Sample Skill Letter USA For Green Card Labor Application

By Anil Gupta, 56  NRI

This is an article for people who are looking to procure a skill-certificate/technical-experience letter from their previous/current employer in USA.
It is primarily needed at the time of filing the labor application and is the first step in the GC (Green Card application) process.

I have been part of this process recently and have received multiple queries after I shared my experience of leaving TCS at onsite.

A skill letter primarily has no standard format. It varies from company to company and from Attorney (lawyer) to Attorney.

In my specific case, the format that Attorney demanded was a bit different from the one that my previous company provided although the content were same.

Nevertheless, I am sharing both formats with you and it is up-to you to use any one as per your convenience.

OPTION 1: Skill letter as shared/demanded by Attorney:

Please delete this line and print on [YOUR COMPANY] letterhead (with address and contact numbers)

[Date 2014] 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services 

Dear Sir/Madam: 

I confirm that Mr./Ms./Mrs. [YOUR NAME] was employed, on a full-time basis, at [COMPANY NAME] in the role of [YOUR ROLE/DESIGNATION]. From [START DATE] to [END DATE],  he reported to our offices in [CITY, STATE, COUNTRY]. In this position, Mr./Ms./Mrs. [YOUR NAME] [YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES in paragraph format]. [YOUR TECHNOLOGY THAT YOU WORKED ON in paragraph format] 

If you require any additional information about [YOUR NAME], please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Sincerely, 
[SIGNATURE OF THE PERSON FROM THE COMPANY WHO IS VOUCHING FOR YOU OR THE HR(Human Resource) HEAD] 
[NAME OF THIS PERSON] 
[THIS PERSON's ROLE/DESIGNATION/TITLE]
Sample skill letter for USA green card application

Sample Skill Letter USA For Green Card Labor Application

OPTION 2: Skill letter as shared by my previous company (Recommended)

Please delete this line and PRINT ON OFFICIAL LETTER HEAD (with address and contact numbers)
[COMPANY NAME, REFERENCE NUMBER - OPTIONAL] 

[DATE] 

                        TO WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN 
This is to certify that Mr/Ms [YOUR NAME] was full time employed with [YOUR COMPANY NAME] from [START DATE] to [END DATE]. While leaving our organization, he/ she was designated as an[YOUR ROLE/DESIGNATION]. 

During his/her employment with [YOUR COMPANY NAME], he/she was responsible for the following :- (maximum 5 points) 

1. [...]
2. [...]
3. [...]
4. [...]
5. [...]

He/She utilized skills including :-
1. [...]
2. [...] 

We wish him/her all the best for his/her future endeavors. 

For,
[SIGNATURE OF THE PERSON FROM THE COMPANY WHO IS VOUCHING FOR YOU OR THE HR(Human Resource) HEAD] 
[NAME OF THIS PERSON] 
[THIS PERSON's ROLE/DESIGNATION/TITLE]

Points to remember – FAQs

  1. Include full period of employment even if part of it was outside USA
    • For example, If you worked for 2 years in India and then worked in USA for 1 year for this company. Include the full employment period by specifically mentioning the tenure in India and the USA separately.
  2. Include ONLY relevant technologies
    • Write ONLY the technologies that are mentioned in the JOB advertisement that your current company has used to hire in USA.

      This is important as the technical skills and the job-responsibility verbiage should remain same during the whole process of documentation of GC process to maintain consistency. I was specifically informed about this by my Attorney to NOT change the verbiage as he had written it in strict conformity with the job advertisement that the company has published in various newspapers.

  3. Do NOT write ALL that you know in technology or responsibility section
    • This letter is not your resume or CV, so stay away from writing each technology that you have ever heard of! Be specific an to-the-point with the roles and technologies.

      You should only write 4-5 technologies that you have really worked-on and it should MATCH with your CURRENT job (which you are using to file GC).

  4. You can probably just get it once
    • Not sure about your specific company, but most of them just issue it once in the lifetime. So, just be very careful with the verbiage contents of the letter. You might not be able to change it later.
  5. Using this letter for OTHER purpose
    • This letter can certainly be used for other purpose/country’s visa applications. For example, Canada and Australia also demand this letter as part of their immigrant visa applications while verifying the experience of the applicant.

      Hence, it is advisable to address the letter as ‘WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN‘ rather than specifically to ‘USCIS‘. This would help you use the letter at multiple places.

  6. Letter Head should have full company address and contact numbers
    • The official letter head that you use to print these letters should clearly show the company’s address (could be any in case of multiple offices) and reachable contact numbers.

