An employment verification letter for immigration (EVL) is one way to satisfy proof of employment requirements that are needed for various U.S. visas. It is relatively easy to obtain from an employer that you are working for. Many USCIS forms, like Affidavits of Support, require the applicant or intending immigrant to submit proof of employment or income to demonstrate financial means. You may even encounter this verification letter to be needed at various other stages of your immigration.

What is an Employment Verification Letter for Immigration

An employment verification letter for USCIS written and signed by the employer (either a supervisor or HR representative) can help prove income in U.S. immigration matters. The more specific the letter can be, the better.

In the letter it should include the following components:

  • Date of the letter written
  • Start date of employment
  • Employee’s work status, whether full-time or part-time
  • Position in the company or title
  • Description of position/responsibilities
  • Wages earned (annual salary or hourly wage)
  • Signature of the employer, full name, and official title

As an option, you could have the employment verification letter for USCIS notarized, but the notarization is not a strict requirement for all applications.

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Sample Employment Verification Letter for Immigration

Below is a sample employment verification letter for immigration. Each letter will be unique based on the employer/employee relationship and the job details. Have your employer create the letter on company letterhead to make it look more official.

June 2, 2021
PO Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

RE: Employment verification for Jose Gonzalez

To whom it may concern,

The purpose of this letter is to confirm that Jose Gonzalez is a full-time employee at Cooper & Co. Construction and has been for the past year. He was hired in May of 2020, and he currently earns an annual salary of $65,000 as a Site Manager, where he oversees a team of twelve men on various housing construction projects across the state. He is a very dedicated employee, and we plan to have him with us for many years. Should you have any questions regarding the condition of his employment, please call or email me.

John Smith
Cooper & Co. Construction VP
943-870-5530 Ext. 4

You should submit the letter in conjunction with your other forms of supporting evidence.

When is the Employment Verification Letter Required?

Several immigration forms and immigration paths, including the green card application process, require verification of employment. Below is a summary of when the letter may be required.

Family-Based Green Cards

When you are planning on bringing your family members to the U.S. on a permanent basis, the most common forms that you would have to submit are Form I-864 Affidavit of Support and Form I-134, Affidavit of Support. USCIS needs to ensure that the household the intending immigrant will arrive in has the financial means to support them and prevent them become a public charge to the government. A public charge means someone who is primarily dependent on the government for financial assistance. Proof of being employed through the employment verification letter will allow USCIS to assess whether the sponsor can financially care for the beneficiaries.

Learn about the difference between CR-1 and IR-1 visas.

Employment-Based Green Cards

Verification of employment is an essential part of any U.S. work visa. There are numerous employment green cards available for foreign workers to come and work in the U.S. One common requirement for work visas is relevant to work experience that would qualify an applicant for an employment immigration program. Since this is an essential requirement, your verification letter should be quite comprehensive. Your employer should provide you with a letter that clearly outlines your job duties and expected career path. You should also include relevant previous work experience along with employment details, including work duties.

Check out what benefits there are to an H-1B visa.

Tourist Visas

Employment verification letters play a different role when applying for tourist visas, whether it is a B-1 or B-2 visa. Here, the applicant’s letter goes into consideration when assessing their ties to the home country. Among other factors that the USCIS will assess, your employment verification letter will have to prove to the U.S. government that you work for a foreign employer. Moreover, the letter will have to be detailed enough to convince the immigration officer that you have sufficient financial ties to your home country. The letter will also have to show that you can fund your travel to the U.S. and stay in the country for the duration of your visit.

Learn how to change from B-1 or B-2 to H-1B.

Employment Verification Letter for Green Card

For those trying to sponsor a relative on a family green card or a spouse on a marriage green card, you must submit an Affidavit of Support to USCIS to prove you have the financial capacity to support them. Along with the employment verification letter for USCIS, you can submit your income tax return, W-2 forms, 1099s, etc. meet the requirement. Discuss with your immigration lawyer the remaining forms required to petition your loved one. If you are self-employed, you may need to write the letter yourself and provide additional means of establishing your financial security.

