentioned on the bank statement is the updated one.

          Reply
  3. Bringing your parents to the USA is not easy specially with the visa application, you have to fill out a form call IR-5, if you think you need help you can try to ask the community at visacommunity.

    Reply
    • Hi Harold,

      I think the IR-5 form is only valid for US citizens who want to bring their parents to US and not for non-immigrants. Correct me if I am wrong. Thanks

      Adwait

      Reply
  4. Hi Saurabh,

    A quick question. I’m a GC holder. I want to sponsor B1 visa for my parents. I have savings of about $15k. However, I’m not employed at the moment and awaiting a date of joining at the local county office (security clearance under process). Would I be able to get B1 for my parents?

    Reply
      • No, they don’t have funds of their own. We have some more in deposits etc if needed. We are happy to give a letter of our intent to sponsor their entire trip. Will that be enough?

        Reply
  5. My business partners required I 129 e filing form a few weeks ago and came across an online service that hosts a searchable forms database . If people are interested in I 129 e filing form too , here’s

    Reply
  6. Hi,

    I am travelling to US on H1 this month end & my mother in law would travel with me on B2(which is sponsored by my brother in law who is already in US).. Will there by any problem at POE? The location where my brother in law is located is different from where I am travelling. DO we need to book connected flight from my location to his location? Please suggest.

    Reply
    • H1H4,

      Even though the sponsoring person is at a different location, she still has immediate family at the PoE location. Get a letter from the immediate family member at that PoE location, and it should be fine.

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,

        Thanks for the information.I am the immediate family for her at PoE location & we both are travelling together..Both of us would be travelling with my child..What kind of letter would I have to carry for her.IS there any template?

        Thanks in Advance…..

        Reply
        • H1H4,

          There is no set template. Just write a letter on personal stationary saying that you are inviting her to spend time with you at your home, see tourist spots etc and later she plans to meet her other son at the other location.

          Reply
  7. My parent’s visa denied for the first time and they again schedule an interview. My graduation is on 6th of May and they jave an interview on 1st May. Is there any problem in that? Any tips?

    Reply
    • Sam,
      It is hard to tell what the Consular looks at, especially when you are a student and inviting family…All you can do is make sure they are confident and they have enough finances to cover their travel and expenses. I know few of my friends parents got denied in first interview and they were given visa in subsequent interview appointments…Hope for the best !

      Reply
  8. Hi All,

    Happy to share that my parents got their tourist visa approved. We had all documents prepared however the VISA officer did not ask or check any of those. All that he asked was 1) Why are you visiting US ? 2)Who stays there ? 3) For how many months you will stay ? 4) Do you have any children living in India ? 5) Do you have any property ?

    After answering above questions, he declared your visa is approved.Thank you.

    We had interview set in Tamil.So it was easy for my parents to answer promptly.

    Reply
  9. Thanks for the detailed post! Your efforts are highly appreciated.

    Can you please help me with this query of mine.

    I would be travelling to USA with my kid and mom on a H1B visa for the first time. I doubt i can get invitation letter and sponsor letter.

    1) In this case, which documents can be substituted in place of specified letters?
    2) Or can my mom travel without the specified letters?

    Reply
    • Vani,

      So you would be traveling on H-1, your kid on H-4 and your mom on B-1/2. Is that correct? I assume your mother doesn’t have the tourist visa yet.

      I would suggest against this if this is the first visit to US. My suggestion would be for you to travel first, stay there for 2-3 months and then invite her on B-1/2.

      Reply
  10. Hi,

    I’m on L1 from Nov 2016. I would like to bring my father for couple of weeks in April 2017.

    I don’t have a W2 form? So can i sponsor him B2 considering that I don’t have W2 and also I’m in US for the past 4 months only.

    I have employment letter, payslips and bank statements though.

    Please help on how to proceed further.

    Thanks,
    Saba

    Reply
  11. I applied for my mom and sister to come to my graduation here in the US but the interviewing officer did not look at the documents I sent and told my mom and sister that she does not care about my documents and denied them. What is the use of gathering the forms if they do not look at it?

    Reply
    • Lethe,
      It is very hard to know what is going on through visa officer’s mind and what they really look for…all we can hope is to carry the required documents and hope to get visa…I know many who have got the visa for Graduation ceremony after couple of attempts. Don’t give up, if you really need it, give it another try.