      USCIS or any other company who scans this document might contact them over phone or by paper letter to verify your claims. If the letter head does not inherently has the address and contact numbers, then you should add them.

  7. Letter head can be from other company as well
    • If the person who is vouching for you in this letter was your previous manager in previous company and he/she has also left that company, then he can use his/her current company’s letter head.

      Every content in the letter would remain same as mentioned except the company letter head.

See Also: H4 EAD application and documents list for H1B dependent’s work permit

Sample Skill Letter – An example with values – Option 1 – Attorney Version

Print on ABC Ltd. letterhead 

20 August, 2014 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services 

Dear Sir/Madam: I confirm that Mr. Ram Gupta was employed, on a full-time basis, at ABC Ltd. in the role of Lead Engineer. From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012, he reported to our offices in Gurgaon, India, and from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, he reported to our offices in Tampa, Florida, USA. In this position, Mr. Gupta led the architecture and design for the business process development team. He acted as a subject matter expert within the business process environment for Oracle, SQL and Dot-Net. His work involved the use of Oracle, aswell as SQL and Dot-Net. Mr. Gupta maintained and enhanced the existing business process code base, and designed and maintained coding standards to enhance application development and maintenance. He provided technical leadership for solving complex programming tasks, and was responsible for project lifecycle, incl. analysis, design, development, implementation, support and enhancement. 

If you require any additional information about Ram Gupta, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Sincerely, 
PEER SINGH
HR HEAD
ABC Ltd.

Sample Skill Letter – An example with values – Option 2 (Recommended)

Print on ABC Ltd. letterhead 
              TO WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN 
This is to certify that Mr. Ram GUPTA was full time employed with ABC Ltd. from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2013. He reported to our office in Gurgaon, India from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012 and to Tampa, Florida from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013. 

While leaving our organization, he/ she was designated as a Lead Engineer. 

During his/her employment with ABC Ltd., he/she was responsible for the following :- 

1. Architecture and design for the Business process development team. 
2. Subject matter expert within the Business process environment for Oracle, SQL server and Dot-net. 
3. Technical leadership for solving complex programming tasks. 
4. Responsible for project lifecycle, incl. analysis, design, development, implementation, support and enhancement. 
5. Designed and maintained coding standards to enhance application development and maintenance. 

He/She utilized skills including :- 
1. Oracle 
2. SQL server and .Net. 

We wish him/her all the best for his/her future endeavors. 

For ABC Ltd., 
PEER SINGH 
HR-HEAD

I hope I was able to answer your questions. If you still have more, please use the comments section and I would be glad to help.

Related

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  • Itz Shailesh

    Great article!!
    I was looking for something like this. It helped me, Thank you!

  • Thanks Shailesh. I am glad it helped you.

  • Swapnil

    Hi Anil, could you tell us if providing the separate experience (India and US) in the Skillset letter was entertained by the FFS team or if they insist on providing only the Total experience (Join date in India thru Leaving date in US) ?

  • Hi Swapnil,
    FFS team only writes total experience on skill letter. No separate Indian and US experience is mentioned.
    Don’t worry. It does not make any big difference. The skill letter would still work.

  • Swapnil

    Thanks Anil… Do you mind sharing your contact number ?

  • Hi Swapnil,
    It is difficult to share the contact number on public platform.
    I can answer your questions here. If you want to keep it private, you can write your questions with ‘Anonymous’ user ID.

  • Swapnil

    No problem Anil…. thanks for answering all the questions..
    Though I have got approval from my manager for the skill set letter, but not sure why the FFS team has not responded yet… how long did you have to follow-up with them.. I mean did they turn to you quickly after the approval..?

  • Hi Swapnil,
    They are a bit lethargic. They are bound to issue you the letter after approval within 3-7 working days.
    You can certainly follow up with a reminder email.

    Mine was also issued after a reminder!

  • Supratim

    Anil,
    I left TCS in 2010 and now I need the skill letter from them. Could you please let me know whom should I contact to get the skill certificate?

  • You can email them at corporate.ffs@tcs.com with your employee ID and ask for skill letter.

  • AC

    Good post Anil! I am in the process of getting a skill letter as well. One of the interesting things you mentioned was to include the exact skills mentioned in the job text. However, since TCS probably issues the letter only once I am thinking of adding more skills to the letter. I am now working as a Sales Engineer and there are no specific technologies mentioned in my job text. You think it is a good idea to include technologies in addition to the skills on my job text as well as I might need them in the future?

  • Hi AC,
    The list of technologies or to say the ‘job requirements’ should match the one mentioned on your green card labor application. Nothing more and nothing less would help.
    So, you have to be selective and not include future ones.

