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B-2 Tourist Visa

The visa instructions and other information provided here is for students inquiring about a B-2 Tourist Visa for international family and friends to attend graduation.

INSTRUCTIONS: Letter of Invitation

Students, please follow these detailed instructions provided by The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).

If you have ANY QUESTIONS about the visa process for your family,

We urge you to begin working on this as soon as possible, as the visa process can take some time.


  • What type of visa do my international guests need for coming to the U.S. to attend my graduation?
    B-2 Tourist Visa.
  • Do I need an official letter from the university?
    No. The U.S. consulate does NOT require an official letter from ANY office at Cornell University. Cornell does NOT provide invitation letters, or letters requesting consulates to issue visitor B2 visas for friends or family to come to the U.S.
  • Who writes the letter of invitation?
    The student. As the person inviting international visitors, the invitation letter should be written by YOU, the host.
  • What is the purpose of the letter of invitation?
    An invitation letter identifies for the Consular officer the purpose of the visitorís stay in the U.S. (to attend your graduation events, for example), as well as details regarding the visitorís stay.
  • Will Commencement mail contain formal documentation needed for a tourist visa?
    No. Commencement Packets are not personalized, nor will the contents serve as an invitation letter.
  • Who provides supporting documentation for the visa application?
    The student. As a student, you can provide supporting documents needed for the B-2 Visa application.
  • Where may I read more about this?
    Comprehensive information can be found on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the visa application will be made. More specific information might be posted to the U.S. embassyís website in your country, or you can contact the embassy directly to inquire what specific documents they might require.
  • Is there an office on campus to assist me with this?
    Yes. You may contact The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) directly:

Contact Information

Commencement Office
B13 Day Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-9541
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