What do chimpanzees, horses, and elephants have in common?
All 3 animals find it easy to form friendships that last a lifetime, even outside of their own species! Us humans, also love experiencing life with our trusted friends by our side. Yet sometimes, situations outside of our control keep our friends far away from us.
Immigration proceedings are one of life’s situations that can either keep friends nearby or send them far away. Luckily, there are things you can do to help keep your close friends close.
Writing an effective immigration letter of support is a powerful way to help your friend immigrate to America. However, if you don’t know what to say in your letter, you could accidentally make their living situation worse.
Did your friend ask you to write an immigration letter to help prove their case? Read on to learn how to write a great character letter for immigration court.
Starting an Immigration Letter of Support
Before you can write the best immigration letter of support, you’ll first need to take a few preparation steps. To begin with, find out from your friend what type of immigration proceeding is taking place.
Not all immigration proceedings are the same. You’ll want to customize your letter to tailor fit the specific type of proceeding that’s taking place.
For example, if your friend needs legal help, you should use this link to learn about immigration bonds, before writing your letter. Here are some of the different types of immigration proceedings:
- Prove relationship (like new marriage)
- Confirm residency
- Confirm employment
- Providing evidence of emotional or physical abuse
- Asylum seeking
Your reference letter may also assist a friend who’s facing deportation or removal proceedings.
Have a Meeting with Your Friend
We suggest planning 1 hour to meet with your friend, either in person or over the phone. During your meeting, you’ll want to ask your friend questions to help you make the letter as personal as possible. Here are a few questions you can ask your friend:
- Have you ever worked in the United States?
- Why do you want to be a citizen?
- Do you have family members in America?
You’ll want to gather details about your friend’s character and relationship with the United States.
If your friend has a passion for American history, or worked temporarily in the U.S. and loved it, talk about these things in your letter. Also, get to the heart of why they want to be in America.
Does your friend have family members in America? If so, this is something you’ll want to talk about. Mentioning family ties in the United States makes a strong case for your friend and their desire to be here.
If your friend is asking you to write the letter because they’re facing abuse or persecution, try to get as many facts as possible. Being able to site medical records or legally documented incidents of abuse, will help give your letter the validity it needs.
Proving a Marriage
If the immigration proceeding is to prove a marriage is real, talk about specific times you’ve witnessed the couple being a couple. Rather than vaguely saying you can tell they love each other, give multiple examples of their relationship. While not every account has to be a love tale, each story should help show that your friend is a genuine relationship.
Determining If You Should Write the Letter
Are you writing an immigration letter of support, to prove a marriage is real? If your not sure you’re cut out for the job, it can help to understand what type of person should be writing this letter. While you don’t need to be a skilled writer or lifetime friend, you should meet the criteria below.
Here’s who should write an immigration letter relating to marriage:
- Local to the couple
- Familiar with couple’s life
- Doesn’t have to be a U.S citizen
- Someone who knew the couple pre-marriage
- Spends time around the couple
If you don’t feel you meet the criteria above, you should be honest with your friend. A letter written by the wrong individual could end up hurting their immigration status in the long run.
If you meet the criteria above, but still have doubts, you’re probably just intimidated since you haven’t written this type of letter before. To help you overcome any self-doubt, we suggest learning how to format your support letter.
How to Format Your Letter
Now that you’ve gathered up all of the facts you’ll need, you’re ready to start writing! Here’s how you should format your support letter:
- Formal greeting
- Strong introduction
- Body of the letter
- Conclusion with a heartfelt statement
Be patient with yourself throughout the writing process. It’s normal to write several drafts, before finally writing a letter that powerfully delivers your message.
Writing a Heartfelt Conclusion
As you get ready to finish your letter, you’ll want to think of something heartfelt to say. This is the moment to leave the reader with a feeling, a feeling of how much you love your friend.
Finally, if at all possible, you should always have a notary sign your letter. This will help prove that your letter is valid, and wasn’t submitted falsely.
Pressure Free Letter Writing
Now you know more about how to write an effective immigration letter of support. Meeting with your friend before writing the letter, and formatting the letter properly, is the best way to give your friend the help they need.
Yet, it’s important to remember that even though your letter is a major responsibility, that doesn’t mean you should stress yourself out. It’s easy to get so caught up in writing the letter, that you begin to feel like the entire immigration decision will come down to you.
However, the reality is that there are many determining factors outside of your control. Instead of fretting over whether or not you wrote an effective letter, reward yourself for caring in the first place!
After finishing the letter, take some time to do something you love, just for yourself. Need a few ideas on how to have fun? Check out our Entertainment section today!