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Employment Verification Letter for Visit to the U.S.

If you seek a tourist visa such as a B-2 visitor visa, USCIS requires that you demonstrate strong ties to your home country, which would pass S.214b requirement. This is to ensure you will return and not stay in the U.S. past the expiration of your visa. They also like to see in your application that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay in the U.S. A job verification letter serves these two requirements perfectly.

Implications of Unexpected Unemployment

Employment can sometimes be cut short due to unexpected events. For example, some companies may go bankrupt and lay off employees, or as happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, many employees were let go or furloughed. If you experienced this, you should have documentation showing the date you were given notice of it from your employer and if there is an expected date to return to work to submit to USCIS. Although you may not have certain dates for return to work, you can still prepare a detailed plan on how you are strategizing to secure permanent employment. Discuss further details of this scenario with your immigration attorney to determine the best approach.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about employment verification letters for immigration purposes.

Can I send USCIS my federal tax return?

While a tax return is a good way to show USCIS what you earned in past employment periods, it is not an accurate gauge of what you are currently making from employment. Hence, a verification letter is often still necessary.

Is there a specific format for the employment verification letter for immigration? 

While there is no format per se, the letter should include the following details and, if possible, be typed on company letterhead:

  • Date of the letter written (within three months of filing the green card application)
  • Dates of employment (beginning to end)
  • Work status, whether full-time or part-time
  • Position in the company or title
  • Description of position/responsibilities
  • Wages earned (annual salary or hourly wage)
  • Signature of the employer, full name, and official title

What if I cannot meet the income requirements as the petitioning sponsor?

You have a few options, including having a household member or joint sponsor join you in sponsoring the immigrant. They need to be fully aware that if they accept the joint sponsor role, they also take legal responsibility for supporting the intending immigrant. They must meet the same criteria as the primary sponsor (125% income requirement without pooling incomes with the other petitioning sponsor) and do not necessarily need to be related to the immigrant.

Does my employer have to give me a letter of employment?

A letter from your employer is an excellent way to provide proof of employment or income for USCIS. See above for a sample of a job verification letter that indicates salary/wages and length of employment.

How do I write a letter of employment for immigration?

The letter should be written and signed by the employer—either a supervisor or human resources representative. However, if you are self-employed as a business owner or independent contractor, you can write the letter on your behalf.

How can I request the letter from my employer?

There are several ways. You can ask for an employment verification letter including verbally making the request, contacting human resources in writing or verbally, or using an employment verification service. To your employer, mention strictly what details they must include.

Can I write a letter for verification of employment for myself?

Yes, you are able to write your own letter of verification of employment but only in very specific cases. You are able to do so if you are an independent contract or a business owner. USCIS will require you to submit this letter which should contain a sufficient overview of your business activities, proof of the company’s existence, evidence of the financial stability of the business, and regular salary payments to the sponsor. You might also have to attach your company’s tax returns, evidence of any existing partnerships, and payment receipts. This letter will essentially serve as evidence of the financial viability of the sponsor.

A sufficient amount of information in the letter should be dedicated to describing the role that the sponsor plays in the company. After reading the letters, USCIS should not have any doubts of your involvement with the company. You will have to write and sign the letter yourself. However, it is helpful to consult an experienced immigration attorney to draft the letter for you and prepare the entire package. Since this letter has serious legal implications, you will be required to get it notarized.

What if I have tried everything but cannot get a verification letter from my employer?

If you cannot obtain a letter, you should discuss with your lawyer what alternative forms of evidence you can provide USCIS.

How VisaNation Law Group Can Help

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This guide is a great first step to your employment verification letter, but to avoid any potential obstacles it is always best to seek the counsel of immigration professionals. VisaNation Law Group has lawyers with decades of experience to help with all your immigration needs.