The following information is intended for current students and scholars who would like to invite guests (family and friends) to the United States for temporary visits.
This information is NOT meant for Wake Forest departments that intend to invite visiting lecturers and researchers to provide services or use resources of the University. For those cases, please contact both ISSS (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the WFU Tax Office (email@example.com) prior to extending an invitation to ensure the appropriate immigration and tax issues are addressed ahead of the visitor’s arrival.
INVITING FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO VISIT
RESEARCH B-1/B-2 VISA APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
The B-1/B-2 visitor or tourist visa is the most commonly used visa for those coming to the U.S. for short visits (6 months or less). Your guest will need to contact the nearest U.S. embassy/consulate for the B-1/B-2 visa application process. Each embassy/consulate is autonomous and can establish their own rules and procedures for the B-1/B-2 application.
Successful applicants must prove a strong intent to return to their home country. This can include property ownership, employment, school enrollment, among others. The consular officer will evaluate these factors and make a discretionary decision about whether to grant the visa or not.
DOCUMENTS YOU CAN PROVIDE FOR THE VISA APPLICATION
LETTER OF INVITATION (OPTIONAL)
You may write a letter of invitation for your guest(s) that includes the following information:
- The purpose of the visit
- Your relationship to the individual
- A statement of your status here
- The length of time they will be visiting (usually less than three months).
- If the individual has a job to which they plan to return, state that in the invitation letter.
- If you plan to provide financial support while your guests are here, include that information along with financial support documentation (bank statements, affidavits of support, and etc.).
You can find a sample invitation letter here: Invitation Letter_Student Template
INCLUDE PROOF OF ENROLLMENT/ATTENDANCE (OPTIONAL)
F-1 & J-1 full-time enrolled students can print off a verification of enrollment for the current semester through the Wake Information Network (WIN). Professional school students (Law & Business) may need to consult with their program’s respective Registrar’s office for proof of enrollment.
- Log onto WIN
- Select ‘ Virtual Campus’
- Under ‘Your Student Records’ click on ‘Enrollment Verification.’
- A new window will open that will allow you the option to download and print an enrollment verification.
J-1 Research-Scholars, Short-Term Scholars, Specialists, and Professors can use the original letter of invitation issued by the sponsoring department/faculty member overseeing J-1 research/teaching program.
H-1B Employees may use employment offer letters/contracts between employee and employing Wake Forest department.
INCLUDE PROOF OF YOUR LAWFUL NONIMMIGRANT VISA STATUS IN THE U.S. (OPTIONAL)
You provide proof of your lawful nonimmigrant visa status in the U.S. by sending COPIES of the following documents to your guest (do not send original documents):
- Copy of I-20 or DS-2019 Form
- Copy of most recent F or J visa stamp
- Copy of most recent I-94 record (visit cbp.gov/i94, select ‘get I-94 number now’ in upper right corner, follow prompts, and input personal and passport information to pull up electronic I-94 record).
Providing your family members with all of the above papers may improve their chances of obtaining a visa. However, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of the applicant’s request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S.