How Do You Decline a Person's Request to Write Them a Letter for Immigration?


Quick Answer

To decline a person's request to write a letter for immigration, it is best to kindly and politely say, "I am unable to write you this letter for immigration." A reason should then be offered for why the letter of recommendation for immigration will not be written.

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Full Answer

While anyone can decline to write a letter of recommendation, having a reason makes it easier and helps the person who asked feel better. One reason to do so is if the letter writer does not know the person who asked that well. It would be hard to write a personal, genuine and thoughtful letter about someone that the letter writer does not know well. It is recommended that the immigrant ask a close friend, relative, supervisor or co-worker for a letter of recommendation because the nature of the relationship is important to the immigration officers that consider the letter.

A person may also wish to decline when asked if the letter writer knew that the person asking for the immigration recommendation had been involved in unreported illegal activity during their stay in the United States. Yet another reason to decline would be if the letter writer was also an immigrant. The U.S. government prefers support letters that come from U.S. citizens, non-immigrants and legal permanent residents.

When declining, it can also be helpful to provide additional options to the immigrant. Suggest relatives, co-workers and other friends who might be able to write a compelling support letter.

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