Want to visit your family in New York, but do not have enough savings to afford the trip on your own? This is a common scenario, since the travel to America can cost quite a packet.
Despite this, each year thousands of Indians dream of or need to visit the United States. For this, they are required to apply for a B-2 tourist visa. But to be eligible for a tourist visa, immigration officials require the applicants to have the ability to pay for their basic expenses in the US, including transportation, food, lodging and return tickets, to ensure that during their stay, they do not depend on public benefits. Sadly, not everyone who wishes to visit the US is able to fullfil this requirement.
However, if you have a relative in US who is ready to pay for your expenses, including the flight tickets, things can become pretty easy for you. By filling certain forms and providing the required documents, a relative or friend, who is a US citizen, permanent resident or lawfully admitted non-immigrant, can offer financial support for the trip. Such a trip is called a sponsored trip.
The visitor should produce evidence to the US consulate in India that they have been invited by a friend or relative (called a sponsor) and that this individual has offered to support your stay in America. This will also require you to prove that your sponsor has enough financial resources to pay for your expenses and more. Here is a list of sponsor document you’d need at the time of interview.
List of Sponsor Documents Required for Visitor Visa
- Invitation Letter:
This is a formal letter that can be written in any format, and could be an email too. It should clearly invite you to the US, being received by the visitor from the sponsor. The letter should also mention that the sponsor (relative or friend) is willing to pay for the cost of the trip and your expenses while you are in America.
- Letter to the US Consulate (or border official):
This letter should be written by the sponsor, addressing the US consulate, stating that their friend or relative will be visiting the country and that the sponsor will pay for their visit. The letter should also explain the purpose of the visit and how long the visitor intends to stay in the US.
- Form I-134, Affidavit of Support:
To show that the visitor will be financially supported during their stay in the US, a form, the Affidavit of Support Form (I-134), is to be filed by the sponsor in the US, one for each visitor. However, those who are applying for multiple family members, such as parents and/or in-laws, needs to submit only one I-134 form. The form needs to be sent to the visitors as one of the sponsored documents.
- Bank Statements:
The US consulate will not simply believe the applicant’s saying that their friend or relative in the US will be able to sponsor their trip. They’ll require you to send bank statements for the previous 6 months to show that you have maintained adequate balance in your bank account. Although there is no limit on how much money the account should hold, something like $5,000 per person will do.
- Letter from the Employer:
This letter should be a statement from the employer of the sponsor on the company’s letter head, mentioning the nature and date of the sponsor’s employment and the salary they receive.
- Pay Stubs:
3 or 4 recent recent pay stubs would be sufficient.
- Income Tax Returns:
The sponsor should send the visitor a copy of their income tax returns for the past 3 years, along with their W2s. In case the sponsor does not file tax returns, they should send a document explaining why it is not their legal duty to file returns.
Make sure your sponsor sends you the entire set of documents you will need to show at the US consulate when you will apply for your US visa.