Often F-1 and J-1 students are required to provide a letter verifying their immigration status. There are different letter types that are used for different situations – which are described below.
Please note: the Office for International Students and Scholars can only provide letters for current students who are sponsored by Washington University in St. Louis. If you are sponsored by another institution, you will need to obtain the letter from your sponsoring institution. Letters cannot be requested until 10 days after you arrive at WashU and check-in.
A certification letter is an official letter verifying that a student attends WashU as a full-time student and is in good academic standing. This is not the same as a driver’s license letter.
Driver’s License Letter
A driver’s license letter is an official letter verifying that a student attends WashU as a full-time student. These letters are required to apply for or renew a driver’s license or a Missouri state ID (nondriver’s license). Students need to renew licenses every year, and the letter is only valid for 30 days.
For more information about applying for a Missouri driver’s license or state ID, go to International Students Obtaining a Driver or Nondriver License.
Social Security Letter
J-1 students need to have a social security letter verifying their status in order to apply for a social security number.
F-1 students do not need this letter, and instead, must complete the Supplement to the SSN Application.
Family Invitation Letter
According to the U.S. Department of State, invitation letters submitted as part of the visitor visa process are not reviewed and are, therefore, unnecessary. As a result, the Office for International Students and Scholars does not issue invitation letters for students’ family members and friends.