Supporting Letter vs. Letter of Recommendation: 8 examples

Letter of support is one of the supporting documents in Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Application. Photo credit: Christin Hume

Supporting letter is one of the key documents frequently attached by Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) applicants. What is the difference between supporting letter and letter of recommendation?

What is Supporting Letter?

Broadly speaking, supporting letter is any type of letters attached to the visa application. They are in a category of supporting documents in your Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) application.

This does not mean that information about your GitHub profile or employment contract is one of them, no.

Examples of supporting letters

There are millions of examples of supporting letters.

In fact, it is impossible to provide a full list of supporting letters. Anyone can give it to you. However, the nature of your relationship may be quite specific.

At the same time, the most obvious examples of supporting letters are:

  1. Supporting letter from your line manager, who is not a C-suite employee.
  2. Letter of support from a colleague (ex- or current – does not matter).
  3. Supporting letter from your University friend or classmate.
  4. Letter of support given by the charity, where you help.
  5. Testimonial, which is given by a happy customer of your business
  6. Feedback about your job from the client.
  7. Supporting letter from your mentee.
  8. Letter of support from the partner company or collaborator
Most frequently ex-colleagues, business partners and customers give letter of support for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa). Photo credit: Austin Distel
Most frequently ex-colleagues, business partners and customers give letter of support for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa). Photo credit: Austin Distel

3 differences between Supporting Letter vs. Letter of Recommendation

Once again – it is extremely important not to mix up these docs. Still, there are many cases when applicants speak about “supporting letter” but mean a “Letter of Recommendation”.

Important detail of Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa)

Supporting Letter is not a Letter of Recommendation. They have similar format and requirements but their roles are different.

Probably, the main difference is hidden in the nature of supporting letter. It’s a volunteer part of your visa application. In other words, if you will not have it – nothing happens. Just forget about this.

You may get Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) even if you do not have a letter of support. Though, you cannot get Endorsement if you apply without Letter of Recommendation.

Another key difference is the status of a person who signs it. In general, anyone can give you a letter of support. Even your neighbour or ex-girlfriend :). Just, in this case, they must write about your work and its results.

Though, Letter of Recommendation is more serious. Only high-profile people can sign it for you. The letter will get more trust in this case.

Finally, your letter of support does not have a list of questions to answer. Although, a Letter of Recommendation must have details and answer to very specific questions.

Supporting Letter vs. Letter of Recommendation: what is the same?

It is easier to think about similar things in supporting letter and Letter of Recommendation. They stand near each other in:

  • Format. The key idea is that a supporting letter must have the same style, size, number of characters and general structure.
  • Content. Both letters speak about your expertise and experience as an exceptional talent or exceptional promise in digital technologies
  • Structure. A good Letter of Recommendation as an introduction. It says something about the relationship with you. Referee provides more details about your positive impact on the business. She writes about your revolutionary role in technologies. In general, the supporting letter has pretty much the same.

Length of Supporting Letter

Firstly, a letter of support has no limits on length. It can be as long as you want. However, it should not be longer than 10 pages :). Because of this, many supporting letters have approximately one or two pages.

The same situation is with a number of words and characters. If you write a Personal Statement, you have 1000 words. Or 7,000 characters with spaces.

I recommend you to follow this rule for a letter of support too. However, again – you will not be punished if your letter will have 1.300 words or more. Less than 1,000 is also good.

Instruction how to write a Letter of Support

When I applied for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, I needed information to send to people. It was so difficult to explain what I need without great details. But they do not have time to read long texts.

Hence, I decided to make instruction. You can copy-paste it for your referee. Then you can add your own details if you need. Just use it

Please, copy-paste the letter below but change for your own case!

Dear Referee,

I apply to get a Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Visa) for the United Kingdom. I will be so thankful for a supporting letter from you. These are the general instruction on how to write a letter of support:

  • use your company headed paper with logo and other information. If you cannot – that’s fine. Then, please, use plain A4 paper.
  • put today’s date. This is a very important aspect.
  • one of the first paragraphs has to include a phrase like “This letter is written to support Applicant’s Name in an application for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa).
    Or you can use any similar sentence with the same meaning.
  • write a paragraph or two about you and your status;
  • put down the details of how you know me
  • include the list of my achievements in the specialist field, and how, in your opinion, I demonstrate talent or promise;
  • include your thoughts on how I would benefit from living in the UK;
  • write what contribution I would make to the UK digital technology sector;
  • add your full contact details, including telephone number and email address. There is a high probability that nobody will contact you. But at least, Tech Nation will have a chance to verify

Additionally, I want to give you a list of my latest projects. You can mentioned them in a letter of support for me.”

Finally, you need to help your referee. Write basic information about your main project or a couple of them.

Talent Visa Help has been created for informational purpose and is not an official guidance for Global Talent Visa (Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa) application.

Talent Visa Help should not be used as a substitute for the official Tech Nation Guideline or Home Office Guideline. Talent Visa Help is NOT linked either with Tech Nation or Home Office. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the texts belong solely to the authors at Talent Visa Help. The contents of Talent Visa Help do not constitute legal advice and authors accept no liability for the accuracy of information provided. Applicants should always consult the official governmental guidance and seek professional immigration advice where appropriate.

For additional assistance, please, contact help@talentvisahelp.com

Author: Andrii Seleznov

This blog is written by Andrii Seleznov. Andrii is a holder of Tier 1 Exceptional Promise visa. He is an experienced entrepreneur, professional engineer, founder and CTO at Petiole and Alumni Mentor at GIST Tech-I Competition

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