Inviting Friends & Family for a Short Visit
This information is for Duke students and scholars who would like to invite a family member or friend to the United States for a short visit or graduation.
Duke Graduating Students: Please follow the instructions on Duke University's Commencement page.
Invitees as Dependents
Only spouses and unmarried children under 21 may apply for dependent visas. All other relatives/friends must apply for their own separate visa.
Non-Dependent Invitee Visa Type
The most common visa category for people visiting the U.S. is the B-2 tourist visa. B-2 visa status allows an individual to stay in the U.S. as a tourist for an initial period of up to six months and may be extended, subject to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approval.
Invitee B-2 Visa Requirements
Your relative/friend must apply for the B-2 visa at a United States Embassy or Consulate. As an applicant for a B-2 visa, your family member/friend must demonstrate to the satisfaction of consular officials that he/she has adequate financial resources to pay for his/her expenses while in the U.S. that he/she will be a bona fide tourist, and that he/she does not intend to become a permanent resident of the United States
Demonstrating Adequate Financial Resources?
Your relative/friend must provide documents that indicate sufficient funding for the duration of the proposed visit to the U.S. Examples of such evidence are statements from your family member's/friend's bank or statements from your bank account along with a letter from you guaranteeing support.
There is no established minimum dollar amount that applicants for B-2 visas must show, so your relative/friend may want to provide a list of expected expenses that he/she is likely to incur along with an explanation with documentation of how those expenses will be met. Remember to include costs for temporary health insurance.
Intent to Return to Home Country
The applicant must demonstrate that he/she intends to return to his/her home country. An applicant who is employed in the home country (or a third country) can obtain a letter from his/her employer verifying that the individual will be on holiday and is expected to return to his/her job by a certain date. If the applicant owns property (such as land or a house) in the home country, he/she can provide documents of ownership. If the applicant has traveled abroad and returned to the home country in the past, he/she can provide passport notations, used airline tickets, etc. If the applicant has close family members who will remain in the home country (e.g., a spouse, child, elderly parent), he/she can demonstrate close family ties.
Visa Services Assistance with Obtaining B-2 Visa for Invitee
The Visa Services can provide a Duke form confirming the non-immigrant status of students and scholars under our visa sponsorship and requesting that the U.S. Embassy or Consulate give due consideration to the family member's application for a B-2 visa.
Obtaining the Confirmation Form
If you would like to use this service, you must complete Part I of the confirmation form. Your department must then complete Part II. After Parts I & II have been completed, bring this form and copies of your most recent I-94 form and visa documents (I-20, DS-2019, I-797) to Visa Services. The Visa Services will complete Part III and return the form to you.
Go to the PDF version of the Confirmation of Status Form.
Certification Form for Invitee
Your relative/friend does not need a form or letter from Visa Services to apply for a B-2 visa.