University of Wisconsin–Madison


To invite your family members and friends to the U.S.A. on a tourist visa we suggest that you send your family/friend a personal letter which they will take with them to the US embassy. In general, this is simply a letter stating “I miss you”, “Please come see me graduate”, etc.

Within the content of the letter identify the person you are inviting, and also provide your name and your relationship to that person.

Mention the intended beginning and end dates of the visit and, if appropriate, the purpose of the visit.

For the actual tourist visa application, your friend/family member will need to show that they have the funds to support themselves during their stay in the U.S. They will also need to explain their ties to their home country. As the tourist visa is a non immigrant visa, they will need to be prepared to demonstrate their intentions to return home after their short stay in the U.S. Intent to return can be supported with proof of a job, land ownership, personal/familial obligations, etc.

You may also request a “Visitor/Tourist Visa Letter” from our office. This letter will only verify you are a F1 or J1 student in good legal standing. Click here to request an Invitation Letter.

You could also include certificate of your enrollment at the UW-Madison. You can obtain this letter on your “My UW” or at



We no longer will endorse the personal invitation letters written by students.

We do not write invitation letters for F-2 or J-2 Dependents.

To invite immediate family members (your dependents, defined by the USCIS as your spouse and or children under the age of 21) you must apply to ISS for a new I-20 or DS-2019 for family members to enter the USA your dependents.