With the increasing number of people who are applying for the US visit Visa, the requirements have become lengthier and the screening process harsher. Nevertheless, the US Visa procurement procedure is relatively simpler these days. The requirements are set out and all you need to do is comply with them properly. The only problem is when there is the inadequacy of documents supporting the authenticity of your application. This leads to the highest number of denials on Visa Applications for the US each year.
The visitor visa is issued as B1 or B2 type visa. This is limited to those who wish to visit the US temporarily. While there may be several reasons to go including medical purposes, visiting family or friends, business meetings or projects, attending educational or scientific conventions, etc. they are broadly categorized as B1 or B2 type. While B1 includes any career-related or commercial purpose including educational trips and meetings, B2 includes all others. This influences, though slightly, the required documents for processing your Visa application.
The application is a very simple online process, followed by filling of DS-160 Form, paying the Visa fees and appearing for the interview at the Visa Application Centre and the US embassy. Two kinds of documents are required for processing the application. They are Qualifying documents and Sponsor Documents. The qualifying documents are those that are preliminary for qualifying the criteria set by the Immigration and National Act (INA). These include Passport size photographs, a valid Passport, DS-160 Form, Visa Fee receipt, evidence of the intention of visiting the US temporarily, financial documents to prove the ability to fund the stay in US and Medical certificate from the concerned authorities.
Sponsor documents are the documents which the person sponsoring the stay has to send to the applicant, who shall have to subsequently submit these in his/her Visa Application. The following are the list of sponsor documents required for processing US visit Visa:
Affidavit of support form (Form I-134)
The purpose of this form is to make sure that the Sponsor document has both the willingness and ability to sponsor the stay of the applicant. The form can easily be downloaded from the internet and after filling the required details, a scanned copy of the same or the original can be sent to the applicant. Furthermore, if two or more people are sponsored, some embassies say that a single form is sufficient while others require separate forms appertaining to each individual. It is, therefore, best to fill out separate forms. The self-attestation of the form is sufficient and the same doesn’t need to be notarized.
It is important to remember that this form can be used by the officials to recover the unpaid medical fees of the applicants (if any) in the US as well as any other arrears that he/she may have. While the question about the extent of liability often varies as per the facts of the situation, it is best to declare your intention about the extent to which one is ready to sponsor.
If the details of a joint account are given in the form, it is important to also explain the relationship between the holders of the account.
Financial information regarding the sponsor’s account(s) mentioned in the I-134 Form must be submitted. This is to show that the person is financially sound enough to sponsor the visit of the applicant. These documents include the bank statements of the last 6 months, a copy of recent pay slips and income tax return forms. Though there is no minimum balance needed, it should be reasonable enough. Many people have reported that about $5000 per person is considered the threshold.
Copy of income tax returns of the preceding 3 years needs to be sent. This can be procured from the IRS office by submitting a form titled Form 4506. If no returns had been filed, the same needs to be duly explained. This can be done by submitting evidence of why there was no legal duty of filling the returns or having sufficient cause to condone the omission.
For security reasons, documents confirming the personal information of the sponsor need to be attached. These include their permanent and temporary address, with adequate residential proof, passport details, employment letter and certificate of citizenship or green card. This is also required because at a later date, the government may also need to visit the applicant and this is the only way to track him/her.
The employment letter includes the statement from your employer showing the nature of your employment, the position you work for, salary paid and the number of years of such employment. If one is self-employed, self-employment schedules are required to be filed with the income tax returns or the financial documents.
A bank letter is also required. This is a standard letter from the Bank addressed in the name of, “To Whom it May Concern”, disclosing the Date of opening of the accounts, the defaults (if any), the present balance and the average balance of preceding two financial years.
A letter of invitation
A letter of invitation or any other form of communication addressed to the visa applicant is necessary. This is just to disclose the unequivocal intention to invite the applicant and support him/her financially during the trip. Though a lot of embassies do not take this requirement seriously, it is never harmful to comply with the same. Neither does it have to be in any particular format nor does it need to be formal.
Application or letter to the US Visa consulate
A formal letter addressed to the US Visa consulate is necessary. This is regarding the request to grant a visitor visa to the applicant being sponsored. It is important to note that the sponsor must not send any document(s) directly to the US consulate and only the applicant must forward them.
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Relationship to the Applicant
Documents that disclose the relationship between the sponsor and applicant is necessary, to further remove the doubts and strengthen the intent of providing genuine financial support. For a parent-child relationship, this may include the Original Birth Certificate of the Child. When the trip of one’s parents or In-laws is being sponsored, their Original Birth certificate or that of their spouse (as the need may be), must also be attached. For a spousal relationship, the required documentation may be a certified copy of the marriage certificate issued by a competent authority. A photocopy of all the pages of the passport, including the blank pages, is needed.
It is important to bear in mind that the purpose of submitting the sponsor documents is to verify the intention of the sponsor, the purpose of the Applicant’s visit, the applicant’s intention to return to the home country, the legitimacy of the reasons claimed by the parties and the ability to provide such support. Thus, to ensure this, the consulate, at any time may require the disclosure of any more information that might be needed. This, in turn, may slow down the process. Thus, it is essential to disclose any further information that may be detrimental to your application along with the reasons condoning the same. The greater the duration of the stay, the stricter it is to process the sponsor documents. In case of the denial of sponsorship, the applicant must convince the consulate of his financial ability to fund his stay in the US. It is, therefore, advised to keep the backup ready.
These are all the required sponsor documents for US visit Visa. Once submitted, the acceptance is just a matter of time. The procedure of procuring all these documents might take some time and hence, it will be best to keep them ready beforehand to send them to the Applicant just in time.