      Reply
  12. Hello there,
    I am planning to apply for a tourist visa for my parents from the Philippines. I just want to know what I should do before I proceed the process. I’m a US Citizen and my husband is American, we have two children. I know I can petition my parents to live to USA but they don’t really want to live in USA, they just want to come and visit me and my family. I am not employed but my husband does, I don’t have all the necessary supporting documents to apply for tourist visa for my parents.. Would it be possible if my husband is the one to sponsor my parents? or both of us as couple? only my husband can show all the requirements but of course we have joint bank accounts, joint taxes and lease .
    You help would very much appreciated
    Thank you,
    Emelyn

    Reply
    • Emelyn,
      As your husband is employed, he can be the sponsor and send the invite, including relevant documents as needed. It is quite common to do it in this way, where the spouse does not work.

      Reply
  13. I invited my sister ( 50 yr old and married, her husband is 68 yr old and retired government employee) to visist USA on a tourist visa. I’am a US citizen residing in US for 35 years. Her visa application was rejected twice – the question VO asked both times that why you are going alone, why not your husband going with you. I am thinking to have both apply this time and visit USA. They do not know English much. I was wondering if there is any provision for them attending VISA interview together as they are family or they wil have to go separately for visa interview. Any other pointer wil be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Kanti,
      Yes, they can apply to have same visa interview slot as family. Also, they can schedule visa interview in their mother tongue, if not comfortable with english. Check the appointment options.

      Reply
  14. dear sir
    I am satish from hyd me and my wife applied and took visa interview date (in telugu) , now we are ready to face tourist visa interview to us , but i have one doubt sir, my marriage date 18-04-2008 but i have’t marriage certificate , but spouse name in me and my wife pass port and birth certificates of my children , so that is it enough or not plz answer to this qusetion

    Reply
  15. I am planning to take my mother in law with me while travelling to US on H1B visa .I cannot show sponsor doc or invitation letter from US as we all will be travelling together. What are the documents needed for this scenario?

    Reply
  16. Hi Saurabh,
    I am applying for visitor for my mom. Is it mandatory for her to carry my original birth certificate at the time of interview. I don’t have a birth certificate and really confused as for the requirement.
    Please suggest.

    Thanks,
    Harsh

    Reply
  17. Hi Saurabh,

    Appreciate your help for Visa applicants!
    I reached US this year and don’t have W2. I am on L1A Visa and planning to invite my parents here.
    – Do I need to wait till I get W2 to apply for their visiting VISA.
    – Do I need to submit any other document for L1A compared to H1.

    Thanks,

    Rakesh

    Reply
    • Hi Rakesh
      I am also on L1A and is looking to get clarity on if there are additional documents needed. Also, do you know for folks from Kerala which consulate do our parents need to go to?

      Reply
    • Hi Rakesh,

      How did you proceed on this? Did you sponsor your parents without W2, Visa got approved?
      I’m also in same situation. Let me know your thoughts.

      Saba

      Reply
  18. I am inviting my parents for my graduation. My dad is a govt employee and my mom is housewife. My dad is sponsering for both of them . Do they both require separate set of documents? If they dont, does my dad need to write some kind of letter that he’s is also sponsering my mom?

    Reply
  19. I am going to invite my parents and my sister in-laws to attend my graduation ceremony. Is it mandatory for them to visit USA within 6 months after receiving visa?

    Reply
    • Vishwas,
      It totally depends on the visa issued, especially the validity and if it single or multiple entry. If the validity is past your graduation, they can visit any other time as well, it is not mandatory to visit within 6 months. When they travel, they need to carry proper documentation and your details.

      Reply
  20. Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks for your post, this is very helpful!
    Is it important to get the bank letter? Or just a normal account statement would do. My bank does not have a physical branch near my location, and it would be tough for me to travel to get that letter.

    One of my friends parents just carried the statement and were fine.

    Thanks,
    Saurabh

    Reply
  21. Hi
    I would like to invite my parents to USA. My father do business in India with another partner. My father and other partner has equal share. My father has Business Visiting cards that has his name and as well as other partner name. They file IT return on Business Firm name, but he never filed IT return individually. He doesn’t have Pan Card too. He has some other properties, bank account with good balance.

    He can get Property evaluation notarized form. But still is he required to get IT returns form? If put his business details in DS160 form, would they ask IT returns etc? It is difficult now to get IT returns and is there any other alternative document that shows he gets income?

