An increasingly large number of alumni now request letters from me to support their applications for a green card or other U.S. residency status based on skills learned/acquired in a class that I taught. Doing such letters in a non-uniform way has consumed too much time, so I have decided to follow a consistent, rigid process from now on. Please read and conform to the following, if you want such a letter from me.
I am able to serve as the verification for only a very limited scope of information: what was taught in a particular class (or in a research project, if that is relevant in your case). I cannot verify your years of enrollment, classes completed successfully, or graduation; you can use your official transcript to confirm such facts.
Please do not send a letter drafted by your lawyer. Instead, confirm with your lawyer that the following will satisfy the need, when the XXXs are filled in appropriately and it is put on my CMU letterhead:
To whom it may concern:
This letter is to verify that XXX-name acquired and demonstrated knowledge and experience at Carnegie Mellon University in the areas of (1) XXX-area1, (2) XXX-area2, (3) XXX-area3. This occurred in a course for which I served as instructor: XXX-class (Example: Introduction to Computer Systems (18213 in Fall 2011)).
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.
After your lawyer confirms that the above text will suffice, you can send me the XXX values you desire and a copy of your transcript to confirm for me that you took the class claimed and earned a B- or better. I will decide whether the areas you are claiming are appropriate, given the class(es) taken, and produce the letter if so.
I apologize in advance for being strict in this process, but hopefully you can understand why it is necessary given the many students who take my classes every year. Thank you for your understanding.