Complete Guide to Tourist Visa Documents for Sponsors

Updated on April 10, 2024
At a Glance:
  • To sponsor a tourist visa, a sponsor must provide several critical documents.

  • These include a copy of their passport, I-797A approval, and I-94 forms, indicating their immigration status and history.

  • Financial stability is shown through the W2 form, recent pay stubs, and a US bank account verification letter.

  • A stamped visa copy confirms their current visa status.

  • A B1/B2 consulate or invitation letter details the purpose of the visit.

  • Employment and sponsorship letters verify the sponsor’s employment status and commitment to supporting the visitor.

  • Each document plays a vital role in establishing the sponsor’s eligibility and intent.
  • 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.

    Tourist Visa Sponsor Documents

    To sponsor a visitor visa, you will need to supply a number of key documents, including:

    1. Passport Copy
    2. I-797A Approval Copy
    3. I-94 Copy
    4. W2 Form
    5. Stamped Visa Copy
    6. Most Recent 3 Pay Stubs
    7. B1/B2 Consulate or Invitation Letter
    8. US Bank Account Verification Letter
    9. Employment Verification Letter
    10. Sponsorship Letter

    Below, we’ll explain each of these documents in more detail.

    1. Passport Copy

    • What to Include: The first page with your photo and the last page with your address.
    • Purpose: To verify identity and residency.

    2. I-797A Approval Copy

    • Applicable For: Those working in the USA on an H1B visa.
    • Details: Include a copy of your most recent H1B approval I-797A.
    • Purpose: To demonstrate current legal employment status in the U.S.

    3. I-94 Copy

    • Where to Find: Attached your I-94 to your I-797A if an extension was recently applied.
    • Alternative: Download from the CBP website.
    • Purpose: Shows your most recent entry and legal status in the U.S.

    4. W2 Form

    • Recommendation: Last 3 years’ W2 forms.
    • Exception: If recently arrived in the U.S., these may not be required.
    • Purpose: To indicate income and tax status.

    5. Stamped Visa Copy

    • Requirement: Must be the most recent and valid visa used to enter the U.S.
    • Purpose: To confirm your legal status in the U.S.

    6. Most Recent 3 Pay Stubs

    • Purpose: To provide evidence of current employment and income.

    7. B1/B2 Consulate or Invitation Letter

    • Usage: Useful for the B1/B2 visa application.
    • Recommendation: Not required but recommended to carry during the visa interview.
    • Content: Should be well-written and clear.

    Learn how to write an invitation letter here.

    8. US Bank Account Verification Letter

    • How to Obtain: Request from your bank, usually involves a fee.
    • Contents: Should include account opening date, total amount deposited in the past year, and current balance.
    • Alternative: Last 12 months’ bank statements if the letter is unavailable.
    • Purpose: To demonstrate financial stability.

    9. Employment Verification Letter

    • From Whom: Your U.S. employer, or for self-employed individuals, use:
      • Copy of Last Income Tax Return, or
      • Commercial Rating Concern Report.
    • Purpose: To validate employment status and income.

    10. Sponsorship Letter

    • When Recommended: Particularly for visitors like parents or siblings without sufficient home country funds.
    • Benefits: Strengthens the visa application by assuring financial responsibility for the visitor.

    Tourist Visa Visitor Documents

    Visitors must supply a number of document, too, at the interview stage of the application process. They include:

    1. Passport Photocopy
    2. Address Proof
    3. Homeownership Papers (Optional)
    4. PAN Card (Optional)
    5. Photographs (Optional)
    6. Income Tax Returns (Optional)
    7. Original Birth Certificate (Optional)
    8. DS-160 Form

    Here’s a close look at each document:

    Passport Photocopy

    • Details: Include the front page and last page.
    • Purpose: To confirm identity and nationality.

    Address Proof

    • Examples: Utility bills like landline telephone, water, or electricity bills.
    • Purpose: To verify the applicant’s current residence.

    Homeownership Papers (Optional)

    • Recommendation: Carry if they own property.
    • Purpose: To demonstrate ties to the home country.

    PAN Card (Optional)

    • Purpose: Additional identification, especially relevant for financial and tax purposes.

    Photographs (Optional)

    • Suggestion: Carry pictures with the person currently in the USA.
    • Purpose: To provide evidence of the relationship with the U.S. sponsor.

    Income Tax Returns (Optional)

    • Condition: If the applicant files income tax in India.
    • Recommendation: Carry originals for the interview.
    • Purpose: To show financial responsibility and ties to the home country.

    Original Birth Certificate (Optional)

    • Purpose: To verify age and nationality.

    DS-160 Form

    • How to Obtain: The applicant can print it, or the sponsor can send it by mail.
    • Purpose: This is the official visa application form.

    Gathering Documents

    • Action: Collect all sponsorship documents and personal B1 or B2 visa applicant papers for the interview.

    Read More

    Visitor Visa Sponsor Documents FAQ

    Below, you will find some common questions about the documents required to sponsor a visitor visa and their answers.

    What are the required sponsor documents for a US visitor visa?

    When applying for a US visitor visa, there are several important sponsor documents that you should include to support your application. Firstly, a letter of invitation from the sponsor is crucial, outlining the purpose and duration of the visit, as well as the financial responsibility of the sponsor during the stay. Additionally, the sponsor should provide proof of their legal status in the US, such as a copy of their green card or valid visa. It is also recommended to include evidence of the sponsor’s financial stability, such as bank statements or tax returns, to demonstrate their ability to financially support the visitor. Lastly, providing documentation of any previous successful sponsorship experiences can further strengthen the application.

