Employment Reference Letter Immigration
Ada is a citizen of Cyprus. She wants to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker. Ada has heard she needs to provide an employment reference letter to the immigration authorities. However, she is not quite sure what the content of such a letter would be. Ada also wants to know if a letter on its own is good enough or she needs to show more documents.
Some immigration options to Canada require employment reference letters. For example, you need to present letters from your employers if you are applying under any of the following programs.
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FWSP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- PNP programs, especially skilled workers options
What is an Employment Reference Letter?
An employment reference letter describes your work experience with the employer. The document appears on the employer’s letterhead.
What Does Need to Appear on an Employment Reference Letter?
An ideal employment letter includes the following:
- The employer’s contact information, such as their website, email address, and phone numbers
- The contact information of the person who signs the letter
- Your full name and date of birth
- Your employment start date
- Have you left the company? If yes, the end date of your job and if no, mentions you are still working for the company
- The number of hours you worked per week for the employer
- Whether your job was full-time (30+ hours per week) or part-time
- The roles you had with the employer and full description of each role. They need to include the start date and end date of each position.
- Your salary and any benefits you received on top of the salary (e.g. commission or extended medical coverage)
The document must appear on the company’s letterhead. The list is neither inclusive nor exclusive, but the more information the employer provides, the better.
What Does Need to Accompany the Reference Letter?
You need to present at least two documents to prove the reference letter is authentic. Consider the following documents. The first one is a must in most cases.
- Your employment contract
- The business card of the person who issued the letter
- Your business card that shows you worked for the company
- At least one letter from a co-worker that confirms the reference letter. They need to include their contact information
- Your pay stub, preferably the most recent one
- Your employment insurance (e.g. government mandatory insurance or extended private insurance)
- A printout of the company’s website that reflects your name and position
As usual, this list is neither inclusive or exclusive. The standard of proof for immigration officers is “reasonableness.” It means if you present the documents to a fair person, they will say your claim is correct to a reasonable extent. Consequently, it is your job to provide as much evidence as the officer feels comfortable to accept your documents.
Do You Need to Translate the Documents?
If the documents are not in English or French languages, you need to translate them to one of those languages. Use the services of a certified translator. Of course, the translator must attest to the correctness of the translation. They usually attach an affidavit to each document.
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This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice nor should you rely on it as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions, you should consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.