Write a Support Letter to Immigration

Bernard Pollack/CC-BY 2.0

To write a support letter to immigration for an individual, address the letter to the appropriate embassy or state department, explain your relationship with the applicant, then detail positive character traits of the applicant.

It’s not uncommon for a foreign-born person wanting to live in the United States to ask someone they know write a support letter to immigration on their behalf. A support letter to immigration is also known as a character reference letter. People write these letters for a variety of reasons, such as immigration removal proceedings, applications for naturalization and for evidence of a spousal relationship. The intention is to show a reviewing agent or judge the character, qualities and facts about the immigrant in question. Some of the people who may be asked to provide such an affidavit are employers, teachers, landlords, friends or relatives that are citizens of the United States. All letters can vary a little in format but need to include details, dates and examples for effective presentation. The letter-writing process involves several simple steps.

The Opening Statement

An opening statement needs to provide the basic information, such as who is writing the letter and his or her position, location and relationship to the person seeking support. This should also include the citizenship status of the writer and some background about how long he or she has known the person. The section should end with a direct statement of support. It is important to address the letter to the correct agency and, if possible, use the exact name of the official receiving the correspondence.

Provide the Details of the Relationship

The next section should offer a thorough report of the relationship between the writer and immigration seeker. It’s important to repeat the date of first meeting, include who was present and detail how the relationship began. While describing the timeline of the relations, use full names and addresses, and highlight positive outcomes as much as possible. Along with details, it helps to write with emotion and offer candid impressions of the person. If the letter is attesting to a marital relationship, the author should note the strength of couples’ commitment to each other. It should also include an example of why they feel the relationship is strong, such as recalling the events surrounding when the couple first met, welcomed a child into their lives or purchased a home together.

Offer Positive Traits with Examples

The letter should also help the officer or judge understand the person by sharing positive traits. An employer should note if the employee goes out of his or her way to help coworkers and customers. A landlord could include information about timely payments. If the seeker planted a garden or helped improve the property, landlords should add the story to the letter to give it a more personal touch. Friends that are aware of volunteer work, such as working with the elderly or donating time at community events, can write about that in the letter. It helps to be generous when honestly sharing positive character traits.

The Closing Statement

A closing statement should be brief, summarize the intent of the letter and thank the recipient for his or her time. This section may also include contact information for the person offering support in case the agent requires additional information on the relationship. Writers should always personally sign and print the affidavit before submitting it, retaining a copy of the letter for future reference.