    Reply
    • Lakshmi,
      It is hard to guess what the VO would ask. All they want to ensure is that there are enough funds and they come back after visit. If that can be conveyed, it should be fine. They may or may not ask depending on their initial assessment of the profile, which we do not know how they do…

      Reply
  22. Hi saubrah ,

    Can i invite my mum without being responsible for her finances? She has more money than my husband and i but we wish to invite her over to come meet our child for the first time , we are will to pay for her health insurance but we dont know if we’re to include that in the letter or of she’ll be denied just because we’re not rich enough to financially host her? Or will it be better if we wait till its our childs birthday and invite her then?
    Thank you in advance

    Reply
    • Eno,
      Absolutely, you can. She would need to carry supporting documents to show that she has enough funds to support her trip. All you will need to do is send the invite letter and she would apply as a normal visitor with your invite letter. Don’t worry too much, if she can show funds to support her travel, she should be fine. The final decision is upto the Visa Officer, it is not solely dependent on the funds availability…

      Reply
  23. Hi, I stumbled on your blog while scouting the internet for the same reasons most of the people write. Great supporting system, kudos.

    So I am from Cameroon but a U.S. citizen and an active duty military officer. I want to invite my father to come visit and spend Christmas with me. However he is in his 80s, sick but not dying lol, physically weak and needs help going places. I’ll like for his long-term caregiver, a family member to accompany him as it will physically and linguistically impossible for him to fly 19hrs without help.

    Do you think his caregiver would be issued a visa? How do you suggest we proceed with the process? His doctor will issue a statement on behalf of the caregiver though, will it help?

    Thank you very much.

    Reply
  24. Hello,

    Unfortunately I have lost faith in the US embassy practices. I am strongly starting to feel that this is a business of which they simply want to make 160.00 USD per application.

    I completed B2 Tourist VISA on behalf of my mother in law 3 times and she got rejected all 3 times. Once in 2015, then again on July 2016 and lastly righter after that denial I applied for interview on August 2016.

    Her qualifications and she brought proof of documentations:
    -She has a well paid job
    -She has a home and property
    -Other daughter, grandchild and family and friends are all in her country
    -Her Bank account documents

    In addition, I completed and provided the following:
    -Form I-134 Affidavit of Support
    -Copy of my Passport
    -Self written letter notarized (although notary not needed)
    -Bank Statements and Account Verification Letter
    -Tax Return Copies
    -Pay Stubs
    -Marriage Certificate and Birth Certificates of our new born children she wants to visit to see

    As you can see she has all the necessary work/home proof her ties to her country and I even included the I-134 although not required but according to embassy website might assist. Only “unfavorable” circumstance of her’s is that she is a Widow and not married. She is 59 years old and will not be getting married. Only life changing event left for her is retirement.

    The VISA consulate did not want to look at I-134 document stating they do not accept a 3rd parties documentation. She even told them this is from their (US Embassy) website. Then they ask her the same basic questions that the answers were already available in the application she completed (or I completed on behalf of her online). They denied her stating they are not convinced and said you can try at the other Consulate’s window. The 2nd consulate denies her and said you can try at the 3rd window. And lastly the Consulate at the 3rd window also denies her.

    I feel like this is just a big game or a scam to make money off of people. There is no phone number to call or complain. I tried calling one of the general info phone numbers from their website they directed me to a general email. I sent the email and all they did was give me general info and said that she can still re-apply.

    How are they even evaluated on their performance for merit raises , promotions or efficiency ? Must be nice to have such a career with such job security or should I say guarantee,

    I’m just going to complete the I-130 with my wife and give her a Green Card. Although she does not want to come and live here, this is the only other option we have or continue to spend 160.00 USD each application. I have not done enough research but I think with Green Card we have an issue where she would have to visit the US every year to keep it.

    But before I do that I did happen to find this http://usa-faq.civicagency.org/answers/9702 that has a phone number and email for complaints. But I am not sure if this is for US citizens experience only or Foreigners interviewing for B2 visa as well. I’m just posting that link here as well in case its helpful for any one.

    But based on my circumstance above, if you have any advise please let me know and post here.

    Thanks,

    Reply
    • exactly as you try i try for my in laws they got rejected all the time , finally my father law expired without visiting us in US

      Reply
      • Hi,
        I have heard that if our parents mention that we are blessed with baby in US and they want to visit because of that, then they normally reject the application. this has happened with my friend who wanted to call her parents when her daughter was born in US. the reason behind this is calling someone from India to look after our new born kids hampers the employment of nannies or baby sitters in US.

