People often ask how they can help a family member, relative or friend get a visa to visit them in the United States. We appreciate their desire to help and understand that sometimes the need for a visit can be urgent.

Under U.S. federal law, though, applicants for visitor visas must apply on their own to visit the United States.

To qualify for a visitor visa, applicants must:

  • » Complete and sign the required application forms
  • » Bring evidence that their visit is temporary and that they will return home after their legally authorized stay, and
  • » Undergo security clearance procedures

We understand that you may want to help with the visa process. But it doesn’t help the applicant to write a letter of invitation or guarantee their departure from the U.S. after their visit is over. A consular officer from the U.S. Department of State (not USCIS) evaluates every visa application on its own merits according to the law. You can be most helpful by making sure the applicant has all the information they need to submit a correct application.

Note that one of the biggest and most important thing to remember is that the US government is expecting you to prove enough ties to your home country and that you are going to go back after you are done with your trip.

As a matter of information, once a visa is obtained, the following should be considered:

1. The visitor visa is a non-dual intent visa which means you cannot have a preconceived intent to change to certain other visas. However there are many exceptions as this article suggests.

2. The stamped visa on your passport is not a guarantee you will be able to enter the United States. It merely allows you to board a plane or come close to the boarder. Then at the port of entry, an Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer will decide to allow you in the United States.

Please note that visitor visas are very much discretionary. So although you meet all the requirements the Department of State reserves the right to deny such a visit.

Please feel free to contact our office on 510.7425887 or [email protected] for any additional assistance.

Read More on Visitor/Business visas (B1/B2)

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