US Tourist Visa Application with Invitation Letter: What You Need to Know

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Planning a trip to the US? Applying for a tourist visa can seem daunting, but one helpful document you can include is an invitation letter from a friend, family member, or even an organization in the US. While including an invitation letter can be beneficial, it’s important to note that the US tourist visa application with an invitation letter might have slight variations in requirements and procedures.

Now, let’s explore how including an invitation letter can affect the required documents, application procedures, and any associated fees. This article dives into these factors to help you navigate your US tourist visa application and pave the way for a smooth trip to the States.

What is a US tourist visa application with invitation letter?

Think of an invitation letter as a welcome note from the US. It’s a formal document written by a US citizen or organization inviting a foreign visitor for tourism purposes.

An invitation letter can strengthen your US tourist visa application by demonstrating your genuine travel plans to the consular officer.

Your invitation letter can come from a US citizen or legal resident,  including family members, friends, or even business associates you have in the US.

The letter should cover a few key points: the purpose of your visit (tourism in this case), your existing relationship with them, the planned length of your stay, a general outline of your itinerary, and whether they’ll be covering any of your expenses.

It’s important for all these details to be clearly outlined in the invitation letter, along with the sender’s contact information.

Required documents for a US visa application with an invitation letter

While an invitation letter doesn’t guarantee visa approval, it can strengthen your application by demonstrating a legitimate purpose for your visit. Consular officers appreciate this additional documentation, and it can potentially streamline the application process.

US Tourist Visa with letter of invitation - Thao & Co.

Prepare the following documents to complete your US visa application:

Letter of invitation

  1. An invitation letter from your relatives, friends, or business partners in the US.
  2. Proof of relationship between the US resident and you (including photos, email exchange, house registration book, etc.)
  3. Proof of temporary or permanent residence of the US resident

Identity documents

  1. ● Two 5×5 cm photos on a white background;
  2. ● Minimum 6-month valid passport;
  3. ● Two-sided photocopy of your identity card;
  4. ● Completed DS-160 form;
  5. ● House registration book (if any);
  6. Marriage certificate (if any).

Demonstrations of trip purposes

  1. ● Detailed travel itinerary, coupled with information about your arrival and departure from the US.
  2. ● Round-trip airline ticket or proof of hotel preservation in the US.
  3. ● Detailed address of your relatives or friends if you intend to stay at their houses.

Proof of employment

  1. For students: student card, confirmation from the current educational institution, and English-translated transcript.
  2. For employees: three months payslip, employment contract, leave of absence letter with an approved stamp from your company.
  3. For business owners: business license, tax reports within three latest months.
  4. For retirees: certificate of retirement and pension paperwork, certified by a local competent authority.

Financial demonstration

  1. ● Proof of reliable source of income of your relatives, friends, and business partners in the US if they intend to sponsor your trip.
  2. ● Bank statement or savings balance.

Reminder: You should provide the originals of the papers above and certified translations for all non-English documents.

Including certified English translations of any documents in a foreign language will ensure the US Consulate officer can understand all the information. This contributes to a complete visa application package, which can potentially improve your chances of approval.

Application procedures for a US tourist visa with an invitation letter

Got an invitation letter for your US tourist visa? Here’s what to do next!

Receive invitation letter

Once you’ve received that invitation letter from your US contact,  it’s time to move forward with your tourist visa application.

Here are the steps to follow, whether the letter came from a friendly relative, a close friend, or even a business associate in the States.

Letter Translation - Thao & Co.

Document preparation

  1. ● Gather all the mandatory and supporting papers specified earlier.
  2. ● Ensure any documents in a foreign language have certified English translations. Organize everything according to the consulate’s instructions for a smooth review process.

Complete the DS-160 form

  1. ● Acess this website and fill in the required information: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160)
  2. ● Upload your photo following the instructions on the website
  3. ● Print the confirmation for your visa application

Proceed with the payment

  1. ● Once you have completed the DS-160 form, access this website and navigate to your country section: US Travel Docs
  2. ● Navigate to the New User Registration section, fill in the required information, and Submit.
  3. ● Select Schedule an Appointment and furnish information about the visa you are applying for, regarding the applying location, visa type, and intended use of the visa.
  4. ● Select Payment Methods and print the receipt.
  5. ● Go to the designated location to complete the payment and obtain the receipt afterward.

Schedule an interview appointment

  1. ● Schedule your interview appointment at the US Travel Docs webpage within 11 days of your payment completion.
  2. ● Select New application/Schedule an appointment and follow instructions on the website to complete the process.

For the interview

Arrive at the nearest U.S. Consulate & Embassy to your local area with the pertinent documents for the interview session.

Be sure to arrive at the US Consulate or Embassy 15 minutes early for your interview. This allows time for any pre-appointment procedures.

If your interview is successful and your application is approved, you’ll be informed about the next steps for picking up your passport with the visa.

Fee for a US tourist visa application with an invitation letter

While an invitation letter can strengthen your visa application, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t affect the US tourist visa application fee. The fee is set by the US government and applies to all tourist visa applications regardless of an invitation letter.

The visa application fee is typically USD 185. While some locations might allow payment at a post office, it’s best to consult the US Department of State website for the most current information on application fees and accepted payment methods in your specific location.

The visa application fee is non-refundable. This means that regardless of the application’s outcome, the fee cannot be returned.

Tips for US Tourist Visa Application with Invitation Letter

Translation Rate - Thao & Co.

An invitation letter from a friend, relative, or even a US business associate can add value to your tourist visa application. Here’s how to ensure your invitation strengthens your case:

  1. ● Make sure the letter includes complete contact details for the US host, along with a clear signature.
  2. ● The letter should showcase the existing bond between the US resident and the applicant. This could be through shared family history, a long-standing friendship, or a professional connection for business associates.
  3. ● The letter should clearly state the purpose of the visit (tourism in this case) and provide a general outline of the applicant’s planned itinerary.
  4. ● If the invitation comes from a US company, it should include a signature or official company stamp for verification.
  5. ● While an invitation letter can significantly strengthen your US tourist visa application, it’s not the sole deciding factor. The Consulate will also consider your financial stability, interview performance, and other relevant criteria. By complying with these specifications, you’ll be well-prepared to showcase your qualifications for a US tourist visa.
  6. ● Don’t forget certified translations for visa application documents in a foreign language. This ensures clear communication with the Consulate officers and showcases your attention to detail throughout the application process.

High quality cerfitied translation company

Planning a US trip and need a Certified & Notarized Translation Service for your visa application? Thao & Co. can help! Our team of experienced translators, specializing in visa documents, can ensure your invitation letter and other documents are translated accurately and meet all requirements.

We understand the importance of accuracy and clarity in visa documents. That’s why Thao & Co. provides fast, reliable, and certified translations that meet all US Consulate requirements.

  1. Get your translations fast! We can translate your standard visa paperwork within just 24 hours.
  2. Peace of mind with certified translations: We provide our complimentary Certification of Translation Accuracy to ensure your translations are recognized by the US Consulate.
  3. Thao & Co.’s proprietary platform provides complete transparency and allows you to easily track your project’s progress.

Trust Thao & Co. to deliver flawless translations that meet your visa needs. Get a free quote today at or leave your information on our Get A Quote page. Our expert linguists are here to offer you personalized consultation and support.

Source: Thao & Company
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