An article on Reuters states that the US denies 4 million visa applications every year due to a variety of reasons. Among these, a major cause for rejection is the inaccuracy of documents furnished during the visa interview.
So, if your US trip is being sponsored by a friend or relative, there are a number of documents that need to be provided by them to increase your chances of obtaining the visit visa. Here’s a look.
Affidavit of Support Documents
This is to be addressed to the visa applicant. It should specifically invite you to the US, while stating that your accommodation, food and other expenses incurred in the US will be taken care of by the inviter. Check a sample invitation letter before you ask a friend or relative in the US to writing one.
Don’t forget to get insurance.
It is recommended that you get travel insurance when traveling to USA, as medical expense (even for common flu) can run into hundreds of dollars! Here are some of the best insurance for US visitors.
Letter to the Consulate
Apart from the invitation letter, your sponsor will also need to address a letter to the US Consulate with a request to grant the visa to the sponsored person.
To assess the sponsor’s ability to bear all trip-related expenses for the visa applicant(s), they will need to provide proof of their finances. For this purpose, they will need to provide documents such as:
- A verification letter from their bank, confirming that they have an account with the bank
- Bank statements for at least the past two months
- Copies of pay stubs for the past two months
- Copies of income tax returns or recent W2 forms
- In case your sponsor owns a business, they will need to give a copy of their personal tax returns.
The USCIS will do a background check on your sponsor’s residency status. For this, your sponsor will need to provider certain documents, such as:
- A copy of their passport
- In case they are employed, they need to provide an employment verification letter.
- Copies of their H1, L1 visa, I-797 and I-94 (if applicable).
- If they are US citizens, a copy of the front and back of their Green Card, along with a copy of the certificate of citizenship is required.
Things to Remember
It is important that you sponsor sends all these documents to you well in advance, such that you can attach them with your visa application and bring them along for your visa interview.
If you are a married couple applying for visit visas, there is no need to for separate forms and documents. Only one set will suffice.
There is no set amount that should be present in your sponsor’s bank account to prove their eligibility for sponsorship. Any amount that can matches the total cost of the trip, along with any other expenses that might arise, will do.
Also, remember to explain your relationship with the sponsor in a clear manner. A careful and honest approach will increase your chances of getting the tourist visa.