Recommendation Letters


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Successful recommendation letters should contain detailed information discussing your research contributions and their significances. Also, it should mention on why he/she think it would be beneficial for the U.S to grant him/her Permanent Residency. Thus, it should be written by the experts in the same field with yours who knows you well as a professional worker. Independent experts rather than your internal co-workers are always in better position in terms of writing recommendation letters which convince USCIS more of your expertise.

Who needs an NIW recommendation letter?

A well-written recommendation letter is one of the foundational pieces of evidence that can support a waiver of the labor certification requirement of an NIW application. While objective evidence states facts about the applicant, a recommendation letter can shine light on the applicant’s skills from a more personal perspective. In fact, multiple recommendation letters may significantly bolster an NIW application. That is why substantial effort should be made to ensure that persuasive and well-written recommendation letters are submitted as evidence.

Where can you get an NIW recommendation letter?

According to the USCIS Policy Guide, recommendation letters should be written by experts in the applicant’s field of study. The person chosen to write the letter must be able to adequately evaluate and reflect on the applicant’s past and future contributions to the field. Finding a recommender who has published significant works or who has a strong national or international reputation is helpful. If necessary to illustrate the expert’s status, the applicant may submit additional evidence supporting the expert’s position in the field.
In addition, letters written by experts who are personally acquainted with the applicant will be more valuable to the USCIS officer reviewing the case. Consider requesting a letter from professors or advisors who have a direct connection to the applicant’s work for a sincere and detailed recommendation letter.

What do you need for a successful recommendation letter?

The essential purpose of a National Interest Waiver is to show that (1) the applicant’s work is of national importance (2) and substantial merit, and (3) that the applicant is in a position to complete the work. A recommendation letter should speak to this purpose by clearly highlighting the reasons why the applicant’s work is important and of merit. To achieve this goal, the recommender should state the reasons for each confidently and give multiple detailed examples to support each point. Using persuasive and descriptive language to explain the examples will also form a better impression on the reader as well. A more detailed and passionate letter will be more convincing to the reader.

What should be in the recommendation letter?

The essential purpose of a National Interest Waiver is to show that (1) the applicant’s work is of national importance (2) and substantial merit, and (3) that the applicant is in a position to complete the work. A recommendation letter should speak to this purpose by clearly highlighting the reasons why the applicant’s work is important and of merit. To achieve this goal, the recommender should state the reasons for each confidently and give multiple detailed examples to support each point. Using persuasive and descriptive language to explain the examples will also form a better impression on the reader as well. A more detailed and passionate letter will be more convincing to the reader.
  • Introduction
  • About the professional relationship the writer has to the applicant
  • Description of the applicant’s works
  • Description of the applicant’s achievement/contribution
  • Distinguishing the applicant from his/her peers in terms of achievements, capability or other credentials using such language as “playing a core/critical role in…” , “greatly contributed to the development of…..”, “in an innovative way..” “by having shown leadership in fulfilling the duties” etc..
  • Opinion about the applicant’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, published material, presentations, awards, grants, and other achievement.
  • Opinion about whether, even assuming that other qualified U.S workers are available, the US would still benefit from the foreign national’s contribution.
Additionally, as the recommender likely has a personal connection to the applicant, the recommender can explain more vividly why the applicant is at the top of his or her field. Explaining why the applicant stands out from others in the field will show why the applicant should be granted a waiver. Listing the achievements and awards granted to the applicant from a personal perspective may be persuasive. Also, referring to the future impact of the waiver on the applicant’s research can convince the reader that the applicant’s work has true potential.
Ultimately, anyone who reads the letter should easily understand why the applicant must be granted a waiver to further the national interest of the United States, and further the work that the applicant is attempting to complete.