Visa Services
Duke University School of Medicine School of Nursing Health System International House
Inviting Family and/or Friends for a Short Visit

This document is for Duke students and scholars who would like to have information about visas for family members or friends who are not eligible for dependent visa status. Your dependents are your spouse or unmarried children under 21. The following information is for students and scholars with a family member or friend who wants to visit the U.S. for a short period and who is not a dependent and is therefore ineligible for dependent visa status.

1. Can I bring my relatives as dependents (F-2, J-2, H-4 ) on my student /scholar visa?
2. What kind of visa should my non-dependent relative/friend get?
3. What does my relative/friend need to do to get a B-2 visa?
4. How can my relative/friend demonstrate adequate financial resources?
5. How much funding does my relative/friend need to show?
6. What else does my relative/friend need to do?
7. Can Visa Services help my relative/friend obtain a B-2 visa?
8. How can I obtain this confirmation form?
9. Does my relative/friend need the certification form from Visa Services to apply for a B-2 visa?
 
1. Can I bring my relatives/friends as dependents (F-2, J-2, H-4 ) on my student /scholar visa?
  Only spouses and unmarried children under 21 may apply for dependent visas. All other relatives/friends must apply for their own separate visa.
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2. What kind of visa should my non-dependent relative/friend get?
 

The most common visa category for people visiting the U.S. is the B-2 tourist visa. B-2 visa status allows an individual to stay in the U.S. as a tourist for an initial period of up to six months and may be extended, subject to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approval.

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3. What does my relative/friend need to do to get a B-2 visa?
  Your relative/friend must apply for the B-2 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. As an applicant for a B-2 visa, your family member/friend must demonstrate to the satisfaction of consular officials that he/she has adequate financial resources to pay for his/her expenses while in the U.S. that he/she will be a bona fide tourist, and that he/she does not intend to become a permanent resident of the U.S.
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4. How can my relative/friend demonstrate adequate financial resources?
 

Your relative/friend must provide documents that indicate sufficient funding for the duration of the proposed visit to the U.S. Examples of such evidence are statements from your family member's/friend's bank or statements from your bank account along with a letter from you guaranteeing support.

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5. How much funding does my relative/friend need to show?
  There is no established minimum dollar amount that applicants for B-2 visas must show, so your relative/friend may want to provide a list of expected expenses that he/she is likely to incur along with an explanation with documentation of how those expenses will be met. Remember to include costs for temporary health insurance.
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6. What else does my relative/friend need to do?
  The applicant must demonstrate that he/she intends to return to his/her home country. An applicant who is employed in the home country (or a third country) can obtain a letter from his/her employer verifying that the individual will be on holiday and is expected to return to his/her job by a certain date. If the applicant owns property (such as land or a house) in the home country, he/she can provide documents of ownership. If the applicant has traveled abroad and returned to the home country in the past, he/she can provide passport notations, used airline tickets, etc. If the applicant has close family members who will remain in the home country (e.g., a spouse, child, elderly parent), he/she can demonstrate close family ties.

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7. Can Visa Services help my relative/friend obtain a B-2 visa?
 

The Visa Services can provide a Duke form confirming the nonimmigrant status of students and scholars under our visa sponsorship and requesting that the U.S. Embassy or Consulate give due consideration to the family member's application for a B-2 visa.

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8. How can I obtain this confirmation form?
 

If you would like to use this service, you must complete Part I of the confirmation form. Your department must then complete Part II. After Parts I & II have been completed, bring this form and copies of your most recent I-94 form and visa documents (I-20, DS-2019, I-797) to Visa Services. The Visa Services will complete Part III and return the form to you.

Go to the PDF version of the Confirmation of Status Form.

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9. Does my relative/friend need the certification form from Visa Services to apply for a B-2 visa?
 

No. Your relative/friend does not need a form or letter from Visa Services to apply for a B-2 visa.

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