Employment / field of study confirmation letter

U.S. Embassies and Consulates are asking more frequently for visa applicants to provide letters from their U.S. employers, to not only verify the applicants’ employment status in the United States, but also to clarify the practical applications and export controlled technology related that may be related to the employment. In addition, such letters assist the Consular officers in determining whether or not a security advisory opinion (SAO clearance) should be conducted before the visa is issued.

Below please find a suggested format and guidance for content if you are asked to write a letter in support of a visa application by your foreign students or researchers:

[On department, lab, or center letterhead]


To Whom It May Concern:

Paragraph #1:

  • Student / Scholar's name and UMMS job title
  • Appointment dates
  • Amount of UMMS salary per annum and/or amount and source of any non-UMMS funding

Paragraph #2:

  • Description of the research to be conducted (use terminology that a non-scientist will understand). Include the goals and practical applications of the research and, where applicable, a statement confirming that the research is basic and / or unclassified and that it has no military / defense related purposes.  [More recently, we have added the recommenation to include statements related to the use of export-controlled technology and/or information and if the indivdidual will participate in or have acces to any U.S. government projects].  
  • Description of how the scholar's qualifications match the requirements of the position

Paragraph #3:

  • Statement confirming that the individual is expected to return to UMMS to continue his/her research and that a timely return is important to the research group. 
  • Statement confirming the letter writer's willingness to provide further information about the researcher and/or research should it be needed.  Include contact information.