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Posted By Ritesh Chhajer on Monday, February 09, 2009
10313 Views 23 Comments

FlyingLast week, my parents got their visitor visa for 10 years. So I just thought to compile all the necessary steps here to serve as a guideline which I think would be helpful for my friends in US who are planning to invite their parents from India.

Application Fee:

1. Find a designated branch of HDFC Bank in India to purchase US Visa Fee receipt. List of HDFC centres

2. Carry a photocopy of 1st page of the applicant(s) passport along with the application fee to HDFC Bank. It'll be roughly around 19,000 INR for 2 applicants. Application Fee Details

3. Submit the photograph online that meets the required specifications while completing the visa application form DS-160

Documents needed by sponsor(You):

1. Original Birth Certificate. In case of sponsoring your in-laws, your spouse's birth certificate would be needed.

2. Photocopy of passport including blank pages and latest I-94. In case of sponsoring your in-laws, passport copy of your spouse is also needed along with a copy of your marriage certificate.

3. Photocopy of Visa(H1/L1 whichever is applicable) petition

4. Affidavit of Support. Form I-134.Sample I-134Sample filled form Download latest form from USCIS. The difference is older form had to be notarized while new one doesnt need to be notarized and has an option to enter the I-94 number. To answer, "I have on deposit in savings bank in the United States", the amount need not be just the savings account. It can be sum of checking+savings+any other account(including joint account you have in U.S). Make two copies i.e 1 per applicant.

5. Bank Account Verification letter. Just walk-in to your bank and ask for this letter to be provided to Visa counsulate. Most of the banks are familiar with this requirement and the format. They'll print your name, account no. along with date it was opened, current balance and address it appropriately on their letterhead with signature. It's preferred that this amount shown as current balance matches with the amount shown in Form I-134. Make two copies i.e 1 per applicant.

6. Last 3-6 months Bank statement. Just to show good balance, never borrow money. Instead build up a healthy balance(around $5,000 per applicant) before applying for the visa. You can take the printout online if you have online bank account and need not walk-in physically to your bank.

7. Employer verification letter stating your salary. Make two copies i.e 1 per applicant.

8. Last 3 months pay check.

9. Copy of income tax returns or last few W2 forms.

10. Application letter addressed to US counsulate.Sample Application LetterSample application letter.

11. Invitation letter addressed to your parents.Sample Invitation LetterSample invitation letter

Documents needed by applicant(Parents):

1. Make your appointment using your barcode number(received via fee receipt from HDFC). Download and print your VFS appointment letter.

2. Application fee receipt issued by HDFC Bank

3. Complete your DS-160 application online.

4. Valid Passport(Obviously!)

5. To demonstrate strong ties to home country, it's good to carry property papers, statements of investment like fixed deposits,mutual funds,stocks, whichever is applicable.

6. Notarized affidavit of assurance that vistors would be going back and won't stay longer than granted stay.Sample affidavit of assuranceSample affidavit


1. Getting visitor visa is not a big deal. So don't load your parents with too much of information. Most of the documents visa authorities not even look at. All they want to ensure is visitors have some ties back home and would be returning back.

2. Visitor visa is for 6 months max. Don't try to extend beyond the limit. This could have severe repercussions on future visits and likey to get visa denial.

3. If you want Hindi/regional language interpreter, then plan accordingly as you won't get a slot for visa interview before 2 months. For English, you are likely to get an interview slot within 2 weeks.

4. Even after visa was issued, I wanted to make my parents absolutely comfortable with filling out any forms during travel. You too may do the same.

Sample Departure Card for passengers from IndiaDeparture Card from India

Sample Arrival Departure Record FormArrival Record Departure

Sample Customs DeclarationCustoms Declaration

5. Once travel tickets are confirmed, you can opt for vistors insurance. It's always recommended to take the insurance from US instead of India. Also with any insurance you take, always remember the less premium you pay, the more you'll have to pay in case of any eventuality. Also note that none of the pre-existing conditions would be covered so you are safegaurding against life threatening cases like accidents or any new diseases.

6. Avoid getting too much of food items and instead focus on the medicines your parents may need during their stay.

7. If you parents are going to stay for 6 months, plan the visit in same calendar year. You may claim them as dependents and claim tax deductions.