        Reply
  25. Hi,
    i have 2 quick questions… if some one can please share their thoughts that will be great.

    1) I am sponsoring my parents B2 visa… do i need to fill out I-134 form ( i am sending my bank verification letter and have enough funds to support them)
    2) What documents my parents need to bring for interview apart from mine? \]

    Thanks
    JJ

    Reply
    • JJ,

      1. Completing I-134 is not required. One should complete it only if specifically asked by the consulate.
      2. Financial support documents to show that they have ties to home country. This could be bank statements, income tax returns etc.

      Reply
  26. Thanks for the moderator who answered to my questions. I wanted to give back some of my learnings particuarly in regard to making DS160 payment and taking appointment. Here’s what I did and it worked fine.

    First of all when you select ‘NEFT payment’, please reserve that page that you are displayed as it has the “Unique Beneficiary Account Number”

    I did NEFT payment today for two DS160s for my parents.
    I selected “Current” and “Domestic”.
    I did the online payment through Citibank India after adding the BOFA account as Payee.
    I did the payments for my parents, so that is okay too if the account is not in the same name as that of the primary applicant.
    I did one payment for both the parents.
    After an hour or so, I sent an e-mail about the issue to “support-india@ustraveldocs.com (mailto:support-india@ustraveldocs.com)”. *I also called up the US Travel Docs Call Center (Callers in India:*Call +91 120 4844644 or +91 40 46258222. *Callers in the United States:*Call *** 703 520 2239.) and explained them the issue.
    In about 3 hours or so, I got an e-mail that the MRV receipt has been activated! Same receipt number was applied to both applicants.
    Receipt number is the last 12 numerical digits from the Unique Account Number that you used while making NEFT payment.
    However, I don’t have the receipt itself handy with me though which I think I am fine with.
    I just completed the booking.
    Just thought I will share this for it to be helpful to people.

    Reply
  27. Hi am planning to call my parents from uae to America .they are staying with my sister home they having one year resident visa they can apply from uae ,us visa pls clarify.

    Reply
    • Fathima,

      They would be aTCN (third country national) when applying in Dubai. Better would be contact US embassy there and ask them about it.

      Reply
  28. Is being wheelchaired due to some physical condidtion (age > 60) detrimental to getting a B2 visa? Could the visa be rejected because the candidate is physically disabled?

    Reply
    • MM,
      One should never be discriminated based on age, sex, color and physical ability…that’s the motto of most of the US system. Technically, they should not really reject your visa based on the wheelchair.

      Reply
  29. Hello

    If my parents are sponsoring the trip themselves, do we still need to fill the I-134 form?

    Response would be highly appreciated! Thank you!

    Reply
  30. Hi Saurabh,

    My visa is expired and i am planning to bring my mom n dad here.. if i povide my passport it will show old visa which is expired.. my petition is in progress for extension. Do i need to wait till it gets approved and send newly approved i797 to parents along with my passport n old visa? My wife also has L1 visa which is valid.. can we show her documents for my parents visa instead of my documents? Response is appreciated..

    Reply
    • Sameer,

      Send copy of current approval notice and copy of extension receipt. It it not a big deal the visa has expired as you are still working inside US on H-1 based on pending extension.

      Reply
      • Hi Saurabh,

        I did not get your comment “copy of current approval notice”. If the visa is expired and an extension has been filed, and the visa is not yet approved, we just have the copy of extension receipt. Can you please help out with this.

        Reply
  31. Hi saurabh,
    I have a H1B visa which is active from October 1st. What happens to my visa if I could not find a good job by that time? Will I have some grace period?

    Reply
  32. I have to get my parents visitor visa done but since they are sick, I am planning to go to India and take them to the consulate with me. May be I can get my re-stamping also done if necessary. All-in-all, my quesiton is, is me being in the US (valid I-94) really required for parent’s visa? Can I not go to India for a two week short trip and get their visa done? Also, can I take them along with me and come here? Will there be any immigration issues? Please answer as much detail as possible as I am worried about all this a lot.

    Reply
    • MK,

      It is not mandatory that you are physically present inside US on the date of their interview. As long as they can demonstrate that you are in US and working, it shouldn’t matter whether you are inside US on that date, or not.

