An Employment Verification Letter may be required at some point in your immigration process, particularly for an employment-based green card application.
This guide provides an overview of a green card employment verification letter, covering why it’s important, how to write or obtain one, and more.
Employment Verification Letter, Explained
The employment verification letter (EVL) is a document used to verify that an individual is employed by a particular company. The EVL may be requested by government agencies, such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or other organizations, to confirm an individual’s employment status and income, among other details.
The employment verification letter can also help verify an individual’s eligibility for certain benefits.
What to Include In an Employment Verification Letter
A well-written verification of employment letter should include the following details about your employment:
- Company logo or letterhead
- Date of writing the letter
- Dates of employment with that particular company or organization
- Your current employment status, which includes job title, description, and current income
- Duration of employment
- Your employer’s name, official title, and signature
- Any other relevant information about your employment, such as current and previous work experience
When to Request an Employment Verification Letter For Immigration Forms
There are several situations where you may need an employment verification letter for a green card. Here are a few examples.
1) When Applying for a Green Card Based on Employment
When applying for a work visa to travel to and work in the United States, you’ll need to demonstrate relevant experience in that field. To do this, you’ll need an employment verification letter containing the details discussed earlier.
2) When Applying to Visit the U.S. on a Tourist Visa
An employment verification letter is one of the things you’ll need when you apply to visit the U.S. as a tourist. This is because this letter helps establish your ties with your home country, meaning you’ll have slimmer chances of staying in the U.S. if you’re employed in your home country.
When you travel to the U.S. on a business (B-1 visa) or tourist (B-2) visa, you must return to your home country before the provided deadline. This deadline is usually provided by the immigration official at the point of entry. If you overstay your visit, your stay will be considered illegal. As a result, you may be deported from the U.S. and jeopardize your chances of being approved for other visits in the future.
During your green card interview at your local U.S. embassy or consulate, the interviewing officer will not grant you a visa if they have reason to believe that you do not intend to return to your home country after your stay in the U.S.
Therefore, the more you can prove your ties to your home country, the higher your chances of obtaining a visa. An EVL is one of the best ways to establish these ties.
3) When Sponsoring a Green Card Applicant
You’ll also need this letter if you are the sponsor of a green card applicant, usually a foreign spouse applying for a marriage green card.
If the foreign spouse does not meet the conditions set by the Poverty Guidelines, the petitioning sponsor for the marriage-based green card (U.S. citizen or green card holder) will need to prove their employment by filling out Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.
This document declares that the sponsoring spouse is financially responsible for the foreign spouse. And to prove their financial capacity to sponsor the immigrant spouse, they’ll need an employment verification letter.
Sample Employment Verification Letter for a Green Card Applicant
Here’s a standard employment verification letter for an employer, supervisor, or another qualified person.
January 23, 2023
[insert correct filing address]
RE: Employment Verification for [Insert Applicant’s Name]
To whom it may concern,
[In this section, provide the full name of the employee, the name of the company they work for, how long they’ve worked for the company, their role, how much they earn, and a brief description of them. When describing the employee, focus on their positive traits and anything else that could interest the immigration official reviewing the letter.]
[Insert your name]
[Insert company name]
[Insert contact information]
How to Get an Employment Verification Letter for an Immigrant Visa
To request the letter, contact your HR department or supervisor. Some employers may require that you fill out a request form and submit it to them in advance. In other workplaces, all you may need to do is provide a verbal request.
Does USCIS Check Employment History for Green Cards?
Yes, the USCIS may use government security agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to verify certain aspects of your visa application, including your employment history.
For this reason, it is always advisable to be truthful throughout your application. Providing false information could result in the automatic denial of your application on the grounds of misrepresentation.
Does the Green Card Employment Verification Letter Need to Be Notarized?
You don’t necessarily need to have the letter notarized. However, having a notary stamp makes the document look more authentic and credible.
I’m Self-Employed – Do I Still Need an Employment Verification Letter for Immigration Purposes?
If you’re self-employed or an independent contractor, you may be able to write the EVL yourself. Remember to include the following information in the letter on top of the ones we discussed earlier.
- a summary of the business in operation;
- evidence of the company’s existence;
- a demonstration of the financial stability of the organization; and
- proof of regular earnings from the business.
If applicable, you may also need to include other documents such as tax returns, evidence of existing partnerships, and payment receipts.
The letter should also briefly explain your role in the business. This information gives the USCIS a better understanding of your position in the company and your ability to sponsor yourself.
Although you must write and sign the letter yourself, it can be beneficial to consult an experienced immigration lawyer or immigration filing service. The attorney or agency will help frame the letter and put together the full package before sending it to the USCIS.
What If I Can’t Obtain a Letter Signed by the Employer?
If you cannot obtain an employment verification letter from your employer, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney. The lawyer will review the specifics of your case and determine other secondary documents you may need as proof of employment.
What If My Employment Verification Letter Does Not Meet USCIS Requirements?
If the letter fails to meet USCIS requirements, you may be required to provide alternate evidence. Here are some examples of such evidence.
- You may be able to use similar letters written by more than one coworker. This mostly applies if your previous employer refuses to issue a detailed employment letter or anything at all.
- If the former supervisor has moved to a different company, they may still be able to write you a letter containing their current company’s letterhead. However, the supervisor must also confirm their affiliation with their ex-employer in the letter.
- If your former employer has ceased business operations, you may be able to obtain the verification letter from your previous coworkers or supervisors.
- Finally, if you were self-employed, you should gather the required documentation to confirm the duration and scope of work. Examples of such verification documents include service agreements, financial statements, business formation documents, etc.
How Long Should an Employment Verification Letter Be?
There is no standard word count for an employment verification letter. However, you should stick to around 300 – 400 words. The whole idea is to keep it short and succinct.
Can I Use an Employment Verification Letter Template From the Internet?
Yes, you can. However, be sure to customize it to suit your specific situation. The USCIS will not accept a generic letter with little or nothing to do with your case.
What Does It Mean to ‘Become a Public Charge.’
This simply means you will not depend on the U.S. government for financial assistance or other public benefits when admitted to the United States.
To limit the chances of certain applicants becoming a public charge after obtaining a green card, the U.S. government may require them to meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines.