A Letter of support for immigration also known as character reference letter refers to a recommendation that’s written on behalf of an individual in support of an immigration application or other related proceedings. The purpose of the support letter is to work in favor of the immigrant in question by highlighting some positive characteristics such as morality, work ethic, and trustworthiness.
People write these reference letters for various reasons, like applications for naturalization, proof of a spousal relationship and immigration removal proceedings. The main intention is to show an immigration judge or reviewing agent the facts, character, and the qualities of the person in question.
Contents of a Letter of Support for Immigration
Although it’s written for a formal audience, the support letter should be a personal declaration that includes the following details:
- The history of the professional or personal relationship with the immigrant
- Relevant positive qualities of the immigrant in question
- Future contributions that an immigrant is expected to make to the society
The main objective here is to tell a brief story about the past and future of the immigrant in the country and give essential details about the association between the immigrant and the writer of the reference letter. You can share some stories to ensure that the letter reads more like a captivating personal narrative and not a list of claims.
Who to consider for writing a reference letter?
Some of the individuals who might be fit to provide such a reference are people close to the requester, people, who can provide specific narratives and direct instances to help the claim for the moral character of the immigrant. Some of the best candidates are employers, landlords, teachers, a church member, relatives and friends who are already citizens of the country in question.
The more emotional impact the immigrant has had on the reference writer’s life, or vice versa, the greater the chances of the applicant’s success. However, if you are facing removal or detention, letters of support from your children will provide you with a strong case if they are applicable. Although family members will be willing to offer some glowing references, it’s preferable to ask someone who’s not related to recommend you.
Tips for writing a letter of support for immigration
Provide detailed information about your circumstances
While the reference you settle for might not know a lot about your background, it won’t cost you anything to suggest essential details you would like them to include in the letter. You can outline a bulleted list of key points for inclusion. When you are filing for immigration in most countries, the first step is to present a petition. Detailed information about your condition will increase your chances when applying for permanent residency especially if it collaborates with reference’s testimonial.
Sketch the reference letter yourself
You should offer to write down the reference letter if you are worried about the ability of your reference to write a compelling letter, or if you believe that it will move things along and faster. Although it might not be a requirement, it’s always a good thing to make the personal statement read in fluent English. If you are finding it challenging to translate your letter of support into English, you can consider hiring an experienced copywriter to assist you with the translation issue.
Attach the letter of support to your immigrant application
Sending or submitting the letter of support with the other application papers will ensure that it doesn’t get lost or misplaced during clerical processing. As an applicant, you should notify your agent of any letters of support.
Look for a reputable individual within your community
Depending on your circumstances, the immigration department wants to see that an individual will have a positive impact once they become a citizen of their country. In this case, obtaining a reference letter from an established and reputable citizen of the country in question can play a significant role in your application’s success.
Notarize the reference letter Since the letter of support is a formal declaration, it should be dated, signed, and notarized. Also, keep a copy of the recommendation letter for personal records. Notarizing a document in many countries can be an easy but tedious task. However, most banks and other financial institutions provide this service and might charge you a small fee.
Format of a letter of support for immigration
The objective of the letter of support for immigration is to prove that the person seeking to reside in the country has good ethics and morals and that they are, or would become, a person who will bring positive impact the wider community. Due to the emotional and informal nature of these kinds of letters, it’s good to be honest, sincere, and heartfelt, particularly when faced with a removal or deportation case. The reference writer should also include the financial and emotional turmoil that removal or denial of citizenship would cause them and the family of the immigrant in question. The format of the reference letter will include:
- Opening statement
- Body Paragraphs
- Closing statement
The format of this letter is typically standard; an opening statement, as many body paragraphs as required in proving the main point, and a closing statement.
It is vital that the introduction outlines the name of the writer, profession, age, citizenship status, relationship to the immigrant, and how long you have known the requester. The opening statement can start by pleading the case for the requester, but the body part should be the main source of the whole argument.
If the reference letter is being used to avoid removal, then it should be addressed “Honorable Immigration Judge” or “Dear Immigration Judge.” If not, “To whom it may concern” should be used.
The paragraphs of the letter body are where the reference will show what the immigrant is trying to prove to the officials in the immigration department. You should include the work ethics of the requester, particularly if it’s written by a former employer, their positive character traits, and the impact the immigrant has on the people depending on them financially and emotionally. If possible, you should also provide specific examples to give a more detailed illustration.
The reference letter should conclude with a heartfelt closing statement complimenting the person avoiding deportation or seeking naturalization. The opinion that the requester should get permission to remain in the country in question and be given citizenship should be reaffirmed in the closing statement as well. The contact information of the reference writer should be placed at the bottom of the page if it’s applicable. Again, if possible, notarizing the letter will also remove any doubts when it comes to the signature of the writer.
Sample Letter of Support for Immigration
April 16, 2019
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Neema Benson, and I am a social worker with Integrity Human Services and a citizen of the United States. I am submitting this recommendation letter in support of Mary Johnson’s application for permanent citizenship in the U.S.A.
I have known Miss. Johnson for almost three years, since she moved in next door to me in August 2016. In this time, I have found Miss. Johnson to be a kind, earnest, hardworking, and trustworthy lady. She is a consummate neighbor and has established herself fast as a pillar in the local community.
On many occasions last winter, entirely voluntary, Miss. Johnson shoveled my ailing neighbor’s driveway. She regularly helps older adults in our neighborhood with household chores and thrice volunteered as an active organizer of a Labor Day block party held annually.
If her application for permanent citizenship is approved, I am sure that she will continue giving back to her local community and the wider one as well.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Letter of Support and Reference Letter Samples (Word)
Letters of support are valuable pieces of evidence for all types of application for discretionary immigration, but most applicants get overwhelmed when faced with the possibility of obtaining a couple of great reference letters. If you are submitting an immigration application soon, these tips will help you obtain relevant and timely support letters from your references and provide you with a guideline as to what an effective support letter should contain.