Over the years many of my readers have asked if they should notarize their Invitation or sponsorship letters. There really is no specific answers to this question. I have written a couple of letters to friends and relatives and I did not notarize the letters. However, for some countries and some countries one is expected to submit a notarized copy.
My suggestion is that you takes some time to read the requirements of the visa office that will be processing your guests application. For example, if you are inviting your cousin from Lagos Nigeria to New York USA, then you would need to search for the visa office of USA in Nigeria and read the requirements. This requirements change from time to time so it is a good idea to go over it each time you need to write an invitation letter.
To find the visa office that is responsible for your guest’s visa application, simply type “visa Office of Country you reside in – Country your guest resides in” For example – United States of America visa office Nigeria.
Usually you should choose the website that contains .gov in it. There are many websites that try to mimic the official website. Be careful to choose the one that has the .gov extension. In our example it will be the 5th website listed in the screen above.
Once you find the site that you are looking for. Simply navigate to the visa page and look for the requirements for applying for a tourist visa. You will usually find a checklist in which you will be able to confirm if a notarized invitation letter is needed or not.
My Personal Advice – I would advice that the letter be notarized. It shows that the document is authentic and there is someone in the country other than the host who confirms the validity of the proposed trip.