Friends and Family Visiting from Abroad
Are your family or friends going to visit you for graduation? There are a few steps you can take to help them prepare.
- See the latest news from the International Students and Scholars Office.
- Check the visa wait times.
- Follow these steps to help them apply for a visa.
For guests who live outside of the United States and need proof of a student’s graduation in order to receive permission to visit, an official letter (on Columbia University letterhead) confirming student status and graduation date may be provided. Columbia College and Columbia Engineering undergraduate students should contact their adviser in the Berick Center for Student Advising via email with the information below.
All messages should have the subject line “Request for invitation letters” and should include the following information:
- Student’s name
- Student’s school (Columbia College or The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science)
- Degree program (i.e. BA, BS)
- Each relative's name (exactly as it appears on passport)
- Relation to the graduating student (i.e. mother, father, aunt, etc.)
- Country of citizenship/origin
- Dates of visit (for the purpose of attending graduation ceremonies)
Please allow a minimum of one (1) week for your letters to be completed. Two (2) original copies per guest will be provided, unless requested otherwise. Signed letters will not be mailed and must be picked up in person in the designated office.
The Office of Graduate Student Affairs will no longer be providing invitation letters for graduating international students, who are able to compose a letter on their own with an attached academic certification document, which can be obtained from the registrar in 205 Kent Hall. View the letter template.
For information regarding leaving the United States after graduation, seeking employment in the United States, or continuing as a student in another program at Columbia University or another university in the United States, please read through the ISSO website thoroughly (or skip to the section on F-1 Immigration Status if this applies to you), and if you still have questions, contact an ISSO adviser by phone, email, or in person. Please bring all relevant documents with you when you visit the office.