Students often invite family and friends to visit them during their programs or after their programs for commencement ceremonies. Students who finish their program during winter quarter without optional practical training/academic training or a change of status will need a B-2 visitor visa to attend spring commencement. Please refer to the appropriate section for your situation below.
Inviting Your Family to Visit the United States During Your Program
You can help your family members/friends obtain a B-1/B-2 visitor visa by writing them a letter inviting them to come and visit you.
Items to consider including:
- Who you are and why you are in the U.S. (A student at UC Davis, start date of program and expected completion, field of study)
- Who you are inviting. Name and relationship to the person you would like to come and visit.
- A particular time to visit you (perhaps during a school break, particular holiday, or special event).
- Duration of visit (how long would this person visit you)
- Suggestions of what you would like to do with them when they visit (such as go on a road trip to visit nearby cities, go to a tourist destination or attend an event).
- A statement that your visitor will be paying for his/her own expenses while in the country.
- Your contact information for any questions
Sample Visitor Invitation Letter (Written By a Student)
Request for a B-2 Visa for *Name of Visitor*
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I am a student at UC Davis in California. I began my *bachelors/masters/doctoral* program in *Name of Major* on *I-20/DS-2019 program start date* and expect to graduate by *I-20/DS-2019 program completion date.* I would like to invite my *Relationship to Visitor (mother/father, etc)* *Name of visitor* to visit me in the United States at University of California Davis and the Sacramento area. We may also visit *possible popular tourist destinations or events* while in the United States. *Name of visitor* will be paying for *his/ her* own expenses while in the country. I expect this visit to last approximately *duration of visit.*
Your assistance in acquiring a B-2 visa for *Name of visitor* will be greatly appreciated. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at *Student contact information phone/email.*
Inviting Family and Friends to Visit the United States for Commencement
If you are inviting friends or family specifically to attend your graduation ceremonies and want to help your visitor to establish their purpose for wanting a visitor visa when they have their visa interview, you have two options.
- Write your family or friends an invitation letter yourself.
- Request a letter from the university that confirms your participation in this event using the directions below.
Please Note: Students who finish their programs during winter quarter and who have NOT applied for work authorization (AT/OPT) or changed status can apply for a B-2 visitor visa which will enable them to attend commencement. Please contact SISS if you are graduating winter quarter and need additional information.
Please submit a Family Travel Visa Request Form for each individual family member who wishes to attend commencement. It usually takes about a week to process a letter request and you will receive it by e-mail once it is ready.
Detailed Information can be found in the Graduate Studies FAQs.
International students wishing to request a visa support letter from Graduate Studies in order to have relatives living outside the U.S. attend the commencement need to email their request to the commencement coordinator and include the following information:
- Degree candidate's name
- Degree candidate's gender (for referencing in letter)
- Degree candidate's program of study
- Degree candidate's degree upon completion
- Name(s) of guest(s) and relation to degree candidate (e.g., Mother: Cheng Liu)
If you are eligible to participate in commencement, you will be notified when the letter is ready for pick up at Graduate Studies. If you would rather have the letter mailed to a U.S. address, please state this in your email and include your mailing address. No letters will be mailed out of the U.S.
Students enrolled in the Graduate School of Management, the School of Veterinary Medicine or the School of Education should contact their Dean’s Office.