I had applied for an academic internship after my undergraduate studies. The professor has accepted me for the internship. But since then he has not properly replied to my emails. I need his letter for VISA purposes. How should I write an email to him asking for the same? I had sent an email to him regarding this but he has not replied to the email. The problem is that I can't write a proper email and also he is the director of the institute and is probably very busy.

Could you please help me with writing such an email. Also I am taking a year gap for this internship, so this is extremely important to me. I also want to convey him that this internship is extremely important to me.

  • 3
    If he is a director of an institute he probably has a secretary or other administrative staff. Find out their contact data (from the website) and write them an e-mail or (preferably) call them.
    – user9482
    Aug 11, 2017 at 10:36
  • @Roland I sent his secretary an email, but have not received any reply. It's likely that the institute is closed during this month. What should I do?
    – MrPajeet
    Aug 15, 2017 at 16:29

2 Answers 2


I think the problem is not with the content of the email itself, but rather with the fact that the professor is busy -> doesn't respond to emails consistently. Therefore, you should somehow try to attract his attention/the attention of others if he is unavailable. Possible options include:

  • Having a clear email subject (e.g. a reply to the thread where you discussed your acceptance; mentioning that your request is related to the visa application, etc.)
  • Trying to call/email the department to establish ties with them. They may be able to assist you with the process & in some cases even write the letter for you.
  • Trying to reach other people in the lab. They can tell you whether the professor is away and whether there is a better way to reach him. Some of the other lab members may be international as well and, therefore, can provide you with additional information regarding the visa & your life post arrival.

Finally, it is likely that the professor is currently conferencing/vacationing. If none of the above helps, your best bet might be waiting and emailing again toward the end of the summer. It's no fun but delaying the start of your internship is better than not having one at all. In all of your communications, be polite and patient. That's the key to getting someone to help you. Good luck!

  • Thank you for your response! Can you plz write a sample letter. I am not at all confident at this
    – MrPajeet
    Aug 11, 2017 at 9:41
  • 3
    I'd rather not, mostly because this is a skill you have to develop yourself. You'll write a lot of "emails asking for things" in your life, so, you know, the earlier you start the better. If I were in your position, I'd reply to the previous thread you had ( so that he remembers), maybe change the subject line to "Letter required for visa application" or something, and politely describe your situation in the body. What you're asking is completely reasonable, so there's no need to be shy
    – neuranna
    Aug 11, 2017 at 9:45

Can you explain by what you mean when you say you can't write a proper e-mail?

I get the impression you're not in the same country as the academic at your chosen institution at the moment so the best you can do is to write a polite e-mail to them making it clear that you need them to provide details for your visa application just as you've outlined in your question. You could try even flagging the e-mail as high importance so it catches their eye in their inbox. If this doesn't work, then you may want to consider even phoning their office.

At this time of year, people are on holiday or are busy with other projects so do your best to be patient waiting for a reply as frustrating as it can be.


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