All the Best!!!

My courteous regards to vfs, path2usa and immihelp

Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. You assume all risk for your use.


Rants & Raves Minimize

  • Gravatar
    Subodh Tuesday, February 10, 2009 at 12:26 AM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    Thanks for the checklist Sir. I'm pretty sure I'd use this.

  • Gravatar
    Sudhi Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 12:05 AM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    Nice list Ritzy. Can you also update this entry to include your research for vistor's medical insurance? I'm too lazy and I know for sure that your research would work out all combinations winking

  • Gravatar
    Piyush Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 6:32 PM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    Hmmmm...that means uncle aunty got visa happy)...
    good job with all this info at one place....specifically i liked the departure-arrival card and customs declaration form..
    i think suggestions for medical insurance options would also be helpful...

  • Gravatar
    Ritzy Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 6:24 AM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    For visitors insurance, there are broadly two types of insurance that is available in the market viz. 1)Fixed and 2)Comprehensive. The fixed one comes with low premium but the insurance coverage is limited to fixed amounts while the comprehensive one comes at a high premium where out of pocket expenses are less since the insurance provides around 80-90% and in some cases 100% of the expenses minus deductible. I prefer comprehensive coverage.

  • Gravatar
    Mohit Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 12:20 AM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    Very informative and helpful. I was really looking for such a comprehensive list.
    Appreciate your efforts.


    • Gravatar
      Ritzy Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 12:27 AM
      Re: US Visitor Visa
      So, when are you inviting them?happy

  • Gravatar
    Manish Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 5:59 AM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    Thanks for documenting the entire process well.. really helped me in last minute prep... thx again

  • Gravatar
    Mazin Friday, August 14, 2009 at 6:46 PM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    Good job Ritzy,

    Very very helpful.
    One more information.

    What if parents doesnt own anything back home ?


    • Gravatar
      Ritzy Friday, August 14, 2009 at 6:54 PM
      Re: US Visitor Visa
      Well, if it's not there you can't help it.

  • Gravatar
    Amol Friday, September 11, 2009 at 5:41 PM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    Thanks for the blog. Very crisp and clear. Saves lot of time.

    One question though -
    Employment and bank verification letters, invitation letter, letter to the consulate, notarized affidavit that my parents would return to india - for all these documents should my parents each carry originals or can one of them carry original and the other a photocopy?

    Thanks for your help.

  • Gravatar
    Ritzy Friday, September 11, 2009 at 9:01 PM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    As such one copy is enough but if possible better to carry 2 copies and by that I mean two original copies instead of photocopy

  • Gravatar
    hsarvi Monday, January 04, 2010 at 7:23 PM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    This is really great!
    Thanks a ton for writing this up!

  • Gravatar
    Prakash Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 3:20 AM
    Re: US Visitor Visa
    Great job Ritesh. I have a doubt. Do we need 2 different return affidavit document? In the sense that should each doc be prepared by each of my parent stating their own reason for return? Thanks.

  • Gravatar
    Rabi Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    Fantastic information. All in one place. Thanks a lot !

  • Gravatar
    Vincent TL Monday, March 14, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    Excellent website. This helped me to apply a visa for my mother

  • Gravatar
    Ranen Monday, August 06, 2012 at 11:43 PM
    Do these affidavits need to be on stamp papers of a certain value or just print out on A4 size paper?

  • Gravatar
    Raj Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    How do you claim your parents as dependents, when you file your taxes in US? I thought every dependent should either have a SSN or ITIN to be added as dependent while filing taxes.


    • Gravatar
      Ritzy Friday, November 02, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      ITIN for parents can be filed after they have stayed with you in US. In fact if they stay for 6 months, you can also use the ITIN to claim tax benefits.

  • Gravatar
    US Waivers For Canadians Wednesday, November 06, 2013 at 4:06 PM
    Its great and informative story about visa and travel service, it's really help most of the people who to get the visa while you are planning to traveling.

  • Gravatar
    New Wednesday, October 05, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Excellent information. Could you please let me know if the following is mandatory for visitor visa?

    9. Copy of income tax returns or last few W2 forms.

    I've just spent 4 months in USA and don't have the tax returns yet.


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