Sponsor Sample Letter for O-1 Petition

The sponsor letter must be quite detailed and include certain items. You may use this example as a guide. Affirmative action approval must be granted before an O-1 application is submitted. Please note that not all of the text will apply to everyone. The letter written should be revised for each applicant.


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

RE: O-1, Alien of Extraordinary Ability, Petition by Columbia University on behalf of Dr. [name of O-1 applicant]

Dear Sir or Madam:

This letter is submitted in support of our O-1 petition on behalf of Dr. [name of applicant], a citizen of [country]. The intended period of employment is [up to three years for the first petition; 1 year increments thereafter]. Dr. [name of applicant] will be paid a salary of $ [amount] per annum.

Columbia University is a world-renowned center of research and education, with over 5,000 faculty and researchers, a supporting staff of over 8,000, and an enrollment of over 22,000 students. The Department of [department name] boasts a Faculty of world-wide distinction and has a long history of distinguished teaching and scholarship. The department is committed to making appointments which will maintain those high standards and thus provide the best possible education for Columbia students. In order to maintain this level of excellence, it is essential that our staff members be of the highest merit and ability. For these reasons, we have offered the position of [appointment title] of [department name] to Dr. [name of applicant].

Dr. [applicant’s name] is an alien of extraordinary ability in the field of education, specifically in the area of [applicant’s area of expertise]. He is eminently qualified to assume a position with Columbia University based on his education credentials, and his outstanding accomplishments as a teacher, lecturer and writer. Dr. [applicant’s name] received a Ph.D. degree in [field] from [name of granting institution]. [Also list other degrees awarded.]

Dr. [applicant’s name] has taught a wide range of courses including [list courses taught]. He has published articles in academic journals, as well as having written leading publications such as [list publications]. As you can see from the attached reviews, Dr. [applicant’s name]’s work has classified him as an accomplished writer in his field.

An abridged list of Dr. [applicant’s name]’s publications, awards, and grants includes:

[list publications and include with letter those available]

[list awards and include copies of those available]



The activities we have in mind for Dr. [applicant’s name] are highly challenging and complex. While he will be teaching some courses which he has devised that deal with issues such as . . . ., his primary responsibilities will involve the supervision of graduate students and undergraduate students who are currently working on doctoral dissertations and other research which is important to the department. Additionally, ample time will be provided to Dr. [applicant’s name] to enable him to continue working on his own substantial and important research. He is currently in the process of [current project], and we expect that he will write papers, articles, and other materials of importance during his tenure at Columbia University. We view his research as being particularly important to the goals and reputation of the University because of the recognized acclaim Columbia University has received as a result of his previous association with us.

If Dr. [name of applicant] is dismissed for any reason before the end of this authorized admission, we agree to pay the reasonable cost of return transportation for Dr. [name of applicant] to his last place of residence.

We are aware that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations require consultation. We also understand that if no group exists which represents employees, the consultation may be waived. We have tried to locate a group but we have been unable to locate such an organization in the area of Professors and Researchers in [name of field]. We respectfully request that you waive the consultation requirement.

Sincerely yours,

Chairman of the [Dept name] Department