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Visas for Visiting Family & Friends

A proud family poses with their graduate at spring commencement 2013

If you would like family to come for your graduation, please note that VISA does not write letters of invitation as the letter should be written by you. If you feel your I-20 and proof of enrollment (i.e. transcript) are not sufficient documentation that you are a student at ODU, you can request a letter of enrollment verification from VISA. It will be helpful if they already have their return ticket (absolutely required by some consulates) and proof they have sufficient funding to cover their visit to the U.S.

There is no template, but you should include the following information in your letter of invitation. It should be addressed as in the following example:

Visa Official
Embassy of the United States
Consular Section -- Chennai, INDIA

Be sure to sign your letter in BLUE ink and to address it "To Whom It May Concern." Your family member or friend will need to take this letter when applying for the visa.

  • name


  • I-94 number

  • U.S. address (it must match what is in SEVIS; another reason to be sure you keep your address current with VISA and ODU (appropriate links can be found on the site linked above)

  • approximate dates of visit

  • statement that your family/friends will be staying with you or whatever other arrangements have been made

  • reason for the visit (graduation, visit, see new baby, etc.)

Copies you may need to attach to your letter (not all will be needed, based on your situation):

  • printout of your LeoOnline transcript

  • your I-20

  • your passport (biographical info, document expiration date and visa)

  • BOTH sides of your I-94

  • if graduating, proof that your application has been approved by the Registrar

  • baby's birth certificate

Web Resources

Take a look at the following sites for additional information regarding visitor visa applications.

Please e-mail VISA if you have any further questions.