This guide lists the requirements for your human resources letter and recommendation letter for your SIV application.
Background on applying for a Special Immigrant Visa:
- The current requirements for an SIV are on the Department of State’s SIV website here.
- You must include all the documents in your application to the Chief of Mission (COM).
- If you already submitted your COM application and are waiting for a decision, you can email new documents to AfghanSIVApplication@state.gov to add to your pending COM application. Look here for information about what you can do while your COM application is pending.
COM must verify your employment by or on behalf of the U.S government, ISAF, or a successor mission. If you are filing a COM application after September 30, 2015, you must show that you worked for at least two years. If you are filing the application before September 30, 2015, you must show that you worked for at least one year.
You must obtain the following letters from each U.S. company or organization you worked for:
- Letter of employment verification from the Human Resources department; and
- Letter of recommendation from your direct supervisor, who must be a U.S. citizen. If they are not a U.S. citizen, a U.S. citizen who is responsible for the contract must co-sign the letter.
Look here for IRAP’s guide on how to find your supervisor or employer. These people must have worked with you during your employment. IRAP’s guide on how to obtain proof that your work qualifies for the SIV program is here.
Letter of Employment Verification from Human Resources (HR letter)
Make sure your HR letter has the following information:
- Applicant’s full name
- Applicant’s date of birth
- Contract information for all contracts and/or subcontracts:
- Project name
- Contract number
- Duration of contract
- Name of contractor company
- Contracting U.S. government entity
- If your employer was a subcontractor, include the information above about both the prime contract and subcontract
- If available, include a copy of the contract or subcontract
- Applicant’s job title
- Applicant’s job location
- Start date of employment (date, month, year)
- End date of employment (date, month, year)
- Reason for separation from the job (if no longer employed)
- HR Representative Information:
- Name of HR representative completing the HR letter
- Their original signature
- Their email address
- Their phone number
- The date the letter was signed
- If your employer does not have an HR unit, the letter writer should explain that.
- Only for ISAF employees: A description of the applicant’s work that required the applicant to either:
- Work as an interpreter or translator for U.S. military personnel while traveling off-base with U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF; or
- To perform sensitive and trusted activities for U.S. military personnel stationed at ISAF.
What if my company does not exist anymore or does not have records about my employment?
If your company does not exist anymore or does not have records, ask your U.S. citizen supervisor to write a letter. This letter should be separate from the letter of recommendation. The letter should:
- Explain that the company does not exist anymore or does not have records.
- List the start and end date of your employment.
- List the reason for separation from the company.
- Include as much of the information listed above as possible for HR letter requirements.
You should also try to get as many letters from U.S. citizen supervisors as possible. These supervisors should list when they worked with you in their letters. This will help you prove as much qualifying employment as possible.
Letter of Recommendation from a U.S. Citizen Supervisor
Who can write the letter?
- Your direct supervisor who must have known you during the employment listed in your employment letter; AND
- Is a U.S. Citizen, or, if they are not a U.S. citizen, a U.S. citizen who is responsible for the contract must co-sign the letter.
The letter must include:
- Applicant information:
- Date of birth
- Badge number (if available)
- Job title
- Job location
- Description of the applicant’s work duties
- Supervisor Information:
- Confirmation that the recommender is/was the applicant’s supervisor
- Start and end date of supervision (day, month, year)
- Justification for recommending the applicant for COM approval (including that the applicant provided faithful and valuable service to the U.S.)
- Explanation of threats the applicant has experienced because of the employment
- Opinion on whether the applicant is a threat to the national security or safety of the U.S.
- Supervisor’s name, title, corporate or U.S. government/military email address, personal email address, and phone number
- Supervisor’s signature with a pen and date the letter is signed
- There is now NO requirement that you worked as an interpreter or translator, or performed sensitive and trusted activities. If you received a denial with this language, please visit IRAP’s guide for COM denial on this ground.
What do I do if my supervisor is not a U.S. citizen?
If you do not have contact information for your direct U.S. citizen supervisor, a non-U.S. citizen can provide a letter. The letter must contain the requirements for a supervisor letter noted above.
That letter must then be co-signed by the U.S. citizen responsible for the contract. The U.S. citizen who co-signs must write that:
- Based on his or her relationship with the contract or subcontract supervisor, he or she is confident that the information provided is correct.
- To the best of his or her knowledge, the applicant presents no threat to the national security or safety of the United States.
- The letter must contain the U.S. citizen co-signer’s current email address and previous work email address if no longer with the organization.
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.