  • AC

    Thanks for your response Anil. I wasn’t talking about future ones but specific ones that are not really mentioned on my job text. For example- I will mention coding as a skill which is on my job text, but I also want to mention Java/JEE or Oracle DB which is not on my job text but I have extensive experience in. What do you think?

  • Hi AC,
    It depends on your personal choice about what you want to add and what not.
    Skill letter’s only purpose is to prove that you have experience in the ‘job requirements’ that you are using to apply for GC.

    Department of labor does not care if you have worked on anything else than what is mentioned in the Labor application.

    Also, you would not use this skill letter for any other purpose.

  • Deep

    Hi Anil

    I am currently drafting my skill letter in the template provided by TCS. I am also working on creating job description along with my manager/attorney. My attorney is asking me to narrow down the skill set requirement to specific domain (w.r.t my current job, say marketing for instance) so as to avoid getting too many applications. I understand that the skill letter should be in sync with the job requirement. So if I get a skill letter that speaks about the skills that I have worked on specific domain, I fear that I won’t be able to use that letter anywhere else in future.

    Although my current employer is filing GC in EB3 category, it is likely that in a couple of years my GC will be upgraded to EB2 when I get promoted (worst case I may even have to switch company after I140 stage). My TCS manager is okay to approve anything that I fill in. So I just want to make best use of it. How do I make sure that the letter provided by TCS holds good
    for my future PERM as well?

    Thanks

  • You are essentially asking me to define your future job requirements!
    You need to understand the purpose of skill letter for GC and you will find the answer yourself.

    At this time, this skill letter needs to PROVE your current skills that you are claiming to be fit for CURRENT job offer.

    In the future, if you try to move to EB2 and need to prove the relevant skills at that time, your most recent work should be able to support it I.e. a skill letter from your current company and not TCS.
    You only need to provide this letter from past 5 years of work.

    You understand what I am trying to say?

    Person’s skills can change over time if he works in multiple projects or companies. This letter is only to prove that you do have those skills that you are using to file for GC.

  • Deep

    Thanks for the response, Anil. I am using multiple skill sets in my current company apart from my core skill sets. Will it be an issue if I include everything in the skill letter provided we have a job description matching it? Is it a problem to have many skill sets provided the job requires it?

  • There is no problem in writing everything except that you will be confusing more than convincing the authorities.
    Your attorney (the one who is preparing documentation for your Green card) can guide you in a much better way on what to write and what NOT.

    Remember, this skill letter is NOT for a job posting. It is for Green card processing. You will NOT need to show it to any company that you may want to join in future.
    It is best to write the skills that you ARE claiming for green card eligibility. Neither less or nor more is going to help your cause.

  • SP

    Hello Anil,

    I have left company A and has joined company B. now B has informed me they will file for green card 1 yr from now, for GC filing do i need to get an experience letter from company A ?

  • Yes, you would need experience letter + skill letter from company A.
    Basically, you would need to these two letters for last 5 years of work.

    Generally, you don’t need these letters at the time of filing GC PERM (step 1), but are required in case there is an audit. So, most companies ask the employee to submit these letters even before they start the GC process to make sure they don’t face issues in case of audit.

  • scp

    Hi Anil,

    I have left company A , B, C and I am working in company D for past 8 years.

    A – 2.5 years
    B – 1 year
    C – 1 year
    D – offshore 2.5 years
    D – onsite(US) 5 years.

    Company D has started GC processing under EB3 category. Would I still need skill letters from company A, B and C, even though in company D, I have worked for more than 8 years and my GC application is in EB3.

  • As per my understanding and what I heard from attorney, you only need past 5 years of skill experience for PERM processing.

    And as I see your case, you are working in the same company. You are all set.

  • amrochester

    Hi Anil

    Below is my scenario :

    My I-140 (EB-2 category) was approved with my previous employer and he withdrew it.

    Now I my current employer us going to file I-140 (EB-2 category) for me but my previous employer is not providing me experience letter. Also, I do not know any co-worker who worked during my tenure with the previous employer. I have a total of 8.5 years experience out of which I have proof for 5.5 years except for the 3 years I worked with this employer.

    Job requirement mentioned in perm say bachelor plus 5 years.

    8. Is there an alternate combination of education and experience that is acceptable? Yes

    8-A. If Yes, specify the alternate level of education required: bachelor ‘s

    8-C. If applicable, indicate the number of years experience acceptable in question8: 5year

    But in perm application 9089 where we need to mention all job details including all previous employer we worked in that I have mentioned all employers A,B,C and current employer D .Overall experience including all (A+B+C) is 8.5 years.

