Many Canadian Immigration applications request employment reference letters as part of their document checklist as proof of your work experiences, such as express entry applications, family sponsorship applications, work permit applications, and other temporary residence applications.
What needs to be included in the employment reference letter for PR?
The reference letter from each employer is an official document printed on company letterhead, including:
- Your full name
- Company contact information (address, telephone number, email address)
- Name, title and signature of immediate supervisor
- All positions held while employed at the company
- Job title(s)
- Main duties/responsibilities (for each position held)
- Dates worked for the company in each position
- # of hours per week
- Annual salary plus benefits
People often enquire about how to ask their current or past employer for a reference letter for immigration, as there are frequent issues with obtaining proper reference letters that meet Canadian immigration specifications. Many countries do not issue letters that include all of the above details. Sometimes you have left your previous employment on bad terms and cannot expect your past employer to provide you with a proper letter. Or sometimes the company that you worked for has closed and there is no one left to issue you an employment reference letter. This can cause issues with proving employment for your Canadian immigration application.
It is up to you, the applicant, to provide enough details about your past employment in order for IRCC to verify your employment and meet the standard that is required to approve your application. One of the common mistakes that we see in our office is a reference letter that either does not list the main duties of the position or includes main duties that will not satisfy the officer that the applicant meets the requirements of the NOC code that is important to their application.
If you cannot obtain a letter that meets all of the above criteria, there may be other options available for you to prove your employment as part of your Canadian immigration application, but the combination of documents and information to provide will be different for each individual situation.
If you find yourself unable to obtain a proper letter of employment for your Canadian Immigration application, contact our office for assistance. If you actually did work in the role, we can usually brainstorm together to create a custom evidence package that will satisfy the officer of your past work experience.
It is also important to note that a reference letter on its own will not be sufficient to prove any self-employment that you are claiming as relevant to your Canadian immigration application. If you were your own boss, IRCC is not going to accept a reference letter that you have written for yourself as the only evidence of what took place during that period of time. The evidence that will provide sufficient proof of self-employment will be different for every situation, and we advise you to get professional help anytime self-employment is a material factor in a Canadian immigration application.
Please note that this article refers to employment reference letters only. Job offer letters for Express Entry or work permit applications have different criteria than what is stated above.
The Way Immigration works regularly with preparing and reviewing evidence to prove past employment for Canadian immigration applications. Please contact our office to arrange a consultation today, so that you can be assured of success with your immigration application.