*Please keep these points in mind before reviewing the Sample below.*
1. What is an "invitation letter"? An invitation letter is simply a letter signed by a
2. The U.S. State Department (USDOS) states that an invitation letter is NOT a required document to apply for a Tourist Visa, but may be submitted as a supplemental document to help the applicant. DSOS states also that additional documents may be requested such as documents to show the purpose of the trip, the applicant's ability to pay all costs of the trip, and the intent of the applicant to leave the U.S. and return to the home country.
3. The Tourist Visa is intended for a SHORT VISIT ONLY to the U.S. and for tourism only. The tourist visa holder is required to return to his/her home country at the end of the tourist visa visit. The Tourist Vis applicant is required to show proof, especially financial proof, that he/she will return to the home country. [NOTE: There are an estimated 4 to 5 million people from foreign countries who traveled to the U.S. under a Tourist Visa and then simply "overstayed" their visa. For this reason, the Tourist Visa is not an easy visa to obtain.]
3. In my practical experience, an invitation letter, no matter how well-written, is no gurantee that the Tourist Visa will be approved. In some cases, the Tourist Visa can be helpful, but in other cases, it does not help. The reason for this is that the primary requirement for approval of Tourist Visa is NOT an invitation letter but sufficient practical and often financial proof that the Tourist Visa applicant will return to the home country at the end of the tourist visa visit.
4. It is true that an invitation letter can sometimes be a benefit to show that the Tourist Visa applicant has a family member or close friend in the U.S. inviting the applicant for a visit and prepared to help with costs. In other cases, the Consular Officer is concerned that the existence of a family member or close freind in the U.S. can serve as a temptation to the applicant to "overstay" the tourist visa or to otherwise investigate a way to remain in the U.S.
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