What to Include In Your Immigration Reference Letter

What to Include In Your Immigration Reference Letter

Composing an immigration reference letter for a family member may be challenging since it will be used as evidence by an immigration judge. An immigration reference letter, also known as a character reference letter for immigration, is a letter of endorsement that supports someone’s citizenship application, visa application, green card application, or court cases. 

Courts, as well as all immigration departments, have discretion in determining the result of someone’s case. Therefore, the letter increases your chances of gaining approval, since it shows that someone you know, like a family member, vouches that you possess good characteristics that can benefit society. In a way, an immigration reference letter is like a letter of recommendation or character reference written by people that hold a good reputation within their community.

What Is the Purpose of an Immigration Reference Letter?

The objective of an immigration reference letter for a family member will determine its content. If you’ve been requested to write one to secure a bail release or to stop the deportation of a green card holder, it should be worded to emphasize that purpose. To give you some context, when a person is apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), they may seek a bail hearing to be freed. Your immigration reference letter can play a significant role in making this happen. 

3 Key Components of an Effective Immigration Reference Letter

Here are a few key things that you can include in an immigration reference letter: 

Character References

Before agreeing to release someone on bail, for example, an immigration court will look into the person’s ties to the community. They will check if there is any possible risk in releasing the person and other considerations. To take these aspects into account, they must go through the evidence in the individual’s case, one of which is an immigration reference letter from a family or someone close to the person. 

Through it, you have the chance to explain why it is a wise choice to release a family member from custody. In all immigration reference letters for a family member, it is critical to include a short history of your connection with the individual, highlight good characteristics, and discuss what future contributions may be anticipated from them. If the letter is for an employment-based immigration case, it is preferable to have a credible employer or friend write it instead. If the individual is already a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, their vouch bears more significance.

Indication of Hardship (If Applicable)

When an immigrant faces deportation, there are a few methods to demonstrate hardship through the letter. To show financial hardship, for example, documents such as mortgage or rent invoices, tax returns, child care receipts, medical bills, and health expenditures may be used to verify this. 

Additionally, there are also specific indicators that demonstrate hardship for the eligible family. Financial repercussions, unsafe circumstances in the home country or more insufficient medical care, and communication difficulties or language barriers in the home nation are some examples.

You may also mention the effects of deportation on employment and other common difficulties. That may include family separation, economic or financial problems, difficulty seeking work outside the United States, access to medical services/facilities, and difficulties adapting to life outside the country.

Show of Support

Certain circumstances may require an immigration reference letter for a family member or relative unrelated to bond hearings. A letter of support, for example, for waivers. You need to explain the kinds of hardship that would befall the qualifying relatives of U.S. citizens or permanent residents if the court or officer does not award the immigration benefit.. Moreover, the types of eligible relatives vary based on the kind of support your relative seeks and on the type of waiver requested.

Final Thoughts

While a flawless immigration reference letter is deemed to play a significant role, the ultimate decision is always made by the immigration officer or immigration judge. Whatever evidence you use, the objective is to create a comprehensive record to persuade the visa officer that your intentions are genuine. The more trustworthy the information provided by your family members is, the more attractive it will be to the immigration court, and the more excellent possibilities of receiving a favorable decision on your end. 

Should you need more guidance in coming up with an immigration reference letter, you can always work with some of the best immigration lawyers in San Diego! The team at San Diego Immigration Law Office will provide you the assistance you need and deserve. Contact us today so we can help you!