Navigating the immigration process, especially through Canadian Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC) programs, requires careful preparation and attention to detail. One document that stands as a beacon on this journey is the Employment Letter.
- Why is an employment letter needed?
- What should be in the employment letter?
- Do I need employment letters for every job I have ever worked at?
Who needs an employment letter
- The principle applicant when:
- The work experience was claimed as “skilled work experience” (falls under NOC 0, 1, 2, or 3) and allowed the applicant to receive CRS points for the work experience.
- Their spouse or common-law partner when:
- The spouse has “skilled work experience” in Canada. Please note: Foreign work experience does not contribute CRS points as a spouse or common-law partner; however, can be entered under Personal History
Why an employment letter is needed
This document is mandatory for all “skilled” work experience the applicant has claimed and has gained CRS points for.
The applicant must be able to prove their work experience so that their eligibility can be validated and the officer can ensure the applicant meets the program requirements.
The applicant’s document checklist will require a letter of employment for each entry of “skilled” work experience that has been declared.
The “completeness check” will determine if all of the required documents have been included in the application.
Once the application is placed into processing, its validity is assessed.
What should be in the employment letter?
The letter must be on company-headed paper and include the following:
- Applicant’s name
- Company’s contact information, including email address
- Date of the Letter of Employment. For the applicant’s current position, the Letter of employment has to be as recent as possible. For past employment, the date(s) may be older.
- The name, title and signature of the immediate supervisor or personnel officer at the company
- All positions held (job title/s) while at the company, including:
- Details if the position is or was FULL-TIME or part-time
- A minimum of 6–8 duties and responsibilities performed by the employee
- Start Date and End Date (or On-going) of Employment
- Hours per week and annual/hourly salary
- Breakdown of any additional benefits: health insurance, commission earned, pension, bonuses
If the applicant is self-employed:
- Articles of incorporation
- Evidence of business ownership
- Evidence of self-employment income
- Documentation from third-party individuals indicating services provided
Do I need Employment Letters for every job I have ever worked for?
Every job you include in your application, for which you will be awarded CRS points, must have a valid Letter of Employment to support it.
You cannot progress further in your online application without uploading the letter for each corresponding job.
Important information to keep in mind
- Many companies do not give employees letters of employment that include all of the mandatory requirements. It is important for an applicant to make sure they can prove all of their skilled work experience.
- Simply stating, “I was unable to get the information needed from the employer because it is against company policy to provide it” will not be sufficient for the IRCC. A detailed letter of explanation has to be provided.
- If there is information missing from the letter of employment, it is advised to use supplementary information. Employment Records, such as Letters from previous managers, paystubs, contracts, job offer, correspondence with the employer, appraisal letters and other documents, should be applied appropriately.
- If any mandatory information is missing from the application, it will be returned as incomplete.
- If any misrepresentation has occurred, then the application will be denied.
Navigating the waters of Express Entry can be a difficult and daunting task. Once the application seems as if it is ready for submission, always refer to the completeness check to verify.