You are required to prove that you meet the requirements attested to on the ETA 9089 (PERM). When filing USCIS Form I-140 Petition for Foreign Worker, USCIS requires proof that the employee has gained any required work experience and skills identified in the ETA 9089. A resume is considered self-serving and is not sufficient proof of experience. Qualifying work experience is typically shown through letters from former employers. We discuss what an experience letter for an I-140 Petition should include here.
What should an experience letter for an I-140 contain?
The primary purpose of an experience letter is to confirm that the employee meets the minimum skills and experience for the position required by the employer. An experience letter should be from your former employer, printed and signed on their official letterhead that contains the company’s address and contact details. The letter should include the following details:
- Must be signed and dated and include the name, title, and contact information of the signatory
- Indicate the position held by the employee
- State, whether the position was full-time or part-time and include the approximate hours worked per week
- Specific dates of employment with the start and end date
- Confirm the duties performed by the employee during their employment
- Confirm any skills gained during the period of employment
How detailed should the duties be?
These duties will be used by USCIS to determine if the employee meets the minimum requirements as listed under the ETA 9089 are met. The duties should be as detailed as possible, include any skills gained, and be consistent with the requirements on the ETA 9089. If the experience letter(s) fails to confirm that the employee meets the minimum requirements, it could result in a denial of the I-140 Petition.
Who can provide an experience letter?
Ideally, the experience letter comes directly from the former employer on their official letterhead signed by a representative of the company that can attest to the position held and duties performed. In some cases, this is not possible as the company may no longer exist, company policies prevent the employer from confirming employment details, or the employee may have left the previous employer on bad terms. If a former employer letter cannot be obtained directly from the former employer, USCIS may accept a letter from a former supervisor/HR representative that has direct knowledge of the position held by the employee and can attest to the details of the position. Supporting affidavits from co-workers in support of the position can also be helpful.
What does an I-140 experience letter look like?
We assist our clients with obtaining proper proof of experience for the I-140 Petition process and provide a template for these purposes. You can find an example here: Experience letter for PERM and I-140
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