In this guide we’d be dishing out practical advice for writing an invitation letter for an American Visa, we addressed some common mistakes that you should avoid in writing and finally attached some samples to inspire your writing.
Let’s face it, writing a letter is not an easy task, particularly when it is an official letter addressed to the United States government. It involves a lot of stress.
That’s why we want to give you these tips and tricks to make sure your invitation letter includes all the necessary elements.
Read on to find out everything you need to include in your invitation letter and how to avoid common mistakes. In addition, we will give you two sample cards to inspire you!
What is an invitation letter?
While not a requirement, people who wish to travel to the United States on a B-1 / B-2 visa often include an invitation letter to support the non-immigrant visa application.
You may not necessarily be denied a visa for not including an invitation letter, but we highly recommend including one.
Who can write an invitation letter?
Any US citizen or lawful permanent resident can write an invitation letter. The person inviting you must prove that he is a citizen or legal resident and must also have some kind of relationship or kinship with you, be it a friend, relative, or representative of a relevant institution. If one of your relatives writes the letter, they will be asked to prove that she is related to you.
By writing an invitation letter, the person places their trust in you and also assumes some legal and financial responsibilities.
Dos and Don’ts when writing an invitation letter
You MUST write the letter in English. It is not accepted if it is in another language.
You MUST indicate if you are a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
You MUST indicate your kinship or relationship to the applicant.
You MUST include the reason for the applicant’s visit, as well as the length of their stay.
You MUST ask someone to review the letter to make sure it is free of errors.
DO NOT forget to include your personal information, including your full name, address, telephone number, and email address.
DO NOT forget to include documents to verify your status of residence or your relationship with the applicant.
DO NOT write the letter by hand. It must be typed or computerized.
DON’T forget to sign the letter at the end.
DON’T forget to verify that all information is accurate, including names and contact details.
Common mistakes made in invitation letters
The biggest mistake people make when writing invitation letters is forgetting to include all the required information.
The next biggest mistake is inserting inaccurate or incomplete information. For example, include someone’s nickname instead of their full legal name.
The easiest way to prevent such mistakes is to construct the letter yourself, and thereafter, ask someone else to double-check it for avoidable errors. It is necessary for the applicant to access the letter so they can verify that all of their personal information sighted within is accurate, including their full name and contact details.
Another common mistake is writing the letter in the applicant’s native language. Remember that the letter must be in English. If the applicant does not speak English, be sure to tell them what to include in the letter so that they are ready in case they are asked questions at the interview.
Lastly, don’t try to make a letter too formal. Although the letter is addressed to the US government, the ultimate goal is to provide general information and confirm that you are willing to assume the financial responsibilities of the applicant during their stay in the United States. Keep your sentences brief and precise. Don’t try to explain too much or go into unnecessary detail.
Sample visa invitation letters
Need a bit of inspiration? Take a look at the sample invitation letters for US visas: one is addressed to the consular officer and the other is addressed to the applicant.
Sample visa invitation letter addressed to the consular officer[Date]
United States Consulate General
[Address of the Consulate]
Dear Honorable Consul,[Visitor’s Name] – PASSPORT NO XXXXXXXX – Born on [Visitor’s Date of Birth]
My name is [Host’s full name], residing at [Host’s address] and I am a [United States citizen/legal permanent resident], as proven by the attached document.
I am writing on behalf of [Applicant’s full name] who resides at [Applicant’s address] requesting that you issue him a tourist (B-2) visa. [Applicant’s name] is my [Describe relationship; i.e. father, sister, friend] and I would love for him/her to visit me in the United States.[Applicant’s name] plans to visit me from [Date of entry] to [Date of exit]. Throughout his stay in the United States, he will stay with me at my home at the above-stated address. I will be responsible for [Applicant’s name] during his stay in the United States, after which he will return to [Applicant’s hometown, country]. [Applicant’s name] will be presenting this letter to you during his interview, together with evidence to establish his close ties with [Applicant’s home country], assuring you that he will return after the expiration of his stay in the United States.
Your time and consideration for this request are greatly appreciated.
[Host’s phone number]
[Host’s email address]
Sample of visa invitation letter addressed to the applicant[Date]
[Host’s full name]
[Host’s phone number]
[Host’s email address]
[Applicant’s full name]
I gladly invite you to visit me in [City], USA. This will be a great opportunity for you to see the United States and experience both the culture and lifestyle firsthand. We have several trips planned to visit famous tourist attractions such as [name of tourist place to visit near you].
I will be taking care of you during your entire trip to the US, including expenses such as food, housing, medical costs and all your other personal expenses.
Attached, I am also including all the required documentation for getting the necessary tourist visa from the US Consulate in [Location of US Consulate]
[Host‘s full name]