Overview

Student Immigration Definitions

Obtaining F-1 Student Status at Columbia

Important Information for Students Fully Funded
by Columbia University


Transfer of F-1 Supervision

Change of Status to F-1

Message for Canadian Students

Potential Delays in Visa Issuance

Dependents

Student Tax Information

Maintaining F-1 Status

I-20 Recertification

Academic Certification for Travel

F-1 Travel Information

Govt Q & A for F-1 Travel

DHS Information on Arrival Problems

F-1 Extension of Stay (Current Program)

F-1 Extension of Stay to Begin New Program

F-1 Reinstatement

F-1 Work Opportunities

F-1 Practical Training (PT) Overview

F-1 Curricular Practical Training

F-1 Optional PT Before Degree Completion

F-1 Optional PT After Degree Completion

STEM 17-month OPT extension

F-1 Internship with an International Organization

F-1 Leave of Absence, Suspension or Withdrawal

Student Departure Information

F-1 Last Term Authorization

Inviting Relatives/Friends to Visit You

Address Change Form


Applying for a Social Security Number

Inviting Relatives or Friends to Visit You in the U.S.

The ISSO does not issue invitation letters for students' family members or friends. According to guidance from the U.S. Department of State, such a letter is neither necessary nor useful for the application for a B-1/B-2 Visitor's visa. B-1 is the classification for a Visitor for business, and B-2 for a Visitor for pleasure.

For general information on qualifying and applying for a visitor visa, go to the Department of State's information on Visitor Visas - Business and Pleasure. Specific instructions on documentation requirements for the B-1/B-2 visa application at the embassy or consulate where your relatives will apply can be found at Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions page on the Department of State's website.

Writing an Invitation Letter - You may write a letter for your relatives inviting them to visit you. Include your family memberís name, birth date, relationship to you, passport number, the purpose and length of time of the visit, and whether you will provide for their room and board during their visit. Here is a sample letter.

Academic Certification - The University Registrar, located at 205 Kent Hall, is the office from which to obtain official documentation to confirm your enrollment. You may request an Academic Certification in person or through Student Services Online (SSOL). The document will be printed while you wait if requested in person.

Additional Documentation - If you are providing your visitor(s) a place to stay and meals, it is best if you can document this with a lease or room contract and your bank statements from the last 2 - 3 months. If you are not providing this support, your visitor(s) will need to provide evidence of their own financial resources for the visit.

You should also include a copy of your I-20 or DS-2019 and I-94 card as evidence of your immigration status in the U.S.

U.S. immigration law requires an applicant for a visa to overcome "the presumption of immigrant intent". This means that the individual should demonstrate that they have strong ties to their home country such as employment, property, and family and have no intention of staying permanently in the United States.

Last Reviewed: 9 December 2011 Last modified: 9 December 2011
Columbia University International Students and Scholars Office