    How do I prove my financial support as a sponsor for a US visitor visa?

    To prove your financial support as a sponsor for a US visitor visa, you will need to provide several key documents. Firstly, include your most recent tax returns to demonstrate your income and financial stability. Additionally, provide bank statements from the past six months to showcase your available funds. It is also advisable to include a letter of employment verification from your employer, stating your position, salary, and length of employment. To further strengthen your case, include any investment statements or property deeds that highlight your assets. Lastly, if you have any existing sponsorship or financial support agreements with other individuals, it would be beneficial to include those as well.

    Can I provide bank statements as sponsor documents for a US visitor visa?

    Absolutely! Providing bank statements as sponsor documents for a US visitor visa is a common practice. Bank statements serve as proof of financial stability and demonstrate your ability to financially support the visitor during their stay in the United States. The statements should show a consistent and sufficient balance to cover all expenses, including accommodation, transportation, and daily living costs. It is recommended to provide at least six months’ worth of bank statements to showcase a stable financial situation. Additionally, it would be helpful to include a letter from your bank confirming the authenticity of the statements.

    Do I need to provide proof of accommodation as a sponsor for a US visitor visa?

    Yes, as a sponsor for a US visitor visa, it is highly recommended to provide proof of accommodation for the applicant. This helps demonstrate that you have made adequate arrangements for their stay in the United States. The proof of accommodation can be in the form of hotel reservations, a letter of invitation stating that the applicant will be staying with you, or even rental agreements if you are providing them with a place to stay. Providing this documentation adds credibility to your sponsorship and increases the chances of a successful visa application.

    What are the necessary employment documents needed as a sponsor for a US visitor visa?

    As a sponsor for a US visitor visa, there are several necessary employment documents that you will need to provide. Firstly, you will need to submit your most recent tax returns to demonstrate your financial stability and ability to support the visitor during their stay. Additionally, you should include a letter from your employer stating your current employment status, position, and salary. This letter should also confirm that you have been granted leave or vacation time for the duration of the visitor’s stay. Finally, it is recommended to include recent pay stubs as further evidence of your income and employment. By providing these comprehensive employment documents, you can strengthen your sponsorship application and increase the chances of a successful visa approval.

    Are there any specific forms or letters that need to be completed as a sponsor for a US visitor visa?

    Yes, as a sponsor for a US visitor visa, there are specific forms and letters that need to be completed. The primary form is the Form I-134, Affidavit of Support. This form serves as a legal agreement between the sponsor and the US government, stating that the sponsor will financially support the visitor during their stay in the United States. Additionally, a letter of invitation from the sponsor is required, outlining the purpose of the visit, duration of stay, and details about accommodation arrangements. This letter should also include information about the sponsor’s relationship with the visitor and their ability to provide financial support. These documents help demonstrate to the US authorities that the visitor has sufficient financial backing and a legitimate reason for their visit.

    Is there an income requirement for being a sponsor for a US visitor visa?

    Yes, there is an income requirement for being a sponsor for a US visitor visa. As of 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented a minimum income threshold that sponsors must meet in order to financially support their visiting relatives or friends. The specific income requirement varies depending on the number of people in the sponsor’s household and their location within the United States. This ensures that sponsors have the financial means to support their visitors during their stay, reducing the likelihood of them becoming a burden on public resources. It is important for sponsors to provide documented proof of their income, such as tax returns, pay stubs, or bank statements, to demonstrate their ability to fulfill this requirement.

    What personal identification documents should I submit as a sponsor for a US visitor visa?

    As a sponsor for a US visitor visa, there are several personal identification documents that you should submit to support your sponsorship. Firstly, include a copy of your valid passport, which serves as proof of your identity and citizenship. Additionally, provide a copy of your driver’s license or state ID card, which further verifies your identity and residency in the United States. To demonstrate your financial stability and ability to support the visitor during their stay, include recent bank statements showing sufficient funds. Lastly, it is recommended to include a letter from your employer confirming your employment status and income level. These comprehensive documents will greatly strengthen your sponsorship application for a US visitor visa.

    How many years of tax returns should I provide as a sponsor for a US visitor visa?

    As a sponsor for a US visitor visa, it is recommended to provide at least three years of tax returns. This allows the immigration authorities to assess your financial stability and determine your ability to financially support the visitor during their stay in the United States. By providing multiple years of tax returns, you demonstrate a consistent income and financial responsibility, which increases the chances of your sponsorship being approved. However, it is always advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or check the official guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of State for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding sponsor document requirements.

    Are there any additional supporting documents that strengthen my sponsorship for a US visitor visa?

    Absolutely! While the basic documents for sponsoring a US visitor visa include proof of financial ability to support the visitor, such as bank statements and employment verification, there are indeed additional supporting documents that can further strengthen your sponsorship. These may include a detailed invitation letter explaining the purpose of the visit, a copy of your passport with valid US visa stamps to demonstrate your own travel history, and letters of recommendation from reputable individuals who can vouch for your character and credibility. Additionally, providing evidence of previous successful sponsorships for other visitors can also bolster your case. Remember, the more comprehensive and convincing your documentation is, the higher the chances of a successful sponsorship application.

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    Frank Gogol

    I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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