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International Student Services

Commencement Invitations

You may wish to invite friends or relatives to attend your commencement ceremony and celebrate your achievements at Hamilton. Unless they are subject to a visa waiver, they will need to apply for a B-2 visitor visa to come to visit you here.

Visas are not automatically granted, but with advance preparation you can help to insure that your family members will be able to see you graduate. Although you have no official role in sponsoring visiting relatives or friends, the following suggestions may be useful in helping them obtain a B-2 visitor visa.

  • Write a letter inviting them to visit you in the United States. You should send a separate letter for each person applying.  
  • Write a letter to the US Consulate or Embassy in the city and country where they will apply for the visa. Again, write a letter for each individual applying. Be sure to specify the following: The name of the person you are inviting (as it appears on their passport); the reason for the invitation (to attend your graduation); the dates of their expected stay; and an estimate of their expenses during the visit (for example, costs for food, lodging and transportation within the US).
  • The person invited will be expected to show finances adequate to their length of stay in the US, such as funds in a bank account.
  • They will also be asked to show evidence that they have a reason to return home following their visit, and they may be asked to show a round-trip ticket. 
  • The International Student Advisor can provide a template letter to use to invite relatives to attend your graduation ceremony. Should you require additional information, contact Regina Johnson rjohnson@hamilton.edu.

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