    Question:

    Since my I-140 (EB-2 Category) was approved once, isn’t that enough proof that I have more than 5 years experience? Hence along with the previous I-140 being approved (although withdrawn later), isn’t the proof of about 5.5 years enough to prove that I am eligible candidate for EB-2 category so that my I-140 gets approved without any issue?

    Please advise as I am helpless without my previous employer’s experience letter.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Previous i140 approval cannot be used as a proof of employment. I am afraid you have to provide the documentation again.

  • RAKESH

    Hi Anil, I worked in company A,B,C and working USA with company D. I have showed experience of ABC while filing for H1B. now my employer wants to file GC for me.
    my problem is my employer A is no longer in industry. So I cannot get skills set eperience letter and i dont know any co-workers from there now.
    Questions:
    1. Can I apply for GC by showing experience from B,C, and D and hide experience from A.
    2. If i dont show experience from A, will they compary with that resume i applied for H1B.
    3. Is it mandatory to show all experience letters?

    let me know if i can remove company A and go with experience from B,C and D.

    appricate your help on this

  • Hi Rakesh,
    1. First and most important point to note is to NOT HIDE anything. It is okay if the company A closed. It’s not at all an issue.
    2. There are no skill proofs required as such to file for GC and PERM. They are needed only if your case is audited by the PERM issuing department.
    Only 30% cases get audited.
    This certainly does not mean that you should not worry about procuring the skill letter.
    3. The third important point to note is thta you only need last 5 years of your skill letters to prove that you really have the experience that you are claiming in your PERM application. Hence, if company A does not figure in your last 5 years, you can safely forget it.
    4. If company A falls within last 5 years, then the best bet is to find someone who worked with you there and get his sign on a piece of paper certifying the technologies you worked on. If his js not possible, then don’t worry. Simply submit whatever letters (experience or service) you have for company A with a cover letter expaling the closure of company.

    Don’t worry, there would be no issue.

  • RAKESH

    Thanks a lot Anil for quick response. Fortunately my company A does not fall in last 5 years. So I believe that skills set exp letter needed only for the period mentioned in Ad

  • Anonymous

    Hi Anil,

    When will I get the US payslip. I resigned by Mar 16 and haven’t got the US pay or the payslip yet. My FFS is almost done, will my last month salary get processed after the FFS is fully done?

  • US pay for which month has not been paid to you?
    Also, if FFS is almost done and your US pay was not paid, it must have been mentioned in FFS details.
    Please read and check the calculations in FFS carefully.

  • Anonymous

    For Mar’16, the US pay is still not paid. There is no mention of it in the FFS statement. Shouldn’t I get paid for the 14 days in March in US dollars? Whom should I contact in this regard. The FFS process is slightly changed from the time you separated from the company. There is no info on the person I should contact in case of queries. All communications are through emails now and it is mostly one-sided. Have another question – Are the US vacation days eligible for encashment? Because they were not encashed in my FFS.

  • The process of FFS was email earlier too. It is just that I picked up the contact number from one of the emails and called up.
    Yes, you should get paid for US days.

    When was your last day? Was it Mar 16 or Mar 31? If it was Mar31, then I would say that you should have already been paid on Mar 23. If that has not happened, I don’t know why.
    The only way to get clarification for March pay is to email the HR (USA) that you would have contacted while resigning or the FFS team.

    I don’t think US vacation days are payable in USD. Even if you are eligible, you will get it in Indian salary and that too the “basic” pay. It should have been mentioned in your FFS statement.

  • Anonymous

    My last day was March 14th. In my FFS, there were two Leave encashments, one for 28 India EL days and another says Arrear. It does not say how many days though. I wanted to clarify all these confusions with someone in FFS team. Thanks to you, just found a contact number from one of the previous emails. I will call and ask them.

  • shyam

    Hi Anil,

    Thanks a lot for all your all information below and i have a Query, i worked for company A-3 yrs and company B 6 yrs, now company A doesn’t exists and my colleagues are not in touch, but my attorney is asking all my pas company letter in Letter head, in this case how i can proceed.

  • I think you will have to find someone who can vouch for you and your work in Company A on a plain piece of paper.
    And that someone should be the one who actually worked for you. get in touch with them.

  • shyam

    Thanks Anil,

    Do we need Company A 3 yrs letter also for processing GC, i think 5 yrs exp is enough for this, is it?

  • You only need last 5 years for your skill letter. If your company A was the first one that you worked for, then you need not worry at all.
    Just take the skill letter from Company B and that should be good enough.

  • shyam

    Thanks Anil for your information.

