What is the purpose of an employment verification letter?
When going through the immigration process, it is crucial to prove that the sponsor, and when applicable, the joint sponsor, meet the necessary financial requirements for their household size. In addition, USCIS will want to see proof of their current employment status. Both of these things are accomplished, in part, through an employment verification letter (EVL) that is submitted as evidence along with Form I-864. The employment verification letter provides evidence of both current employment and income.
The employment verification letter is needed in addition to tax returns, pay stubs, and other financial documents. It is meant to strengthen the case by supporting the sponsor’s claim that they are able to provide adequate financial support to the applicant.
Who needs an employment verification letter?
The sponsor and, when applicable, any joint sponsor on a green card application will need to provide an employment verification letter. The letter will be required as evidence for Form I-864.
Creating an employment verification letter:
Who should issue an employment verification letter?
The employment verification letter should be issued by the company’s HR department or the direct supervisor of the sponsor.
What type of paper should the letter be on?
The letter should be on official company letterhead.
What information should be included?
- The date that the employer is writing the letter. This should be within 2-3 months of submitting the application, ideally.
- The name, company address, and title of the person writing the letter.
- The employee’s position at the company.
- The date the employee started at the company.
- A description of the employee’s responsibilities.
- The annual salary (preferred) OR weekly rate and average weekly hours of the employee.
- The employee’s current status (part time/full time OR average hours worked per week).
- Wherever possible, a statement of prospective future employment (ie. a statement saying that the company anticipates you working there for an extended amount of time).
- Signature of the writer (HR representative or direct supervisor).
Example of an employment verification letter:
Employment verification letter template:
If you need some help getting started, click here to download a copy of our employment verification letter template.
What if I am self-employed?
When going through the Simple Citizen process, the system will let you select that you are self-employed. It will then ask you a series of questions about your income, job description, and dates of self-employment. The answers to these questions will replace the need for an employment verification letter with a list of new required documents.
What if I have more than one job?
If you have more than one job, you will need to include an employment verification letter for each job that you are currently employed at. You will then add the combined income values on all forms as the total annual income in the questionnaire.
I just started my job – do I still need an employment verification letter?
If you just started your job, adding the original offer letter as well as an employment verification would be the best way to illustrate your current employment to USCIS. USCIS is less likely to accept a sponsor’s documentation as sufficient if they started the job recently. Adding an Employment Verification letter with a statement of prospect of future employment (ie. a statement saying that the company anticipates you working there for an extended amount of time) can help improve your odds.
I have an employment verification letter from 5 months ago. Can I just submit with that one?
Since the overall goal of the employment verification letter is to prove that you are currently employed, you want to make sure the letter is as current as possible. As a best practice, your letter should be dated no more than 2-3 months before your application submission date.
What if I am paid hourly?
If you are paid hourly, you will want to have the author of the letter add your hourly rate and average hours worked each week. If your employer does not include an estimate of your annual income in the letter, best practice would be to also upload a signed conversion letter showing the math used to calculate your annual income.
How to calculate annual income:
Conversion Letter Outline:
Dear USCIS officer, as shown on the employment verification letter, my hourly pay is _X_ dollars an hour and I work an average of _X_ hours each week.
[hourly pay] x [avg weekly hours] x [52 weeks/year] = a calculated estimated annual salary of _X_.