The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides free legal help to some refugees and displaced people.
- IRAP helps some people find services and prepare refugee and visa applications.
- IRAP is not part of any government, IOM, or UNHCR.
- IRAP cannot grant refugee status or visas or speed up cases.
- IRAP cannot provide financial help, find or pay for housing, or find jobs.
- All of IRAP’s help is free. No one affiliated with IRAP has the right to ask you for money or any other service.
IRAP decides to help people based on their need and eligibility for immigration status. IRAP does not decide to help people based on any other social or political or religious criteria.
This website provides general information about legal processes available to some refugees. It is not meant as legal advice for individual applications.
If you are in a refugee emergency, we recommend that you contact the UNHCR office in the country where you live .
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.
For more information on what your letter of recommendation and employment verification letter should include, please see this guide.
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.
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.
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 a 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.
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.
Asking for help
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. These attorneys are not affiliated with IRAP.
- A list of private immigration attorneys in the United States is available here. Please note that private immigration attorneys may charge a fee for their services. These attorneys are not affiliated with IRAP.