Inviting someone from Africa to the US for a game is the same as inviting them for tourism purposes or for a short business trip.
This kind of visit, according to the US Immigration Law, falls under the B-2 visa category. The B-2 Visa, also known as Tourist Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to anyone entering the US for pleasure, tourism, or medical treatment.
In our topic for today, we want to focus on how to invite someone from Africa to the US for a game. Obviously, a game may refer to any form of sports or a structured play by a group of people just for fun and entertainment.
Talking about games, a popular game in the US comes to mind. It’s called The Crew; an online racing car competition that allows you to travel throughout the entire US and explore cities like Detroit, Chicago, New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas and San Francisco among others. Gabe Gurwin shares some insight on the crew beginners guide.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Let’s dive into more details on how you can invite someone from Africa for games such as The Crew.
Basic Requirements that Works
Remember that to invite someone legally from Africa to the US, the one inviting the person must be a green card or US Citizen.
The following are requirements your invitee must provide to the US consulate in his home country for approval.
1. They have a place of residence in their home to which they will return after their temporary visit to the U.S.A.
Your proof of residence is usually considered by assessing your ties to your country. For example, if you’re Ghanaian, ties to your country are employment, property ownership, university studies and having a resident family. Note that each applicant’s ties are distinctive and considered by a consular’s discretion.
2. Intend to visit the U.S for a short stay
Secondly, you must demonstrate to the contentment of the consular officer that your plans for travel fall within the constraints of the visa applied, that is, a short stay for business or pleasure or for your game, and that you’ll leave the U.S on the specified date of departure to your residence- as shown in Form 1-94. This short stay cannot be for employment.
3. Your visit to the U.S is to engage in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure.
The third basic requirement expects the applicant to satisfy the consular officer that he/she is visiting the U.S to engage in legitimate activities in relation to the visa class applied. This might not necessarily be dependent on the applicant’s financial status or ties with U.S residents.
4. You have enough money for your stay duration
The consulate will also require that you prove you have enough funds to sponsor your temporary trip to the U.S. This fund is expected to cover your travel expenses, accommodation and food. This is required because the immigration officers do not want a situation where you’ll run out of money and be forced to look for work. Looking for work or planning to work is a B-2 Tourist Visa violation.
Nevertheless, if your host plans to provide financial support to you, the guest, while in your stay in the U.S, your host should fill out USCIS Form I-134, called an Affidavit of Support. Alternatively, you can provide both a letter and a Form I-134 to the US consulate.
When you’re sure to fulfill these basic requirements, it’s time to get your documents together!
1. Filling Form DS-160
When you’re sure to fulfill these basic requirements, you can now fill the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-160. This visa application is only available online. Hence,
- You must complete the application online
- Print the application confirmation page only to bring to your interview. You do not need to print the whole form because only the confirmation page will be needed during your interview.
- Upload a photo;
You must upload your photo while completing the online application, Form DS-160. Be sure your photo format is in line with the photograph requirement. An expert photographer should be able to know this. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
2. Your passport
You must provide your passport to the US consulate for verification during your interview. Your passport must remain valid for at least six months after the end of your intended stay in the United States.
3. Documents showing the purpose of your trip to the US
You must include documents proofing your purpose of visiting the US. These might include a written itinerary and proof of hotel arrangements, car rentals, event tickets, and evidence of your intent to depart the US at the end of your stay, such as a return plane ticket.
4. Employer letter if applying for a B-1 visa
If you are coming to the U.S. on business, bring a letter from your foreign employer describing your job and explaining what you will be doing for it during your U.S. trip. The letter should state that you will be paid only from sources outside the U.S., along with a date when you will be expected to return from your trip. If you’ll be attending a trade show or similar business event, bring promotional materials, flyers, and proof that you are registered for it.
Host requirements to write an invitation letter
Invitation letters are a plus to the visa application process, although invitation letters are not a requirement for a U.S visa. We highly recommend writing one for your invitee. To write one, you (the host) must fulfill the following requirements for your invitation letter to be legal;
- Be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident
- Be your friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, or relative
- Have a registered place (home, flat)
- Have enough room for the applicant
The letter must also specify the date of departure and arrival of guests to the U.S.
How to write an invitation letter for a U.S Visa?
Writing a letter of invitation to a relative or someone in Africa may seem difficult, but the process is very simple. The letter should either be addressed to the guest or consular but it’s best to address it to the guest so that the letter would have a personal tone and not sound too official.
The following information must be provided in the letter;
- Host’s full name.
- Host’s date of birth.
- Host’s address and telephone number in the United States.
- Host’s occupation.
- Host’s status in the United States.
- A photocopy of a document proving the host’s status in the United States.
- Guest’s full name.
- Guest’s date of birth.
- Guest’s address and telephone number.
- Proof of the guest’s relationship to the host.
- The purpose of the trip.
- Information on how long the guest intends to stay in the United States of America (specific dates).
- Details on accommodation and living expenses.
- Signature of the host.
