Skip to main content

I am being sponsored for a PERM but my prior employer will not confirm my work experience. What can I do?

By April 12, 2023Immigration, PERM
An employer and employee signing a contract

The PERM process allows U.S. companies to sponsor foreign nationals for a green card based on a full-time, permanent job offer in the United States. Foreign nationals can qualify under the EB-2 or EB-3 category, depending on the requirements for the job and the foreign nationals’ education and experience.

What is the PERM process?

During the PERM process, the sponsoring company must create a job description that includes only the minimum requirements to do the job in a reasonable manner. They must then advertise for the position in the U.S. labor market. If they are not able to find any willing, qualified and available U.S. workers for the position, they can file a Labor Certification with the U.S. Department of Labor. After the Labor Certification is approved, the company can proceed with the PERM process by filing the I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers. At the I-140 stage of the process, the company must submit information about the job offer, proof that the company can afford to pay the required wage and proof that the foreign national meets all the job requirements that were listed in the PERM job description.

How do I prove my prior training and/or work experience?

If the job has an experience or training requirement, the foreign national is required to provide evidence to demonstrate where they received that experience or training. The regulatory language specifically states the following: “Evidence relating to qualifying experience or training shall be in the form of letter(s) from current or former employer(s) or trainer(s) and shall include the name, address, and title of the writer, and a specific description of the duties performed by the alien or of the training received. If such evidence is unavailable, other documentation relating to the alien’s experience or training will be considered.”

Many foreign nationals are able to have a supervisor or manager write a letter that confirms the specific details of their employment experience or training. If the supervisor or manager no longer works for the prior employer, it is also good to submit an employment verification letter from the actual employer that is on company letterhead and confirms the dates of employment or training and job title.

What can I do if my prior employer will not confirm my work experience?

Some companies have policies that forbid the company, along with its supervisors and managers, from providing any letters that confirm specific details of employment other than dates and job titles. This can be problematic for the green card process, as U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services requires the proof of employment/training experience and detailed letters are the best evidence. However, if you cannot get a detailed letter from your former employer, the regulation does permit you to submit alternate evidence. If you are in this situation, you can try some of the following options:

  • If the company’s policy against writing detailed letters only extends to current employees, you can reach out to prior supervisors or managers you worked with closely who no longer work at the company to see if they are willing to write a detailed letter.
  • If you were on a U.S. work visa for your prior employer, you can revisit the visa application to see if the support letters contain sufficient detail to demonstrate your prior employment or training.
  • If your former employer will confirm your dates of employment and job title and they have publicly available job descriptions for the same role, you could utilize this job description as alternate evidence.
  • If you gained specific work experience while providing services to particular clients and you have a good relationship with these clients, you could potentially ask if the clients are willing to write a letter to confirm the work you performed. However, you should be cautious when making these types of requests to ensure you are not damaging any professional relationships with the former client and former employer.

FREE PERM (EB-2 / EB-3) Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free PERM Guide, sign up for our free PERM Webinar, or watch our PERM videos.

Download Our PERM Guide
Sign Up For Our PERM Webinar
Watch Our PERM Videos

Set up PERM Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one PERM (EB-2 / EB-3) consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Leave a Reply