What Is an Invitation Letter for a Visa

For some visas applications, additional documents must be submitted—such as a letter of invitation.

For countries where an invitation letter is not a requirement, it is still accepted as supporting documentation. Though it’s not always obligatory, this step can only help to strengthen your visa application.

Invitation Letter for a Visa Definition

An invitation letter is a personalized document that is submitted by the applicant as part of a visa application.

The letter must be written by someone who lives in the destination of the visa you are applying for. That person is usually a friend or relative, who is officially stating that they support your visa request.

Why do I need an invitation letter?

The purpose of a visa invitation letter is to ensure the host country that you will not stay there illegally after your visa has expired.

The writer of the letter must provide their contact address, confirming that you will be staying with them during your trip. This way, authorities can easily locate you if you overstay.

The writer may also be required to state that they will be financially responsible for you during your time in their country.

Your contact essentially acts as a sponsor for your visa application. They support your request to enter your destination while ensuring that you have somewhere to stay and sufficient funds (if applicable).

Requirements to Write a Visa Invitation Letter

In order to write a valid letter of invitation, your contact must:

  • Be a citizen or resident of the host country
  • Be someone you know, e.g., a partner, friend, or relative
  • Have a registered place of residence
  • Have enough space for you to stay with them

Providing the host meets these requirements, they are suitable to write your visa invitation letter.

How to Write a Letter of Invitation for a Visa

Some embassies have an invitation letter template. If this is the case, you simply need to ask your host to complete the form. You can check with the relevant embassy before you start your application, to see if they have a document available.

If you are required to create your own letter, it is not difficult to do. You can find many visa invitation letter templates online if you wish to follow a structure.

Starting your invitation letter

The letter can be addressed either to the embassy of the host country or to you. The host either informs the authorities that you are planning to visit them or invites you directly.

The writer just needs to ensure they include some important information relating to themselves, you, and your travel plans.

The details of the host should cover:

1. Full name

2. Date of birth

3. Address

4. Type of home (owned or rented)

5. Phone number

6. Occupation

7. Status in the country (resident, citizen, etc.)

8. Signature

The information related to you should include:

1. Full name

2. Date of birth

3. Home address

4. Phone number

5. Relationship to the host

6. Purpose of your trip

7. Arrival and departure dates

How to Send an Invitation Letter for a Visa

The letter of invitation can either be typed and printed, or handwritten. 

It is advisable to have both a digital and physical copy of the letter, in case one is lost.

The letter must be submitted with your visa application at the host country’s embassy or consulate as an additional document.

Supporting documents for your invitation letter

If you are submitting a visa invitation letter as part of your application, it is highly advisable to include some supporting documents. This could include:

  • Copy of host’s passport or ID
  • Evidence of financial support (if applicable)
  • Proof of homeownership or rental contract
  • Travel itinerary