If you want to invite your parents or other family members to visit you in the United States, you will need to do the following. Please note that there are no absolute recipes for the visa application process, occasional denials are possible, even if you follow all the steps correctly. You will have to provide as much information as possible to establish that you are here in the US maintaining a legal status, that you or your parents have enough funds to cover their expenses while they are here, and that they will return to their home country after their visit.
Documentation of status:
- Get a letter from your department verifying that you are enrolled full-time, in good standing
- Make copies of your I-20 form, I-94 form and visa page from your passport.
- If you are on assistantship, get a letter from the department stating that you are supported by the department. Include the monthly stipend amount and in-state tuition scholarship.
- Get a copy of your most recent transcript and class ticket.
Documentation of invitation and financial support:
- Obtain a bank statement showing that you have sufficient funds to support your parents. If your parents will support themselves, they will have to show proof of sufficient funds available to them when they apply for a visa.
- Write an invitation letter in which you state that you are inviting them for a certain period of time (give starting and ending dates if possible, but at least X weeks or Y months), and that you are willing and able to support them while they are here.
- If you are renting a house or apartment, you may also attach a copy of the lease agreement to show that you can give them accommodation at no additional expense to you.
Get all these documents (especially the invitation letter) notarized. The bank where you keep your accounts usually provides this service free of charge.
Send this information to your parents so that they can use it in their visa interview. They will have to apply for B-2 visitor visas.
International invitations to commencement:
International students with a pending or awarded graduate degree from Virginia Tech may login to HokieSPA and under the Degree Menu request the International Invitation to Commencement, which provides a special invitation letter with details about the upcoming graduate commencement ceremony. You may make this request at any time of day and have the letter immediately available:
- Select from a list of degrees you earned or will earn
- The system will generate the International Invitation to Commencement per guest (no limit) as a PDF for printing or saving to the user's desktop
- Mail this letter to the family members you wish to invite for your graduation.