Tourist Visa Sponsor Documents Guide
Posted by Frank Gogol in Immigrants | Updated on August 24, 2022
According to reports, there were as many as 419,637 foreign nationals residing and working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa as of October 5, 2018. If you’re one of them and want to have your parents or relatives to visit you, then you need to apply for a visitor’s visa, which is a B1 visa. In this article, we’ll go over all the documents required for obtaining a visitor visa for them.
Table of Contents
Tourist Visa Sponsor Documents
To bring a parent or parents to the U.S. on a B visa, you will need to gather or create several supporting documents, including:
- Affidavit of Support Form (Form I-134)
- Tourist Visa Invitation Letter
- Tourist Visa Sponsor Letter
- Financial Documents
- Proof of Sponsor’s Residency Status
Each of these items is discussed in more detail below.
Affidavit of Support Form (Form I-134)
Form I-134 is what you need to submit to obtain a visitor’s visa. Known as the Affidavit of Support, this is an 8-page document with six pages of instructions. This serves as evidence of your income and certifies that you’re in a financially healthy condition to support your visitors.
Where to submit this depends on whether the visitor is inside or outside of the U.S. The form has to be submitted with a full signature, full name, and all the relevant details. Forms are quickly rejected for missing signatures. So review the document twice before submitting it.
Form I-134 should be submitted with the following documents:
- Signed copy from a bank officer stating your financials of at least a year.
- Signed business letterhead from your employer stating the nature of the work you do, whether temporary or permanent.
- Copy of your last federal income tax filing. For the self-employed, a report on commercial rating concerns.
- Serial numbers and denominations of each shareholder in case of any bonds.
Tourist Visa Invitation Letter
Unlike Form I-134, the Letter of Invitation is not mandatory, but it is special in its own way as it makes the process smoother. This letter is written to your parents or relatives who wish to come to the U.S. on a tourist visa. The main topics to touch on in the Letter of Invitation are:
- Purpose of the visit
- Time duration
- Whether or not you’ll be covering airfares and traveling expenses
- Estimated expenses
Be as specific as you can. This letter should not only be personal in nature, but it should also assure the U.S. government that the visitor will be staying in the U.S. for a certain period of time in a financially secure environment.
It could be something along these lines:
Dear Mother and Father,
I would like to invite you to the United States of America to stay with me for about three to six months. We will have fun and visit various tourist locations in the U.S.
During your stay in the U.S., I will bear all your responsibilities and will take care of the return air ticket fare, financial implications, travel insurance, accommodations, and food.
Please start planning for the trip and come visit me soon.
Tourist Visa Sponsor Letter
After you’ve written a letter to your parents/friends/family about inviting them to the U.S., you need to write to the U.S. Consulate to initiate the process of issuing a visa to them. Just like in the previous case, you’re required to state the purpose of the visit, the duration, and the expenses covered, among other things. The tone should be professional and respectful.
It could be something along these lines:
I, XYZ, work as a Software Engineer at ABC located in New Jersey and earn $70,000 per year. I would like to invite my parents, Mr. PQE and Mrs. QER, to visit the United States and stay with me for tourism purposes for some time. They will be staying in my home.
During their stay in the U.S., I will be responsible for them in every financial respect. I will ensure that they do not become a public charge on the U.S. government.
As a rule of thumb, you need to be in a financially healthy state to sponsor someone and bring them into the U.S. The financial documents to include along with Form I-134 are:
- Bank statement of at least the last two months.
- Bank account verification letter from the bank. This includes the name of the applicant, bank balance, how long the account has been in operation, and the name of the addressed consulate. If you cannot obtain a bank account verification letter, then you can submit a bank statement for the past 12 months of your salary account.
- The last 2-3 months of paychecks received from your employer to show your recent job performance and security.
- W2 forms from your employer which show the wages paid to you along with the taxes withheld.
- Copies of personal tax returns if you’re self-employed or run a U.S.-based business.
Proof of Sponsor’s Residency Status
This includes how long you’ve been in the U.S. and your current residential status. The documents to include are:
- Copy of passport.
- Letter of employment provided at the time of your job offer if you’re employed in the U.S.
- If you’re on a visa, like an H1 or L1, then a copy of your visa along with Form I-797 and I-94. If at the time of applying your visa has expired or is set to expire, then you can submit copies of the renewed petitions.
- Copies of green cards in the case of green card holders.
- If naturalized as a U.S. citizen, copies of the certificate of citizenship.
Additional Documents for Parents Visiting Children in the U.S.
These documents aren’t necessary but may be asked for during the scheduled interview with the USCIS. It’s always a wise decision to carry them or their photocopies along with you to avoid confusion and delays. The additional documents for parents visiting their children in the U.S. are:
- Birth certificates of children. Photocopies are sufficient, but if that isn’t available, an affidavit can serve the requirements.
- Photocopies of the passport of the sponsoring child. Has to be updated and valid. If you’re sponsoring your in-laws, then the birth certificate and passport of your spouse are required too.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Sponsor
Do sponsors need to send the documents to a U.S. consulate or directly to VFS?
Sponsors don’t need to submit the documents. The applicant should submit the documents and carry those to the interviews scheduled with the USCIS.
Is filing Form I-134 separately necessary for each visitor?
If you’re applying for your mother and father or your in-laws, then a single form is sufficient. If you’re applying for a mix of both, then you might be required to submit different forms. If the sponsoring members are husband and wife, then there is no need to send separate forms from each side.
What about the minimum savings a sponsor should show in his/her bank account?
There is no official set minimum requirement. Any amount the officials deem justifiable for the visit will get the green light. They’ll look at various factors before making a decision, but ideally, $5,000 to $10,000 is a good range
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