Inviting Family & Friends to the U.S.

Visa Waiver Program

If your friend or family member is from an approved country on the Visa Waiver Program, please have them read this website for requirements to enter the US.

Visitor Visa

For the most up-to-date information, please have your friend or family member visit their local embassy website and the visa appointment website for that embassy.

The information and evidence needed for a visitor visa will be asked at the time of application. Common things that can be asked of the applicant are:

  • The purpose of the trip
  • Their intent to depart the United States after the trip; and/or
  • Their ability to pay all the costs of their trip
  • Evidence of their employment and/or family ties (in their home country)
  • Evidence that another person will cover some or all of the costs for their trip if they cannot cover the cost

If anything is required, please follow the instructions provided from the US Embassy issuing the visa.

Invitation Letters

“Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.”


ISS and UW Bothell do not provide invitation letters.

If you choose to support a friend or family member during their visa application with an invitation letter, please follow the requirements from the Embassy or Consulate where they apply.

Common information people include on a letter of support, if required, includes:

  • Your passport biographical information and number
  • Your reason for living in the US and current status
  • Evidence of your enrollment at UWB
  • Whether you will provide room and board or any other financial assistance for the visit
  • Your evidence of funding