Since the Letter of Invitation is not a requirement, the host is not obliged to send other documents alongside it. However, it would be very thoughtful if the applicant submitted any of the following documents alongside the Letter of Invitation, especially if the host is financially sponsoring your stay
- A scanned copy of the host’s ID/passport
- Evidence of means of subsistence
- Proof of home / flat ownership or rental contract
- Flight itinerary for US visa application – including a return ticket.
- Affidavit of Support – which is a USCIS Form I-134, available on the USCIS website. This should be submitted only in case the host plans to financially support the guest
Attend Visa Interview
Once you’re done with the formalities at the Visa center, an interview will be scheduled; your invitee or guest needs to complete a visa interview to get their B-2 visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country.
Your invitee will be asked questions about their background. Once the consulate officer is satisfied with the responses, the application will be approved.
Reasons a U.S B-2 Tourist Visa could be denied
Most people could be denied a B-2 Tourist Visa due to one reason or the other. The U.S.A immigration has its own reservations about Africans who wish to travel to the states. As such, you need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to be considered.
Conversely, there are reasons why you may not pass the interview and eventually be denied a visa. You may be denied a visa;
1. Based on Non-immigrant intent
As noted at the beginning of this article, the guest or invitee must prove that you have a place of residence in your home to which you will return after your temporary visit to the U.S.A., Intend to visit the U.S for a short stay, your visit to the U.S is to engage in legitimate activities relating to business or pleasure and you have enough money for your stay duration.
Not fulfilling the above four basic requirements will deny you a B-2 Tourist Visa. Also, not answering interview questions correctly or appearing to be overly nervous could cost you a visa. And worst off, if you plan to overstay or say you plan to find work.
2. Based on fraud
You may also be denied a visiting visa if you lie about inquiries or try to present false documents. Lying is a visa fraud that will cost you a visa for a while.
3. Based on criminal record
If you have a criminal record, or history of espionage, or any links, especially, with terrorist groups, or crimes that make you inadmissible to the US, there is a strong chance your request for a U.S. visa of any sort, will be denied.
4. Visa denials based on past immigration violations
Similarly, you may be denied a visa if you have overstayed your past visa application or violated the conditions specified like working with a tourist. You will have difficulty convincing the consular officer not to violate this visa too.
In fact, if your unlawful presence in the U.S. added up to 180 days or more, you face an automatic bar to entry of three years. That number goes up to ten years if your period of unauthorized stay was one year or more.
5. Based on the sponsor letter
As established, you don’t necessarily need an invitation letter to get a U.S visa. Thus you shouldn’t go to the consul expecting to be given a visa by showing your sponsor letter to them.
6. Your intent to stay with relatives or friends
The intention of a tourist or business person visiting the US on a B-1 or B-2 visa will require proof of financial strength, including funding your own accommodation. If the consular officer estimates that you intend to stay with relatives or friends, your visa may be denied.
7. Get married and stay forever
It is fraudulent to get married in the USA while on a B-1 or B-2 visa. When this intention is known by the consular officer, you will be denied a visa.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you invite someone from Africa to come to America?
To invite someone to the U.S, you need to write a letter to the U.S. Consulate inviting them to visit you in the U.S. Your invitation letter should include the following: your name, your passport ID number, your reason for living in the US, the names of your family members/friends who wish to visit you, their passport ID number, and their purpose.
How do I invite someone from Nigeria to the US?
For the addressee, the following details should be included:
date of birth.
the person’s address and telephone number.
host’s relationship to the person being invited.
the purpose of the trip.
the period the person being invited is going to stay in the USA.
information about accommodation and living expenses
How can I sponsor someone to visit the USA?
If you legally live and earn in the USA and want to invite/sponsor a trip for your parents, relatives, or friends, you can do so by providing certain documents, most commonly an Affidavit of Support Form I-134, a letter of invitation, and supporting documents as evidence to your financial ability to bear the expenses of the invitee.
How much is a USA visa?
The application fee for the most common nonimmigrant visa types is US$160. This includes tourist, business, student, and exchange visas. Most petition-based visas, such as work and religious visas, are US$190. K visas cost US$265 and the fee amount for E visas is US$205
How much bank balance is required for a US visa?
The amount of bank balance you should have for applying for the US tourist visa depends on the duration. If it is a 15-day trip, you must have $ 5,000-10,000 in your bank. Is travel insurance compulsory for the US travel visa? No, travel insurance is not compulsory for the US travel visa.
Who is eligible for a US visa?
The applicant must have a passport that is valid for a period of at least 6 months. You should not have any past history of crimes or should not have any ongoing criminal case against them. Dependents/ spouses traveling with the applicant should apply for separate visas.
Now it’s your turn…
In a nutshell, Inviting someone from Africa to the US is an easy process yet demanding. The process is even easier when you have all the documents and information required of you from the consulate.
Provide truthful and accurate information and draft persuasive inviting letters.
Remember, you don’t have to show the invitation letter to the consulate until you’re asked. Don’t be in a hurry to deny yourself a visa before the consulate does.
To emphasize, make sure that your invitee or guest leaves the US before the expiration of their visa to be on the safer side in the future.
For further information, get in touch with us for guidance or please refer to the US consulate in your country.
Till then, all the best!
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