The green card application process requires applicants to submit numerous forms and supporting documents to demonstrate their eligibility for permanent residency in the United States.
As a result, USCIS officials review thousands of documents each day from hopeful immigrants. However, including a well-crafted cover letter can greatly enhance an applicant’s chances of being approved.
In short, a green card cover letter should include the following key elements: introduction, brief personal history, explanation of eligibility, supporting documents, contact information, and closing remarks.
What Is a Cover Letter for a Green Card Application?
Simply put, a cover letter for a green card application is a formal letter written to provide additional information and context to the USCIS or other relevant agencies regarding an applicant’s request for permanent residency in the United States.
A cover letter for a green card application is not strictly required, but it can be extremely helpful in making a strong case for why an applicant should be granted permanent residency in the United States. A well-written cover letter can also help to organize the applicant’s supporting documents and provide additional information that may not be included in the application forms. This can make it easier for USCIS officials to understand the applicant’s case and make a more informed decision.
The cover letter is typically included along with the application forms, supporting documentation, and other required materials. It introduces the applicant, explains the application’s purpose, and provides an overview of the applicant’s qualifications and reasons for seeking permanent residency.
This letter may also address any concerns or questions that the immigration authorities reviewing the application may have.
Is a Cover Letter for Green Card Application Compulsory?
No, a cover letter is not part of the green card application process. However, it can help provide additional information and context to the immigration authorities reviewing your application.
A well-crafted cover letter can help highlight your strengths and qualifications, explain any unique circumstances or challenges in your application, and express your gratitude for the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in the United States.
While this letter is not compulsory, it could strengthen your application or address any concerns about your eligibility for a green card. Ultimately, you or your representative are free to decide whether to include the cover letter.
Most immigration attorneys prefer submitting green card petitions with a cover letter. This is because the cover letter makes the petition look more organized and increases the chances of favorable results.
Sample Form I-485 Cover Letter Format
When writing an I-485 cover letter, you should stick to a professional and formal format. Here is an example of what a great green card cover letter should include:
- Your contact information: Include your full name, mailing address, phone number, and email address just below the top left or right of the letter.
- Date: Write the date of the letter, typically written in month, day, and year format near the top right or left corner, below your contact information.
- Address: Insert the correct address for the USCIS office. Here’s a list of filing addresses for various green card petitions.
- Reference: Refer to the title of your green card petition and then mention the petitioner and beneficiary (your name).
- Salutation: A generic greeting will be the best option for this section. Something like ‘To whom it may concern:‘ This is because you do not know exactly who will review your petition.
- Introduction: Briefly explain that you are applying for permanent residency in the United States.
- Supporting evidence: Include a list of any supporting evidence along with your application, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, a letter from your employer, and other documents.
- Conclusion: End the letter by expressing your appreciation for the opportunity to apply for permanent residency and your willingness to provide any additional information as needed.
- Contact information: Provide your contact information below the conclusion.
- Your name and signature: Sign the letter and include your full name below your signature.
Remember to proofread your letter carefully before submitting it. This is meant to ensure that it is free of errors and communicates the information you want to convey clearly and concisely.
How to Prepare a Great Cover Letter for Green Card Application?
Now let’s discuss how to write the cover letter. Keep in mind that the format alone is not enough; there is more to writing a cover letter than just using the right format.
That said, here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing a cover letter for a green card petition.
- Be clear and concise: Keep your letter brief and to the point. State the purpose of your application and provide a brief overview of your supporting documentation. Remember that this letter’s purpose is to explain your application’s contents. Therefore, do not discuss your petition in detail in this letter.
- Use professional language: Use formal, professional language in your letter. Avoid using slang, abbreviations, or overly casual language.
- Address the USCIS correctly: Ensure that you have addressed your letter to the correct USCIS office and that the address is current and up-to-date.
- Explain any unique circumstances: If you have any unique circumstances that you think are important to your application, be sure to explain them clearly but briefly. Also, you should provide any necessary documentation to support your claim.
- Proofread the letter before submitting: Before submitting your letter, review it carefully to ensure that it is free of errors, grammatical mistakes, or typos. The cover letter should be properly proofread and formatted. Remember that you are sending it to actual immigration officers, not a machine.
Your cover letter is an excellent opportunity to provide additional information and context to the USCIS about your I-485 application. A well-written and clear cover letter can help to strengthen your case and demonstrate your eligibility for permanent residency in the United States.
Cover Letter Sample for Green Card Application
Here is a sample cover letter for a green card petition based on the format and tips we discussed earlier.
[Your Address Goes Here]
[Insert Your City, State ZIP code]
[Insert the Date]
[insert the correct filing address]
RE: Adjustment of Status Application
Beneficiary: [Insert Your Full Name]
Petitioner: [Insert Petitioner’s Full Name]
To Whom It May Concern:
Attached is my Adjustment of Status Application for [Enter Your Full Name], the beneficiary, and [Petitioner’s Full Name], the petitioner and U.S. citizen spouse of the beneficiary.
In this application, please find the following documents:
Check for $1,760 (Form I-485 @ $1,140; Form I-130 @ $535; and biometrics @ $85) fee
Beneficiary’s Form I-485
Petitioner’s Form I-130
Beneficiary’s Form I-130A
Petitioner’s I-864 petition
Beneficiary’s Form I-765
Beneficiary’s Form I-131
Beneficiary’s Medical Exam
Beneficiary’s birth certificate and translation
Petitioner’s copy of Birth Certificate
Beneficiary’s copy of Passport
Copy of I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
Copy of U.S. Marriage Certificate of Beneficiary and Petitioner
Beneficiary’s divorce decree
Please do not hesitate to call me at [Insert phone number] if you have any questions or need further clarification about this petition. Thank you very much for your prompt consideration of my application.
Green Card Cover Letter FAQs
We have answered some frequently asked questions about a green card cover letter.
Can I Use a Template for My Green Card Cover Letter?
Yes, you can even use the sample we provided earlier in this article. However, while there are many templates available for green card cover letters, you should customize your letter to your specific situation. Do not simply copy and paste the cover letter into your petition; it may not suit your specific situation.
How Long Should My Green Card Cover Letter Be?
There is no exact word count for a green card cover letter, but it should be concise and to the point. Generally, the cover letter should be no more than one or two pages in length.
What Should I Avoid in My Green Card Cover Letter?
Avoid the following mistakes when writing a green card cover letter:
- providing unnecessary or irrelevant information;
- not addressing any potential concerns the immigration officer may have;
- any misleading or inaccurate statements; and
- using any language that could be construed as offensive or inappropriate.
Don’t write a generic letter without specific details and don’t be too emotional as that can make your application seem unfocused or insincere. A well-crafted cover letter can help convince the immigration officer that you deserve a green card.
Remember to proofread your cover letter carefully to avoid errors and show attention to detail.
Can You Get Help Writing Your Cover Letter for Green Card?
Yes, seeking help from an experienced immigration attorney or a qualified immigration consultant to help you draft your green card cover letter is actually highly recommended.
The professional will review the unique circumstances of your case and draft a cover letter that best suits your situation. They can also provide guidance and advice on what to include and how to present your case in the best possible light.