How to Write a Character Reference for Immigration
If a friend, family member, or personal acquaintance is seeking permanent residence, citizenship, a visa, or a green card, you may be asked to write a character reference letter on their behalf. When it comes to immigration, there are a few specific requirements.
When you start off your letter, make sure you introduce yourself with your name, your professional title (or military rank, if applicable), followed by your citizenship status. If you are a citizen of the country the applicant is trying to enter, you're more likely to have a positive impact through your letter. Mention how you know the applicant, how well, and for how long.
The body of your letter should focus on two aspects: community contributions and personal relationships. If the applicant has an important job, talk about the economic value he or she would be generating. If he or she has hobbies, religious affiliations, or memberships that help build or connect community, talk about those attributes. When it comes to personal relationships, only talk about what you might reasonably know, not about what you suspect. If the applicant has a spouse or children living in the desired country, talk about how strong and important that relationship is. Mention some of the emotional or fiscal issues that would arise if the applicant is kept away from his or her family.
Conclude your letter with a repetition of the applicant's best traits (as well as one or two brief anecdotes that highlight those traits, if you choose). Thank the panel for their consideration and provide a formal farewell.
Index of Character Reference Letter Examples