Inviting Family to the U.S.

Inviting Family Members to Visit the U.S.

During or upon completion of your studies at Columbia College Chicago you may want to invite your parents or other family members to visit. Here are some suggestions to help them apply for a visitor’s visa (B-2) at a US consulate or embassy in their home country. Applications for any US Visas must happen outside the US.

To facilitate their visa interview process you should do the following:

  • Request a letter of invitation by completing this form, at least three months before their intended arrival.
    • A letter will be completed by ISSS in about 1 - 2 weeks and you will be emailed when it is ready to pick up.
    • You must be in good standing (no violations of F-1 status).
  • Include an Enrollment Verification Letter from the Columbia Central to confirm your student status.
    • You can do this in person at 600 S Michigan Ave, 3rd Floor. It's also useful to bring the Verification Form with. Visit Columbia Central for more information. 
    • Graduate students who hold an GAship may want to also attach a departmental funding letter.
  • If you are graduating and they are traveling to attend your commencement ceremony, provide details of the Commencement Ceremony.
  • For additional information about U.S. consulate/embassy locations and application procedures, review the U.S. Department of State visa information.

Providing your family members with this documentation may improve their chances of obtaining a visa; however, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of their request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S.

If you any more questions, contact ISSS via e-mail at