If you would like family to come for your graduation, please note that ISSS 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 ISSS. 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:
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.
U.S. address (it must match what is in SEVIS; another reason to be sure you keep your address current with ISSS 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 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
Take a look at the following sites for additional information regarding visitor visa applications.
- Web Sites for U.S. Embassies and Consulates
- Estimated Time Needed for Visa Processing in U.S. Consulates
- Visa Application Forms
- In the Event of a Denial...
- Special Cases: Visa Waiver Program & Citizens of Bermuda, Canada & Mexico
Please e-mail ISSS if you have any further questions.