Can I file a petition for my brother for a visitor visa? What kind of documents are needed to apply for a visitor visa application?
The short answer is no, you cannot file a “petition” for a family member for a visitor visa. A visitor visa (B-1 / B-2) is filed by the person seeking to come to the United States. It is filed electronically with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their respective country. Your brother will need to complete the DS-160 online visa application and schedule an interview with an embassy or consulate where he lives. At the time of interview, your brother will need prove that he is eligible for a visitor visa.
In order to be eligible for a visitor visa, your brother will need to convince the embassy of the following:
1. He is coming to the US solely for pleasure (to visit family, wedding, etc.) and not to work or permanently stay in the US.
2. He plans to stay for a specific, limited time-period
3. He has the financial means to pay for his visit or will receive some assistance from family or friends (i.e. a place to stay for free during trip such as a sibling’s home)
4. He has binding ties to his country, such as a home, job, immediate family, etc. that will assure the interviewer he will return home after his visit
5. He has the legal ability to return to his home country (valid travel / entry documents such as a passport)
Stating that he will return home is not enough. He must provide proof in the form of documentation. The following documents can be helpful evidence during a visitor visa interview:
1. Round Trip flight ticket/Itinerary
2. Residential Deed or apartment lease
3. Copies of Birth certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, or other documents of immediate family members (i.e. spouse, children) remaining in his country and showing your brother’s relationship to those family members. He may need to provide a combination of documents showing the relationship and showing that they reside in that country.
4. Documents showing a steady job or business such as paystubs, letter from employer, or tax returns
5. Bank statements showing that he has the financial ability to pay for his trip.
6. A letter from you inviting your brother to the US. It is always better to have a specific reason or event for the visit, such as a wedding invitation, a graduation, etc.
The key to a successful grant of a B-1/B-1 visitor visa is providing enough convincing evidence to show that the ties to the country will truly require the person to return to his country.
Please note that the above information is a general overview and is not intended to be used as legal advice. As individual cases can widely differ, we urge anyone seeking to file a B1/B2 visitor visa or any other immigration benefits to consult an immigration attorney. You may contact us at (866) YOUR RIGHTS for a free 15 minute telephone consultation.
Sam R. Saif, Esq.