      Reply
      • Indeed, this was the case. I was able to get their visas done successfully while I myself was in India at that time. However, I made sure that my father will say the same if the officer asks about me. I also updated I-134 and wrote a cover letter to the consulate indicating that I myself was travelling to India for a short time and substantiated with my return Air ticket and my leave approval record.
        Thank you for your response.

        Reply
        • MK – can you please tell if the consulate officer asked questions about your presence in India while your parents attended the US VISA Interview ?

          Reply
          • No, the consular officer did not ask my parents about my presence in India. I-134 was also not asked for. However, I had it filled (just-in-case).

        • Also is form I134 really required ? I see it mentioned as optional. Did the consular officer asked for form I134 – Any inputs on this please ?

          Reply
  33. Dear Saurav,

    My parents attended the visa interview 5 days back and their visa is approved. My father’s passport status is updated as “Ready for Pickup” the next day itself while my mother’s passport status says “There is no status update available for the passport number submitted” even after 5 days. Can you please let me know if there is any chance for visa denial even after the interview is over? Also, incase the passport status is delayed more than expected, whom to contact and how to approach ?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Sara,

      You can contact US travel docs support team to know about the status. However, if you contact them now they may provide same information as online.

      What’s the status when you look-up the status on CEAC site?

      Reply
  34. Hi Saurabh,

    This blog is really helpful. I am looking for your inputs here. After I filled out DS 160 and sent all the required documents to my parents in August, I recently moved to the new address in the same city. So my recent pay stubs and bank statements will have a different address than that of DS 160. What am I supposed to do in this situation?

    Reply
    • SaiMee,

      What did you enter in the address where they will stay in US? Your old address? That’s the only location in DS form that needs to be updated. It can be updated when the parents appear for biometrics.

      Reply
      • Thank you Saurabh. I didn’t get the address changed on DS 160. My parents got the visa approved. The interview was very simple. Only three questions were asked.
        1. Where does your daughter live?
        2. How many children do you have in India
        3. Are you working or retired??

        Reply
  35. Thanks for this very useful article. But I’m in quite the pickle right now. 10 years ago when my parents received their visitor visa, they were self sponsored. They are retired now but take care of their own expenses through investments etc. We want to apply for their renewal (baby on the way lol!) And they are now eligible for the interview waiver program. My question is, given that they are no longer salaried, would it make sense to say we are sponsoring them? Or does that have no effect. Trying to understand if ee should change the funding response on DS 160. They said “Self” back then since I was just a student here. What would be better in your opinion? Thanks a bunch!

    Reply
    • Rhea,
      Well, honestly, it should not matter. All they care is there are enough funds for expenses. There is nothing right or wrong…If you have the choice and funds, maybe you sponsoring would be better as they are retired….use your discretion…

      Reply
  36. Can I scan all the document and send it? Or I need to send the hard copies. The invitation letter, Sponsor letter, I-134 are the ones where I need to sign. Rest all are electronic copies. Please suggest. ASAP. Thanks

    Reply
    • Arjya,
      I have send the original copies in the past to avoid issues. It takes three days and costs about 50 USD to send it in DHL. In my view, I guess it is worth spending and sending the originals.

      Reply
      • Thanks Kumar. I checked with all of my colleagues. They said they never sent original copies. A scan copy is fine as it is only a tourist visa. And my parents are senior citizens. I consulted Atleast 5 people to cross check and verify. Now it’s too late to send originals. Anyways I will post my experience after the interview.

        Reply
          • Hi – My parents appeared for interview. They provided all photocopies and scanned copies. No originals was asked. Infact no documents was asked except a copy of my passport/visa. Only 3-4 simple questions were asked. My parents are above 60 years and retired. Good luck!

  37. Saurabh,

    Really appreciate all ur hard work and for neatly and briefly mentioned documents… Just ine question though is it same for parent in – laws too??

    Reply
  38. I’m a citizen of the US I want to submit an I 130 application I to bring my wife to the US and my mom too as the same time . So as our marriage is conducted abroad what sort of documents should I submit along with my application , i. e for my wife and my mother? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Endashaw,

      For wife she can carry marriage certificate (in English), wedding card and wedding album. If the passport has mother’s name and wife’s name, then that would be helpful as well.

      Reply
  39. Thanks for the article . It was very helpful.
    Just a quick question –
    I’ve a Green Card and my old passport which had the initial US visa is expired and unfortunately I misplaced it.
    So is my new passport and Green Card good enough for sponsoring parents or do I need anything else to support my initial visa ?

