March 31, 2022

How to Write An Invitation Letter for a US Visitor Visa

There are several mandatory requirements when you need to obtain a visitor visa to visit the United States. Fortunately, a letter of invitation from your American host is unnecessary, but it can help in some situations. If you want to write an invitation letter for a U.S. visitor visa, here are a few tips. 

How Do I Write an Invitation Letter for a Tourist Visa?

a pensive woman writting on a piece of paper

Writing an official letter might be intimidating, but it is the easiest part of your application process. Your host must write this letter, and it should be addressed to you or directly to the consular officer. Some embassies might have their one invitation form. You can find all that information in the checklist of required documents for the visa

However, even if there is no form, the process is straightforward. You need a few key pieces of information to complete this task. With the invitation letter, the writer must include information about the guest and host, such as:

  • Full name 
  • Date of birth 
  • Address/telephone number
  • Occupation
  • Host's residency status in the country

There are specific questions for the guest, including:

  • Relationship between host and guest
  • Purpose of the trip
  • Entry and exit dates

Related: What are the Marriage Visa Income Requirements? 

Visitor Visa Requirements

All applicants need to qualify for the visitor visa based on their own circumstances. While an invitation letter can help, the decision to grant this visa is not based on it. An approved application is based on the merits of the application, an interview, and the consular officer's decision. If an individual wants to qualify for a visitor visa, they must meet these three criteria:

  • Have residency in a foreign country: Before the visitor visa can be approved, the applicants must show proof of residency in their home country. After the trip, the visitor will return to their homes. Proof of residency shows that the visitor has ties to the home country. Other ties include property ownership, university studies, employment, and close family members. The consular officer will evaluate these ties to ensure that the applicant returns to their country after the visit. 
  • Intent to enter the United States for a limited time: All applicants must show they will leave the United States promptly and return to their residence. You must also show you have the financial means to return home.
  • Engage in activities consistent with visa guidelines: Visa applicants must demonstrate to the consular officer that their travel plans fall within the parameters of the visitor visa. These parameters include visiting family and friends, medical treatment, vacation, or tourism. With the letter of invitation, the visitor can show their reasons for visiting the United States. 

Related:  An Easy Guide to Dual U.S. Citizenship

How Long Is the Stay on a Visa Invitation?

man taking a picture of a woman in New York City

Depending on your request, most visitor visas are valid anywhere from 90 to 180 days. You need to specify how long you plan to stay in the United States in your application. When your host writes the invitation letter, they must specify how long you intend to stay with a definitive enter and exit date. If you overstay your visit, there could be legal consequences, including denial of any visa application in the future. 

What are Three Activities You Cannot Do With a Visitor Visa?

While the United States welcomes all types of visitors, there are certain prohibited activities for visitors. Yes, visitors can engage in these activities, but they will have to apply for another type of visa. For that reason, it is always important to specify why you intend to visit the United States. Here are the three activities that you cannot do with a visitor visa:


The United States is filled with many education opportunities, but you might want to think twice if you have a visitor visa. You are prohibited from enrolling in any type of course while staying in the United States. If you want to enroll in a school, you must apply for a different kind of visa to qualify as a student visitor. This application process is similar, but you need to be accepted by a program host or school. 


Individuals coming to the United States on a visitor visa cannot engage in activities that earn money. That means they cannot work a part-time or full-time job. If you want to work in the country, you must apply as a lawful nonimmigrant or temporary worker. You need to qualify for the visa based on a planned employment purpose. These steps for the applicant can vary. 

Duel Intentions

Unfortunately, some applicants are not truthful in their intentions for a visit. They must not attempt to falsify their reasons for entry. If the consular officer discovers that you have lied on the application, you could be deported and prohibited from entering the country in the future. 

Related:  Is It Possible to Sponsor My Undocumented Spouse’s Green Card?

Can You Send an Invitation Letter via Email?

Yes, you can send an invitation letter through email. Make sure you have the address of the consular officer. Once you have that, you can send it off to the official. However, you should always have a hard copy of the invitation letter. Keep this copy in case the officer never received the letter or you sent it to the wrong email address. 


airplane window view

An invitation letter is not necessary for the visitor visa process. However, it can help to get approved, especially when you need to specify your intentions for visiting the United States. Before your host writes the letter, make sure they have all the information to complete the document. 

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