Visits from Family or Friends Who Require a B-2 Visa
International students at Humboldt State University often ask the staff at the Center for International Programs whether there are any steps they might take to assist family members or friends in making a successful application for a B-2 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad.
Any applicant for a B-2 visa must demonstrate nonimmigrant intent: 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa
Ensuring that your family members have the following evidence will be helpful during the visa application process:
Invitation letter from you: Write a letter of invitation that includes the following: your name and your reason for living in the US, the names of your family members who wish to visit, the purpose and approximate length of the visit, and whether you will provide room and board or any other financial assistance for the visit.
Your evidence of funding: If you provide room and board or any other specific expenses of the trip (such as airfare), you should supply evidence of your funding such as a bank statement or employment letter. There is no minimum dollar amount that you must reflect; but you should indicate an amount that is reasonable for the level of support you are providing.
Evidence of your status in the US: provide your family members with a copy of your I-20 (do NOT send the original) and other documents verifying your status in the US. (It is not necessary to get a new I-20 when inviting family members).
Evidence of intent to return home: Your family members must prove that they will return home after visiting the US. Documents showing employment, property ownership, close family relations in home country, or enrollment in school (in the home country) are considered good evidence of intent to return home.
Family Members’ Evidence of Funding: If your family members intend to cover their own expenses, they should provide a bank statement, employment verification or other evidence of funding.
Consult the web! The US State Department/Bureau of Consular Affairs has a website (www.travel.state.gov) with additional information about applying for a tourist visa. In addition, many individual consulates will have more specific information about inviting family members on their websites. You can find links to US Consulates around the world on the above site or at http://www.embassy-worldwide.com/
A sample invitation letter can be found here: Sample Invitation Letter.