Ask the Consul
Do I need an invitation from an American citizen or someone in the US in order to qualify for a tourist visa?
May 7, 2012
In order to qualify for a visa for business or pleasure to the United States, each applicant must demonstrate that they qualify based on U.S. immigration law and: 1) They have a residence in a foreign country to which they will return to after their temporary visit; 2) Intend to enter the United States for a period of a specifically limited duration; and 3) Will go to the U.S. to engage in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure.
The first requirement, proof of residence, is generally evaluated by looking at an applicant’s ties to their country. Ties can be employment, property ownership, university studies, and/or family. Each applicant’s ties are unique and are considered individually by a Consular Officer.
The applicant must also convince the Consular Officer that he or she will remain in the United States only for a limited duration and will return to the Dominican Republic following the temporary visit. The length of stay must make sense with the purpose of the trip. It is beneficial to the applicant to be specific about the purpose of the trip so that the Consular Officer can make the best possible decision regarding the case.
In addition to demonstrating strong ties, an individual must show that he or she will use the visa appropriately. This means convincing the Consular Officer that all activities in which the applicant expects to engage in while in the United States are legal and consistent with the claimed nonimmigrant status. This is the case regardless of the applicant's financial situation or ties abroad.
Based on the interview, a Consular Officer determines whether or not the applicant qualifies for a visa. We understand the wish of U.S. citizens and residents to have family members visit the United States, and to send letters of invitation. An invitation is not required and cannot guarantee visa issuance. Visa applicants must qualify for the visa according to their own circumstances, not on the basis of a sponsor's assurance.