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  • non-immigrant tourist visa

    I want to bring my step-father to the US on a visitor visa. I am a Permanant resident of the US. However, is there any specific documentation required to show regarding sponsoring a step-father?

  • #2
    I want to bring my step-father to the US on a visitor visa. I am a Permanant resident of the US. However, is there any specific documentation required to show regarding sponsoring a step-father?


    • #3
      Following documents need to be sent from the person who is sponsoring his/her relatives to visit the United States. Please send complete and legible. Wherever possible, send computer printed or typed documents to avoid any confusion. Also, please try to send documents as much as recent as possible. Due to long appointment times at consulates like Chennai, it is acceptable to have 2 or 3 months old documents too. But some documents like employment letter etc. should not be too old, not like 6 months or 1 year old.
      "¢ You need to show that you can financially support your relatives while they are in US. For that you need to fill a form called "Affidavit of Support form(Form I-134)". You need to get it notarized. Notary can be done at your bank or at AAA, for example. If you have an account with a given bank, they notarize it for free. Not all bank branches have notary service. Check before you go. Sometimes, even large employers have notary service within the company itself. You may also find notary services in Yellow Pages(at fee, of course). Find Notary. You will have to sign the form in front of notary(Do NOT sign before) and you will have to carry an identity document with you such as passport, driver's license. It is mandatory to notarize I-134. Notary, who is government authorized witness, ensures that the document is signed by the person who is really that person, and not someone else. This helps detect/reduce fraud. It also ensures that the person who signed the document has signed it willingly and knowingly.
      One form should be filled for each applicant. So, even though parents are applying together, you need to send two forms.
      Download I-134
      Note: For those of you who are on H1, there is no option on the form to say that you are on H1. So just write in one of the options on the form that you are on H1.
      "¢ Statement from your employer(1 original for each applicant) on business stationary, showing
      o Date and nature of employment
      o Salary Paid
      o Whether position is temporary or permanent.
      Sample employment letter
      "¢ Letter from your Bank(1 original for each applicant) on their business stationary, giving the following details.
      o Date account opened
      o Total amount deposited for the past year
      o Present balance
      o Average balance last year.
      Also send copies of few recent bank statements. It should have good balance at least over last 6 months. Do not deposit money into bank just one day before to show big balance, only to withdraw next day. You really should have money to show your financial strength to be able to support the people you are sponsoring. While there is no specific guideline how much money you should have in the bank, it should be enough to take care of all their expenses. Something like $5,000/person should be good enough.
      "¢ Letter from yourself stating that you will take care of their expenses in USA. This letter should be addressed to the US consulate your relatives will be visiting.
      sample letter.
      "¢ A personal letter of invitation (free format, but formal; explain here how you will be able to accommodate them in you house and take them around for tourist purposes).
      One letter should be enough for both mother and father. If your relatives don't understand English, it may be helpful to send the translation of the letter in your native language because consular officer may question that your parents might have never read the letter.
      sample letter.
      "¢ Copies of recent pay stubs. 3 or 4 should be enough.
      "¢ Copy of last 3 years income tax returns and W2s. If you don't have them, you can request them from IRS.
      "¢ If you are Indian citizen:
      a. Your Original birth certificate. (Required only for those applying at US consulate at Mumbai).
      b. Photocopy of all pages (including blank pages) of your passport. If visa in old passport , then photocopy of all pages of old and new passport
      c. Also:
      i. If you are on H1 or L1, copy of latest H1/L1 visa approval notice(I-797 Notice of Action).
      If you are at adjustment of status(I-485 stage), send copies of I-485 receipt, EAD card and Advanced Parole. These may not be required, but does not hurt to send them.
      ii. If your visa has expired but has a renewed petition, photocopy of the renewed petition.
      iii. If you are a legal permanent resident in the USA, photocopy of the green card (front and back side).
      "¢ If you are US citizen:
      Photocopy of bio-data page of US passport OR photocopy of Naturalization Certificate.
      "¢ If you are sponsoring your spouse's relatives (such as in-laws), photocopies of all pages(including blank pages) of your spouse's passport and your marriage certificate.
      "¢ If the parents have more than one child in the US, it is advisable to carry relevant documents of all children including the sponsor child

      Your relatives who want to visit the united states need to take the following documents with them to the US consulate.
      "¢ Non-immigration visa application form, DS-156.
      Each traveler must have a separate application.
      Download DS-156
      The Downloaded version of DS-156 MUST be printed back-to-back on 8 1/2 x 11 paper(standard paper size in US) or on A4 paper(standard paper size in India). Two-paged applications will not be accepted.

      Sample DS-156 that gives detailed guidance for each question in DS-156 form.
      "¢ All male nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 16 and 45, regardless of nationality and regardless of where they apply, they must also fill out DS-157 along with DS-156. One form for each visitor for whom it is applicable.
      "¢ A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States. Each applicant, including children of any age, must possess an individual passport.
      "¢ Two photographs. The applicant's signature must appear on the reverse side of the photograph. Photographs are required for all applicants, including children. Detailed instructions
      It is advisable to keep few extra photos with you just in case needed. There is also a photo center within Mumbai visa center.
      "¢ Visa Fees. Details about Visa Fees.
      "¢ Photocopies of the first, address and last pages of your current passport.
      "¢ Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The presumption in the Act is that every applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:
      o the purpose of their trip is to enter the United States temporarily for business or pleasure or medical treatment;
      o they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
      o they have a residence outside the United States and the intent to return abroad at the conclusion of the visit.
      The prime criterion of issuance of a visitor visa is whether the applicant convinces the consular officer that the applicant truly intends to return to his/her home country after a temporary stay in the United States. It is impossible to specify the exact form such documentation should take place each applicant's circumstances vary greatly. Each applicant must keep in mind that the interview will focus on his or her credibility and not the documents presented.

