If you would like to invite family members to visit you during your F/J program or for your commencement ceremony, and would like documentation to support your family member(s) B-2 visitor visa(s), ISSS recommends that you provide your family members with the following:
- A personal letter written and signed by you that invites your family to visit you in the U.S. and/or attend your commencement ceremony. The letter should contain the following details:
- Why you are in the U.S. – your visa status, what institution you are attending, your field and level of study, and when you will complete your program.
- Who you are inviting – the name and relationship (e.g. mother, father, sister, etc.) of each individual
- When they will be visiting and if there is a specific reason for the timing of the visit (example: school break, special holiday, commencement ceremony)
- Whether you will be providing any accommodations/financial assistance for the visitor(s) – will you be housing them in your apartment, providing them with meals, transportation, etc.?
- What activities are planned for the visit (example: visit a local tourist attraction, attend an event, etc.)
- Your contact information for any questions.
- A copy of your I-20/DS-2019 document and F/J visa as proof of your valid status in the U.S.
- If you are inviting family to visit during your program :
- For students—An enrollment verification letter from the Registrar's Office as proof that you are currently enrolled as a student at ISU
- For scholars—A letter from your host faculty as proof that you are currently engaged in a research or teaching program at ISU
- If you are inviting family to visit at the end of your program for commencement :
- Review the Graduate Checklist
- Register for commencement in the commencement registration portal. Provide your family with a copy of the confirmation email you receive after registering to serve as additional documentation of your intended participation.
- If you are sending an invitation letter prior to the opening of the commencement registration portal, request an enrollment verification letter from the Registrar’s Office as proof that you are currently enrolled as a student at Illinois State and include your anticipated graduation date on the request form.
- Provide your family with a copy of the commencement schedule.
ISSS also recommends that your family member(s) contact the specific U.S. embassy/consulate where they will apply for their visa for full details, as procedures may vary.