A Letter of Employment to prove your work experience is a required document for all 3 streams for permanent residence in Canada under Express Entry, including:
There are many applications that require an applicant to provide a letter of employment – from economic and family class, to work permits, study permits, visitor visa applications and beyond. However, keep in mind that the requirements for letters of employment are not the same for every type of immigration application.
Because each immigration pathway has its own requirements for letters of employment, it is important the applicant always checks the application guide/checklist for the requirements of the letter of employment they need.
Letter of Employment for Express Entry
The letter of employment requirements for Express Entry are very specific. It is extremely important that an applicant obtains a proper letter of employment to avoid an application being refused because the officer does not believe the applicant had the required employment experience for their immigration program.
When submitting a letter of employment for any type of PR application through Express Entry, it is imperative all letters include the following information:
- Applicant name
- Applicant occupation/job title
- Applicant’s Duration of employment
- Total weekly hours the applicant worked
- The pay [any format is acceptable for hourly/monthly/annual/bonuses/commission] and (if applicable) additional benefits
- A minimum of 5-8 of the primary job duties the applicant performed in this role
The letter must also be on company letterhead with complete contact details and must be signed by the employer, stating their designation/position.
Below is a template demonstrating how a letter of employment should look and read:
Letter of Employment Unavailable or Incomplete
In most cases, IRCC is adamant on their requirements for a letter of employment. Sometimes, companies are unwilling or unable to provide employees with a letter of employment to IRCC standards. If an applicant is unable to obtain a letter of employment to IRCC standards, then the applicant is required to prove to IRCC two things.
The applicant has done everything they can to obtain a proper letter of employment.
To prove this, the applicant should first send an email to their employer asking for a letter of employment including all of the IRCC’s required information listed above. If the employer sends a letter of employment missing information needed, the applicant then sends a return email in the same email thread letting the employer know the letter of employment they have provided is not to IRCC standard. It is important to outline to the employer what information is missing. The goal is for the employer to state that it is not possible or against their policy to provide the needed information in the letter.
Even when the company states they cannot provide the letter, it is best for the applicant to continue to press the issue to the company that the letter needs all of the above details. If the employer continues to state they cannot provide the letter. The applicant will then use all of this correspondence in their application to prove to IRCC it was not possible to obtain the letter of employment to IRCC standard.
Provide sufficient supplementary evidence to prove whatever information is missing from the letter of employment.
To prove the same information which was not provided in the letter of employment, the applicant needs to first determine what mandatory information is missing and then provide other documentation of this information. Documents that can be used to help prove employment history include:
- Pay stubs/ payslips
- Signed employment contract
- T4 (Canadian)
- Notice of Assessments (Canadian)
- Other tax records (foreign)
- Job posting from the time you were hired
- Information listed on the company website
If using alternative documentation to supplement missing information on a letter of employment, it is best to use as many supplementary pieces of evidence as possible. The applicant should highlight on the documents where the officer can see the missing information, making it as clear as possible for IRCC.
It is also important the applicant understand the decision to accept the letter or employment with missing information with added supplementary documents is ultimately up to the discretion of the officer reviewing their application. The officer holds the ability to accept or deny any application that includes a letter with missing mandatory information.
If IRCC is not satisfied that your documentation proves that you meet the work experience requirement for the PR stream you have been invited to apply under, the application will be refused.
Contact us if you have questions about your Express Entry application.