If you are filing an application for your spouse or your fiancé for their green card, part of that process is showing immigration that you have a real relationship based on love and not just to receive an immigration benefit. To show immigration that you have a real relationship based on love, you have to provide evidence and proof of your relationship.
One type of evidence is letters of support. Some people refer to these as sworn affidavits or affidavits of support. We like to call them letters of support because affidavits of support are an actual immigration form that is for financial information.
A letter of support is a letter from someone who knows you and your fiancé or you and your spouse are a couple. They’ve seen you together and they know your relationship is real. And so, they can write a letter explaining what they have seen in terms of your relationship and that your relationship is a real relationship based on love.
What should letters of support include?
A lot of times people ask, “Can you give us a sample letter so people who are writing letters know what to write?” We purposefully do not give clients or anyone a template because when you give somebody a template, they usually will all end up looking the same.
The number one rule of what a letter of support should include is unique information. Something different than all of the other letters. You don’t want them to all look the same. If all of your letters of support look the same, it doesn’t look real. It looks like you’re creating evidence.
Maybe that’s not the case at all. That’s not what you’re doing but you definitely want to make sure that the letters of support look different. Each person who knows you have a unique way of how they explain things. They all have something unique that they know about you as a couple.
We give clients some general information of what the letter should include but let the person who’s writing a letter do their own thing and be creative and tell what they know about you.
Who can write letters of support?
Anyone who knows you and your fiancé or spouse as a couple. Family, parents, grandparents, friends, and family members from both sides of the family. It doesn’t just have to be from the petitioner, the United States citizen, or lawful permanent resident.
The letter of support should include the person’s full name and full address if they are a lawful permanent resident or a United States citizen.
They don’t have to be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident. It’s helpful to have a few letters from people who are though. The letter of support should also be sworn to or notarized.
The instructions don’t specifically say you have to have the letters notarized but immigration officers prefer that the letter is notarized to prove that this person was the one that gave the statement. The other thing the letter of support should include is unique things about you as a couple.
The letter doesn’t have to be terribly long. A paragraph or two would do the trick. For example, if a grandmother would write a letter, she would say, “I know my grandson Johnny, he went and recently visited his fiancée in France and they have known each other for three years. She has come here and visited. I’ve gotten to meet her. We went to dinner.”
Those are the kind of things that they are looking for just to see that yes, this person knows who you are and can tell information about your relationship.
How many letters of support should I submit?
Everybody seems to think that they should submit three to five letters. It really just depends. We usually ask our clients to get about two to three. You want to be careful because in immigration there is an over-submission, where you look like you’re trying to over-prove your relationship, and an under-submission that will cause a delay in your case because of an additional Request for Evidence.
There isn’t a magic number but two to three is a good rule of thumb. It’s also important to understand the reason it depends is that each couple is unique and what we do with our couples is we tell their story of love. It will really depend on your story of love how many letters would be a good amount.
It also depends on what other relationship evidence that you have. A lot of people tend to gravitate towards providing tons of photos and letters of support. It’s good to have photos and letters of support but in terms of relationship evidence, immigration considers certain evidence stronger and some other evidence weaker.
Letters of support and photos are on that weaker end. Usually, an application that only has photos and letters of support would not be enough. Just because it’s considered weak evidence doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include them.
Immigration’s perspective is that letters of support and photos are things that people can make but they want to see other types of relationship evidence depending on your case type. That could be financial evidence like commingling of finances, joint accounts, and traveling together.
We have a whole relationship guide on our website that you can download and a relationship evidence class if you want more details about other types of evidence.
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