This guide gives information to Afghans who worked for the U.S. government or a U.S. contractor applying for a Special Immigrant Visa. It gives information on how to search for your former supervisor or employer on the internet.
On 30 July 2021, a new law changed the requirements for an Afghan SIV. This guide lists the changes, and what you should do if any of these changes apply in your situation.
IRAP does not make decisions to issue visas. The U.S. government does.
Where to search for your supervisor:
- Reach out to any of your supervisors whose names you know. The more people you contact, the more likely you are to get a positive response.
- Reach out in as many ways as possible.
- Some supervisors have common names. For example, a common first and last name in the U.S. is Mike Johnson. Many people would have this name. You might find a profile on social media with the same name. You can include a sentence saying, “I am hoping that you are the Mike Johnson who used to supervise me.”
- If the supervisor has a common name, it can also be helpful to look at pictures of your supervisor, which can help to identify the supervisor on LinkedIn.
These are websites that some individuals have found helpful in searching for their supervisors:
- LinkedIn.com Many supervisors are on LinkedIn. Search in the top search bar for your supervisor’s name. Then, on the left side of the screen, you can filter results. Filter using the ‘current employer’ or ‘former employer’ filter.
- Facebook.com You can reach out and communicate with potential supervisors and employers on Facebook. Search the name and filter for the individual’s employment. This can be useful, especially with less common names.
How to Email Your Former Supervisor or Employer
- If your supervisor has a military or academic title, address them by the title in your initial outreach for assistance. Otherwise, use “Ms.” or “Mr.”
- Give your name. If you had an English nickname, tell your supervisor or employer your nickname. They might remember your nickname more than your legal name.
- Give the dates and location that you worked with the supervisor or employer.
- Include a picture of you. If you have one, include a photo of you with the supervisor or other U.S. military or government employee.
- Explain that you are applying to move to the U.S. through the Special Immigrant Visa program. Explain the danger that you have faced because of your work.
- Explain that you need a letter of recommendation or HR letter for your application.
- If you have an old letter from them, you should attach that letter to your email.
- Send this information from the U.S. State Department about the requirements for a letter of recommendation or HR letter.
- Thank them for considering your request. Be respectful, polite, and patient. It is normal for supervisors to be cautious.
How can I get a letter from MEP?
If you worked for Mission Essential Personnel (MEP), you can use MEP's form linked here to request a Human Resources (HR) letter.
You or your relative may want to ask an immigration attorney for help with this process. Here are a few resources:
- Information about asking for help from IRAP is here.
- If you are in Jordan, you can ask for IRAP Jordan’s help using this form. If the form is closed, you can check back at a later date.
- A list of free immigration legal service providers in the United States is available here.
- A list of private immigration attorneys in the United States is available here.