  • shyam

    Do they(GC team) verify my Company A details, if i give my company A Experience and relieving letter and former employee affidavit(if i get).

  • They can verify any document that you submit.
    If you are NOT sure about legitimacy of any document, i would STRONGLY advice to NOT submit it.

  • fanatic

    Hi Anil,
    I have been working for the same company (C) from last 11 years. Before that, I had short stints in 2 other companies (A-9 months and B-10 months). My current company C is filing for GC now. Do I need to submit the previous companies experience letters. I have the experience letters from both companies, however they are not in the required template.
    Thanks!

  • No. You don’t need previous company’s letters. In case of filing GC specifically, you only need the previous 5 years of skill letters. This, in your case, is your own current company. So, they should take care of it themselves.

  • Ravi S

    Hello Anil,
    Did T C S include your India and USA or overseas dates in the skills certificate? I am trying to get one for my 10 years experience with them but in their email they specified not to mention the country name and dates. Any clue how to include the dates for the employment with them in both countries?
    Appreciate your response.

  • No. They will only give you one consolidated skill letter mentioning start and end date with them.
    They do not give any country specific skill letter.

  • Kavin Kumar

    Hi Anil, Will they share a template that we need to fill out?

  • Yes, they will.

  • Ramakrishna Gunda

    Hello Anil,

    I have 11 years of experience in the order below. But my last employer whom i worked for 6 months is not ready to provide me a exp letter nor ready to pick a call. I have letter from all other employers. Do i really need to have the last 5 years experience or is it fine if i miss the last 6 months experience as i can provide 10years of experience with the same skill set.

    1st Company A 2 years
    2nd Company B 6 years
    3rd Company C 2 years
    4th Company D 6 months
    Current Company E 1 Year

  • I would suggest to talk to attorney for this case. Normally, last contiguous 5 years experience letter is required.
    If your company is not ready to give it to you, you can ask any of your co-worker or manager to write it for you, citing that he worked with you and knows that you have worked in those technologies. It is perfectly acceptable.

  • Anonymous

    My immigration attorney is asking me to include breakdown of country name and dates in the experience letter. Something like.. ” worked in India from xx/xx/xxx to xx/xx/xxxx and in USA from xx/xx/xxx to xx/xx/xxxx” .. But the TCS format mentions the start date and end date for the complete employment.. Do they provide location&date breakdown on request or stick with their standard format?

  • TCS would not change their format. Don’t worry, it does not make a big difference.
    The more important thing is to have the technologies listed, the ones that you have worked on .

  • Anonymous

    Thank you !

  • Anonymous

    Hello anil,

    Good information…. I have a question… I worked in Unix and Websphere for the last 2.5 years… and currently work in SAP…. And tcs gives client letter only based on Unix and websphere….my current employer wants to file GC and he asks me for skill letter… what can I do here?

  • What is your confusion regarding technology?
    You cannot change the work you have already done.
    So, talk to your attorney and ask what should be mentioned in skill letter.

    Does your current job require Unix and Websphere? If not, then how did they hire you? Your current company must have performed the LCA and job advertisement based on the skills they need. How did they select you?
    They already would have done the paper work to prove that you possess those skills (SAP).

  • Anonymous

    I have been working in SAP for the past one year… My current job doesnt require unix/websphere…. My company hasn’t filed my GC still( consulting company).. so my confusion is if I currently work in SAP and have the skill letter based on unix from my previous employer, that is where my confusion is!!!

  • If you understand my previous answer correctly, i meant that your current consulting company would have done hired you based on your skills that you would have listed on your resume/or work experience.

    What they wrote in LCA and H1B application at that time matters for your GC’s skill letter now.

    Off-course, you can’t ask your old company to write that you worked in SAP even though you never worked in SAP there.

  • SANDEEP SHROFF

    Hi Anil,

    I am planning to immigrate to Canada. For that i would want to get a skills certificate from previous company. I have worked for 13 years in the previous company ( software services company – TCS) wherein I had held many different roles and responsibilities. Out of which major were in the areas of Program, Account Management, Project Management, Business & Presales Support. (in the other words I was drawn away from technological field to more of management work). So what has happened is; over years, I have not remained handson with technologies like C, Java etc… Also my domain area has been into Real-time applications and Control & Automation field.

    So I would like to understand what should I mention as my skills in skills certificate

  • You have to check what Canadian immigration demands in the skill letter.
    The above article is for USA green card’s skill letter requirements.

    Normally, you would just write your work experience i.e. whatever you have (just like the way you have mentioned in your comment) for Canadian skills evaluation. They are more concerned about your real work experience rather than the technology.