Commencement Information

Commencement Information

Commencement Invitation Letter Policy

The International Center does not provide invitation letters for commencement for family members and friends. Here are some suggestions to help them apply for a visitor’s visa (B visa) at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country. To facilitate their visa interview process you can do the following:

  • Write a letter of invitation. Include the purpose of the visit, your relationship to the individuals, a statement of your status here, itinerary details and the length of time they will be visiting (usually less than three months). It is best to emphasize the temporary nature of the invitation and to demonstrate their intention to return to their home country following the visit. If you will provide their financial support while they are here, include that information as well. Many sample letters can be found by searching “sample letter visitor visa graduation” online.
  • Include an Enrollment Verification or Transcript: to confirm your student status. Graduate students who hold an RA/TA appointment may want to also attach a departmental funding letter.
  • If you are graduating and they are traveling to attend your commencement ceremony, provide details of the Commencement Ceremony
  • For additional information about U.S. consulate/embassy locations and application procedures, review the U.S. Department of State visa information

Providing your family members with this documentation may improve their chances of obtaining a visa; however, there is no guarantee a visa will be issued. The success of their request for a visa lies in their ability to prove that they have no intention of staying permanently in the U.S.

Deferring Participation in the Commencement Ceremony to a Later Term

Please contact the Commencement Team with any requests to defer your participation in commencement to a later term. If you depart the U.S. and are no longer on F-1 status at the time of your future commencement, please note you will need to reenter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa if the sole reason for your visit is to participate in the commencement ceremony.

If you have any questions about commencement, please email Information can also be found on the Commencement webpage. Questions about graduation application (degree conferral) should be sent to