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Thread: Want to Invite Russian Friend over to US to visit.

  1. #1
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    Want to Invite Russian Friend over to US to visit.

    I studied in Vladimir, Russia last semester, and I had a personal tutor, Svetlana, who I became very close friends with. Since leaving, we've been talking a lot on Skype, and I really would love to see her again, so I suggested that she come visit me in Chicago during our winter breaks sometime in January. She's thrilled with the idea but has never left Russia and is worried about the process of getting of a visa. I know visas to the US are difficult to get, and I read that I could sponsor her to help increase her chances of obtaining one. Is this a good idea? What can I do to help her?

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    You should read over the information here Visitor Visas - Business and Pleasure and the form DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application

    Now, about being a sponsor... I would strongly advise you NOT to do that if it comes to that. Here is a link to the form USCIS - I-134, Affidavit of Support This form in plain English makes you financially responsible for your friend. Now, everyone thinks, oh no big deal, the friend is a good person and will go back to Russia when they are supposed to, have has enough money... blah, blah, blah, BUT.. say she gets injured and has to go to the hospital and can't pay her bill... YOU are responsible for that bill no matter how much it is. If she does not go back to Russia, you are responsible for her, even if she is no longer with you. If she rents a car (or is driving your car) and has an accident or any other number of situations... YOU are the one who will need to pay the bills if she can't afford to or simply does not want to pay them.

    So, you might be thinking that this is a nice thing to do for her and you want to help her, but read this form carefully before you turn over to the US Government all of your information and sign away your financial security... even if it is for a relative... you need to be careful doing this.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the links! Your point about the sponsor is valid, I was just asking if it raised the probability of her acquiring a visa, because I want to help if I can. I think I'll do it in a different way though.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    no it does not. Immigration approaches every would-be tourist from Russia as if they were a would-be illegal immigrant. Her best chance would be if she has family or a kid in Russia, a good steady job, money in the bank, can pay her own planefare and pay for herself while here. And if she falls into this category, it would probably be best if she did not mention the "boyfriend" in the US.

  5. #5
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    She has no kid, and she lives with a roommate, but she does have a family she visits very frequently (almost every week). She does have a job, though with her last year of school starting it's very part-time, though she says she would be able to pay her own plane-fare. As for paying for herself while here, the plan is to have her stay at our house for the duration of her trip, so there'd be no need for her to pay for any hotel expenses or even food expenses while she's here. Is this going to hurt her chances? I'm not sure if she has enough to completely pay for herself, because her parents still largely support her. I'm pretty sure they do have enough to support her trip themselves though, will that be enough?

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