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What is a Skills Verification Letter?

Nov 6, 2023

Applicant Completing Forms

A Skills Verification Letter is a document that is sometimes required during the Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) process, when sponsoring a foreign worker for an employment-based green card in the United States.

The purpose of a Skills Verification Letter is to provide evidence of the foreign worker’s knowledge and experience, particularly when the job being offered requires specific educational and professional credentials. This letter typically comes into play when the U.S. employer is unable to find a suitable U.S. worker for the position and wishes to hire a foreign worker instead. In this guide, we’ll cover what to include in a Skills Verification letter, who is responsible for signing these letters, and more.

What is Included in a Skills Verification Letter?

Skills Verification letters are typically provided by a foreign worker’s previous employers and are used to verify the individual possesses the required knowledge or experience required for the position listed on the PERM application. Knowledge can be demonstrated by university coursework or other academic credentials, while experience is demonstrated by paid professional experience in the required skill.

Although the details of the Skills Verification letter may vary by application, all letters must follow a general format and include the following information:

  • Role or Position Title
  • Company Name
  • Employment Start and End Dates
  • Hours Worked Per Week (Full-time or Part-time)
  • Detailed Description of Job Duties
  • Knowledge or Experience Gained in the Role
  • Signatory Name, Title, and Contact Information

Who Signs Skills Verification Letters?

Skills Verification letters should be signed by the foreign worker’s former manager or HR professional at the previous company, or professor in the case of knowledge-based skills verification. While it is possible to have a previous co-worker sign these letters, USCIS prefers letters to come directly from the worker’s former manager.

NOTE: If a former supervisor or manager is no longer with the company, they can still sign the letter. The former supervisor should put the letter on their current company’s letterhead and include a business card from their time at the worker’s previous company.

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Sample Skills Verification Letter

[Supervisor or HR Professional’s Name]
[Company Name]
[Company Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]
[Email Address]
[Phone Number]

[US Department of Labor]
[City, State, ZIP Code]

Re: Skills Verification Letter for [Foreign Worker’s Name]

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing this letter in my capacity as [Title] at [Company Name], to verify the skills, qualifications, and experience of [Foreign Worker’s Name], who was previously employed by our company in the capacity of [Role or Position Title]. [Foreign Worker’s Name] was employed at our organization from [Employment Start Date] to [Employment End Date], working on a [Full-time/Part-time] basis, with an average of [Hours Worked Per Week] hours per week.

Detailed Description of Job Duties:

[Foreign Worker’s Name] played a crucial role in our organization, performing the following job duties:

[Describe Specific Duty 1]
[Elaborate on Specific Responsibilities and Achievements]

[Describe Specific Duty 2]
[Elaborate on Specific Responsibilities and Achievements]

[Describe Specific Duty 3]
[Elaborate on Specific Responsibilities and Achievements]

[Describe Specific Duty 4]
[Elaborate on Specific Responsibilities and Achievements]

Knowledge or Experience Gained in the Role:

During their time at [Company Name], [Foreign Worker’s Name] gained valuable knowledge and experience in the following areas:

[Specify Area of Knowledge/Experience 1]:
[Detail Knowledge or Experience Acquired]

[Specify Area of Knowledge/Experience 2]:
[Detail Knowledge or Experience Acquired]

[Specify Area of Knowledge/Experience 3]:
[Detail Knowledge or Experience Acquired]

In light of the above, I can confidently attest to [Foreign Worker’s Name]’s qualifications and skills for the [Role or Position Title] they previously held at [Company Name].

Should you require any further information or have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Email Address] or [Phone Number].


[Supervisor or HR Professional’s Name]
[Company Name]

What if the Letters Don’t Match the Required Skills?

Skills Verification letters should align with the specific requirements of the job as outlined in the PERM labor certification application. It should confirm that the foreign worker’s qualifications match the job description closely.

USCIS requires a clear, explicit match for skills included in the Skills Verification letter and skills listed on the PERM application. If USCIS does not see an exact match in the letters to the required skills, they may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) at the I-140 petition stage to request additional information about the applicant’s knowledge and experience. Therefore, to avoid any potential delays during the green card process, it is important to ensure the information included in Skills Verification letters match the PERM labor certification application word-for-word.