Thank you for your assistance! We rely on an applicant’s references to further understand the field and to make our case to USCIS. Our goal is to minimize the letter writers’ time commitment while still satisfying the very high standard required. We’ve provided this FAQ in case you are wondering about our procedures, priorities, and standards.
- Will the applicant read my letter?
- Is it OK if I write the letter myself?
- I have written letters for other immigration petitions before. Why does this one look so different?
- Does it matter if I have provided references for other immigration petitions?
- Will I be contacted by USCIS or any other government agent regarding this petition?
Will the applicant read my letter?
This may vary from case to case. Some applicants are more involved in the petition preparation than others. Generally we include them as much, or as little, as they prefer. If you have a personal or professional reason for not wanting the applicant to see the contents of your reference letter, please let us know. In most circumstances we are able to oblige.
Is it OK if I write the letter myself?
Yes. Typically, the letter writing procedure is as follows: we usually speak to you for a few minutes, over phone or email, so we can personalize your letter and make it as specific as possible. Then we draft the letter for you according to USCIS standards. This helps minimize your time commitment as well as make your letter more meaningful. Once the letter is drafted, we email it to you for your review and signature. This way, you have the opportunity to make changes to the letter before it is finalized.
If you prefer to write the letter yourself, we appreciate the opportunity to review the letter before it is finalized. We may want to suggest some changes in order to give the letter more impact in the scope of the petition.
I have written letters for other immigration petitions before. Why does this one look so different?
Our priority is to make the reference letters, and entire petition package, as strong and simple as possible. This is because immigration officers often only have 20-25 minutes to review petitions and usually don’t possess any specialized knowledge in the field of endeavor.
To this end, we usually find it helpful to give a rather straightforward description of high-level research. We also try to minimize the letter writer’s credentials so as not to overshadow the applicant’s. Most importantly, we try to only include accomplishments that satisfy the criteria for the type of petition at hand, and leave out unnecessary ones that can detract from our argument.
Does it matter if I have provided references for other immigration petitions?
Your letter will still have weight even if you have previously supplied letters for other applicants. This should not affect either petition adversely.
Will I be contacted by USCIS or any other government agent regarding this petition?
We have never heard of a USCIS or any government agent personally following up with or attempting to contact reference letter writers, though it is theoretically possible.