    Appreciate your help.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Vik,

      As you have green card, it is not important to provide a copy of the old visa. If the officer needs it, he would have it in their system.

      Reply
  40. Hi Saurabh,

    I have been here in US for last 6 years and here on H1B after completing my masters.
    I want to invite my girlfriend but she resides in Switzerland as her company has project over there till next year.
    She relocated to Switzerland couple of months back. May I know answers for the following:
    • What is the procedure to invite her in US if she does not need sponsorship?
    • What documentation is required from her side?
    • What documentation is required from my end?
    • She just begun her paycheck couple of months back and neither my savings are significant, so what is the ideal amount that she can show up?
    • To meet finance part, can I show bank statement of her’s along with mine?
    • Is it mandatory for her to book the flight tickets before her visa interview OR it’s not required at all?

    Thanks,
    Mac

    Reply
    • Mac,
      1. Send her a letter stating that you want your friend needs to see US and spend time with you, and will be staying with you etc.
      2. She would need financial statements to show that she can take care of the expenses, passport, employment letter etc
      3. The letter I mentioned in (1), id proof like passport copy and visa copy, maybe employment letter as well
      4. She can show both Swiss and home country accounts. She can also include recent payslips to show how much she earns. There is no correct number that needs to be present in the bank statement
      5. In the letter, you can mention that you will be taking care of boarding and daily expense charges, and include information mentioned in (2)
      6. Not mandatory. She should have an itinerary prepared though.

      Reply
  41. Excellent Post!! Thanks for all the Hard Work in Keeping this alive.

    I have some Questions, I am planning to apply visa for my Parents , I have some questions relating to Financial Ties of my Parents.

    My Parents Live in rented House, we Dont own any Property and my Fathers Pension is Pretty Low and dont have big Bank Balance.

    In this case, what would you advise to show Strong ties to Home Country? Will there be any issues here?

    I am anyway sponsoring them for visit for 3 Months. Me and My Wife both work in US , However in separate Locations.

    I have my Sister Living in Same City as my Parents, In reality she is primary reason for Family ties.

    Thanks in Advance.

    Reply
  42. Very useful, currently I am planning to bring my parents to the US, however they have travelled in the past around 2004. It’s 2016 and their visa is not valid, they are 70+yrs of age. What documents should be submitted and they are based in Bangalore. Kindly let me know

    Reply
  43. Hello,

    I am filling out DS-160 for my parents. But, I am still not clear on whose passport number to fill in on the “Sign & Submit Application” Page, after filling in my details for name & address as a preparer of application. Should I put in my passport# (just before the verification field”? and also put in my name in the signature field before submitting the application?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  44. Hi Saurabh,

    Thank you for this post providing nice detailed information for helping the Visa applicants!

    I and my wife are planning to visit US for tourism purpose in month of Sepetember, 2016. We both have B1/B2 visa stamped and I usually travel USA for official trip 2-3 times in a year. This time I want my mother to join us for the upcoming trip and I have applied her B2 visa and interview is scheduled after two weeks. I have following query and would request you to please provide your suggestions –

    1. As I will be taking care of all of expenses for my mother’s trip so what kind of sponsorship document/declaration should I present? Would a declaration document for sponsorship from my side be sufficient along with my financial status documents?

    2. My mother’s financial documents to show her ties with home country

    3. Other then usual documents what extra document or declaration letter would you suggest be helpful in this situation to carry for VISA interview?

    Thanks in Advance!

    Reply
    • Umesh,

      1. You can include a letter from your side addressed to visa officer mentioning that you will take care of the expenses and that she will be traveling w/ you guys only. Then include an id proof and proof of relationship. Also include your recent bank statements to show that you have enough funds to take care of the expenses.
      2. Yes, these should also be included
      3. See (1)

      Reply
        • Rahul,

          Yes, photographs are required for each visa. In India, they take the pictures at the consulate for 100/- (at least that’s what the process was some years ago).

          Reply
          • They don’t charge money for photographs extra as suggested by Saurabh. It’s a part of the visa process. All fee included in the visa fee.

          • Arjya is correct.

            They used to charge 100/- when the applicant was supposed to bring in his/her own photograph and was found to be ineligible. Now that the applicant is not expected to bring in photos, no extra fees is charged.

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