How do I start an immigration letter?
If you are writing a reference letter for an immigrant, then one must be clear as to what information the person requesting the letter actually needs.
- Talk to the person requesting the letter and find out the important details: why they want to live here, what they can offer, experiences, etc. The more specifics, the better.
- Introduce yourself in the letter and include how long you’ve known the person, in what capacity and what your relationship is with that person.
- Point out the person’s qualities, character traits, strengths and so on. Talk about the person’s work ethic, their background as it relates to the application, anything that Immigration might have questions about that you can address and provide insight to. For instance, if the person suffered trauma or abuse in their country and they’re still dealing with it, talk to how they are coping. If they are suffering nightmares or PSTD or physical symptoms, point those out.
- Provide a strong recommendation.
- Provide your name and contact information.
Who to consider for writing a reference letter?
Some of the individuals who might be fit to provide such a reference are people close to the requester, people, who can provide specific narratives and direct instances to help the claim for the moral character of the immigrant. Some of the best candidates are employers, landlords, teachers, a church member, relatives and friends who are already citizens of the country in question.
The more emotional impact the immigrant has had on the reference writer’s life, or vice versa, the greater the chances of the applicant’s success. However, if you are facing removal or detention, letters of support from your children will provide you with a strong case if they are applicable. Although family members will be willing to offer some glowing references, it’s preferable to ask someone who’s not related to recommend you.
Preparing to Write the Letter
Understand the kind of immigration proceeding. The first step in writing the letter is to find out what kind of proceeding the letter applicant is involved in. For example, reference letters may be used during immigration deportation or removal proceedings. The letter may also be used as part of a person’s application for naturalization. Other reasons for a letter include:
- To prove a relationship, such as a bona fide marriage
- As confirmation of employment or residence
- As evidence of abuse (emotional or physical)
- To confirm a credible fear of persecution held by a person seeking asylum
Talk to the requestor.
You should feel free to ask the requestor to put together a list of points they would like you to highlight in the letter. For example, the requestor may want you to share an experience working on a specific project, their passion for U.S. history, or specific personal anecdotes.
- Additionally, you may also ask the requestor for a resume or other background information. You can use this information to guide the writing process.
You can find examples of immigration reference letters on the internet using a basic search. Be sure to revise whatever sample you find to fit your particular purposes. You must convey sincerity and credibility in your letter.
Here are some tips and guidelines on how to properly write an immigration reference letter:
1. Use Appropriate Introductions
It’s simply not enough to just write a quick, haphazard letter in this case. The reference letter needs to be strong and include key details in order to be effective.
First of all, in needs to have basic information about yourself and explain the relationship between you and the applicant. Begin the salutation with, “To Whom It May Concern”. Next, introduce yourself in the beginning of the letter by providing your own immigration status and name.
Explain how you came to know the said applicant. If you hold a respected position in the community, business, or military, be sure you include this important information in the letter.
2. Talk About The Applicant’s Character
In most cases, the heart of any letter is considered the most important. Provide key examples of the applicant’s integrity and good character. Clearly point out the different character traits the applicant has, such as a desire to help other people in need.
Next, include details that support that claim with specific details of certain events whether they’re past or present, like volunteering their time to feed hungry kids.
Also, it’s advisable to convey stories of how eager the applicant is to help out a friend or neighbor who could use a hand or how much they care about their family.
If the applicant’s petition is denied and may therefore potentially lead to substantial hardship, such as both financial and emotional turmoil, include that information in the letter as well.
3. Include Other Aspects If Applicable
Depending on the applicant’s personal situation, it may be a good idea to discuss the applicant’s family. In the U.S., family ties are especially important and perhaps it’s a strong reason why they’re seeking citizenship.
If the applicant has a particularly strong bond with their spouse and/or children, go ahead and describe it in the letter. Again, provide specific examples if possible. In order to further provide credibility, make sure that you describe your longtime or frequent contact with the applicant.
If you’re a former or current employer of the applicant, offer some background on them in terms of your working relationship, such as where and when they worked for you along with their duties and job title at the time. Include examples that illustrate and positively reflect their work ethic, skills, and integrity.
4. End The Letter By Complimenting The Applicant
Finish your immigration reference letter with a sincere compliment and also let the reader know that it’s okay to contact you if they need more information. Therefore, be sure to list all your contact information including your phone number, email, and mailing address.
Even though it’s not absolutely necessary, it’s always best to get the letter notarized as this will verify your identity as well as your signature.
Child Custody Rules and Immigration Laws
The state family court and the immigration court are completely different systems that sometimes deal with the same cases. Each court makes its own decisions based on different laws, rules and objectives, producing some inconveniences in the moment of deciding a case. A non-citizen often must obey contradictory rulings from both courts.
Obtaining Child Custody
When a couple with children has recently divorced or separated, they usually try to fight for the right to custody of their children. The family courts make those decisions which are mostly based on the parent’s physical, monetary, and mental conditions to raise their children and the bonds between the choldren and their parents. The specific laws dealing with child custody are defined according to the state where the child and parents live, but in most states, even a non-American citizen has the right to fight for the custody of his child. The family court takes into account the conditions of a non-citizen, but in most cases, it will give a non-citizen at least the right for child visitations, the right to see and spend time with the child and it will also probably rule for child support.
Types of Child Custody
There are various types of child custody based on the time a parent will spend with the child and monetary support, such as joint custody, sole physical custody, joint physical custody, sole legal custody and joint legal custody.
In any of these cases there are privileges for the parents and also responsibilities. If a non-American-citizen receives any of these types of custody, it means she also needs to share in the related responsibilities.
Joint Custody and Sole Custody
If a non-citizen has sole physical custody of the child, which means he has total custody over the child, he has the right to take the child back to his country with him should he be deported.
If a non-citizen has joint custody of the child, she has to share the custody with the other parent, who is probably a citizen. In such a situation, the non-citizen can not legally take the child out the country.