When you are applying for an employment-based green card, you need to provide the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) with a great deal of supporting evidence. One type of document that generally accompanies an immigration petition of this type is the letter of recommendation.
Foreign nationals who are applying for an EB-1A extraordinary ability or EB-2 national interest waiver green card are often professionals whose potential recommenders have busy jobs and lives. Therefore, an EB-1A or EB-2 NIW beneficiary may be asked to write their own recommendation letters and then present them to their recommender for signature.
If you are already paying an immigration lawyer near you to draft your EB-1A or EB-2 NIW petition letter, you might not want to pay extra for them to write letters for your recommenders to put on letterhead and sign. But if your only other option is to write the recommendation letters yourself, how do you do that? This article provides some information on the key parts of a strong letter of recommendation.
Parts of an EB-1A or EB-2 NIW Letter of Recommendation
A persuasive letter of recommendation for an EB-1A extraordinary ability or EB-2 national interest waiver green card petition should have several key items.
Introduction of the Recommender
The first paragraph of a EB-1A extraordinary ability or EB-2 national interest waiver recommendation should state the name of the green card applicant and the reason for the letter. Then in that same paragraph, or in the second one, there should be a listing of the qualifications of the recommender.
Some relevant information that can be included in the introduction of the recommender are their title, workplace, educational background, and notable accomplishments. These key facts can be useful in persuading a USCIS officer that what is written about the EB-1A extraordinary ability or EB-2 national interest waiver candidate carries some weight.
Subsequent Paragraphs Should Relate to the Purpose of the Letter
After the recommender is introduced in a letter about an EB-1A extraordinary ability or EB-2 national interest waiver candidate, the next paragraphs should relate to the green card beneficiary’s accomplishments. The letter can include any, or most, of an employment-based green card applicants notable achievements, including their research and citations, original contributions, and awards.
If the EB-1A extraordinary ability or EB-2 NIW applicant wants their recommender to describe their leading and critical role in an organization, there is a particular way that these achievements should be written. First, the company should be shown to be notable, such as through its large revenue, awards, or humanitarian efforts. Then, the list of accomplishments of the green card applicant should be specific and measurable, including dollar amounts and percentages. Lastly, they should be shown to have benefitted the organization as a whole.
Closing the Letter
The final paragraph of a letter of recommendation for an EB-1A extraordinary ability or EB-2 NIW candidate should state that the person is highly deserving of a green card. It should also tell the USCIS adjudicator that the applicant stands out among their peers and will greatly benefit the United States if a green card is approved.
When the recommender signs the letter, they should include their title and contact information. Finally, it should be printed on company or university letterhead.
Ask for a Sample from an Immigration Attorney
Some immigration law firms are willing to provide a sample of a letter of recommendation to a foreign national. This can be helpful if you decide to draft a letter of recommendation by yourself so that it can be presented to someone for signature.