      It is generally difficult for young people to present strong ties. In such as cases, consular office may consider applicant's education status/grades, long-range plans, parents' status, prospects in home country, previous travel to other countries etc.

      Documents showing that they will return to the home country after their temporary stay in the United States. Thus their stay is temporary. For example, job proof, property proof, bank accounts, family ties etc.
      o Proof of property such as House, Shop, Godown etc. Take the original ownership papers.
      Also take the property estimate given by the Chartered Accountant.
      o Also get the personal affidavit regarding property. Business should show how much they earned last year. Say that you have old parents you need to take care of. And you have one unmarried son and you need to do arrangements for his arranged marriage after your return. Also describing the nature of the trip and details of the itinerary is helpful.
      The sample affidavit for the Father.
      The sample affidavit for the Mother.
      o Latest income tax returns for last 3 years(i.e., Form 16 or Form 2D). Should take originals with them.
      o Some bank balance for at least few months before going for visa. Please note that simple bank letters showing simply the bank balance is not acceptable. You have to also take past few months (say 6 months) statements with you, or the pass book.
      o The visitor has a residence outside the U.S. that he does not intend on abandoning. This can be shown via deeds to real estate. These help to persuade the consular officer that the visitor has strong ties to his home country and is likely to return there.
      o Original documents regarding employment/business/profession with salary/income details, agreement regarding partnership if running business in partnership, company registration certificate if own business, pension book if retired and getting pension.
      o Other financial papers(e.g., bank fixed deposits, shares, life insurance policies, bonds, etc.)
      o Documents about the family (e.g., marriage certificate, birth certificates of any children, etc.)
      o If you hold any social or professional designations in India, proof related to that.
      o As much as possible, avoid getting affidavit of support from people who own small business such as gas stations, grocery stores or motel. Consular officers believe that these people employ people illegally and may employ you also who is supposed to be going as tourist, and not for work.
      o If you are employed, get a letter from an employer showing that "Your leave is sanctioned for 2 months, and you are expected to join duty back on MM/DD/YYYY.
      o If you have traveled to US earlier on any visa and came back to home country on time, show the proof as per stamps in your passport or copies of plane tickets or boarding passes.
      "¢ For business travelers, such evidence may consist of a letter from their employer indicating the purpose and length of the trip as well as the firm's intent to defray the costs of the trip, or an explanation of other sources of funds. If you are a business traveler and your company is financing your visit, you can carry relevant proof of the same. If the company is new or unknown, it will be helpful to carry tax records of the company for the last 3 years. If available, provide the company's market and financial position with financial records, source of funds, income tax papers and any media coverage, advertisement, brochures etc. for the company. If you are going to US for a conference, show proof of registration.

      For tourists and others traveling to the United States for pleasure, such evidence may consist of a statement by the applicants outlining their plans in the United States and explaining the reasons they will return to India (family ties, employment, or similar binding obligations). Other evidence may include letters of invitation from relatives or friends in the United States whom the applicant plans to visit, confirmation of participation in group tours, an invitation to an event such as printed wedding invitation or invitation to attend graduation, etc.

      For persons traveling to the U.S. for medical treatment, evidence should include a statement from a doctor or institution accepting the patient for the proposed medical treatment, an estimate of the cost of the treatment, and documentation of how these costs will be met. Applicants going to the U.S. for medical treatment must also go to a U.S. Embassy Panel Physician to determine whether the treatment is available in India or necessary to be done in the United States.
      "¢ A No Objection Certificate (NOC) or Letter and leave sanctioned letter if the applicant is in Government service or with any of the Armed Forces.
      "¢ Applicants who do not have sufficient funds of their own to support themselves during their proposed stay in the United States must present credible evidence to show that they will be supported there by some interested person; such evidence should reflect the ties between applicant and sponsor which form the basis for the latter's assurances of extending support. See Documents - Sponsor for this.
      "¢ Purpose of the tour is vacationing, visiting friends/family. Some of you call your parents because your wife is pregnant. Never mention that she is pregnant. They will say all the facilities are available in the United States to take care of that and your relatives don't need to come to the United States just for that reason. They will think your relatives would want to extend the visitor's visa to baby sit the baby and eventually never leave United States.
      Of course, if the officer asks whether your daughter or daughter-in-law is pregnant during the interview, you have to answer truthfully and you can not lie. Also, if officer asks you whether you have grandchildren, answer truthfully.
      "¢ If they ask for return air ticket, tell them it will be purchased after the visa is issued. Don't show oneway airticket in any case. If they ask for medical insurance, you can purchase from this web site itself.
      "¢ All original documents sent to you by your sponsor in USA. If you are sponsoring yourself, you need to show sufficient proof that you have enough financial resources to support yourself during the trip.
      "¢ Dependents joining their spouse on board ship need to carry their original marriage certificate and wedding photo al*** along with the spouse's visa copy.
      "¢ Original Birth Certificate for Child below 16 years of age.
      "¢ If you have been to US earlier and applied for extension of stay, you must present a Form I-797 Extension of Status Approval Notice during your subsequent visa interview.
      "¢ Cover letter highlighting the nature of the visit, reason for travel and other relevant information. Preferably written in bullet points and less than 1 page.

      In short visit this webpage it has everything you and your step father need to know...good luck...Pasha