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Offer of employment – Skilled immigrants (Express Entry)
If you have a new job offer (offer of arranged employment), you need to update your Express Entry profile in your account with the :
- employer name and address
- Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) number (if you have one)
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) code related to the job
Your job offer must:
- You can’t use the same job offer letter that you used to get your work permit.
- be in writing
- not be from an embassy, high commission or consulate in Canada
- your pay and deductions
- your job duties
- conditions of employment, like your hours of work
A work permit on its own is not a job offer, even if it is an open work permit.
Your job offer must also meet other criteria to be valid under the Express Entry program you qualify for below.
Transition to NOC 2021
If you apply for permanent residence on or after November 16, 2022, we will still accept job offers made before November 16, 2022 using NOC 2016 codes.
Your job offer will be considered valid as long as:
- it meets the eligibility criteria of your program, and
- the skilled level of the NOC 2016 code on your job offer is equal to one of the eligible NOC 2021 TEER categories for your program
While most jobs will stay in the TEER category equal to their previous NOC 2016 skill level, some jobs may change to a different TEER category. Find the NOC 2021 TEER category of your job to find out if your offer is still valid for the program you’re applying to.
Federal Skilled Workers and Canadian Experience Class
A valid job offer has to be:
- made by one employer
- full-time (at least 30 hours a week)
- not seasonal
- for at least one year after we issue your permanent resident visa
- in a NOC TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 job
It also must be made :
- by an employer with a new positive LMIA that approves the offer and names you and your position OR
- you’re working for an employer listed on your work permit
- you’re authorized to work in Canada on the day you apply for a permanent resident visa, and when the visa is issued
- your current employer made you an offer to give you a full-time job for at least one year if you’re accepted as a permanent resident OR
- are currently working for an employer specified on the work permit
- have one year of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work) for that employer
- have a valid job offer from that employer for at least one year after we issue your permanent resident visa
Federal Skilled Trades workers
- made by up to two employers
- for continuous, paid, full-time work (at least 30 hours a week)
- for at least one year
- excluding Sub-Major Group 726, transportation officers and controllers
- Major Group 73, general trades
- Major Group 82, supervisors in natural resources, agriculture and related production
- Major Group 83, occupations in natural resources and related production
- Major Group 92, processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors, and utilities operators and controllers
- Major Group 93, central control and process operators and aircraft assembly assemblers and inspectors, excluding Sub-Major Group 932, aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors
- Minor Group 6320, cooks, butchers and bakers
- Unit Group 62200, chefs
It also must be made:
- by employer(s) who have a new positive LMIA that approves the offer and names you and your position OR
- you’re authorized to work in Canada on the day you apply for a permanent resident visa and when the visa is issued
- your current employer(s) offered you a full-time job if you’re accepted as a permanent resident, in a job that is in the same three digit level of the NOC as your current job, for at least one year OR
- have one year of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work) for the employer(s) on your work permit who is making the offer and
Examples of a valid and non-valid job offer
In both examples, the LMIA supports the job offer as set out above, or is exempt from needing an LMIA.
Two companies hire a heavy equipment operator. The LMIA lists both. Each employer is offering 16 hours of work per week for a minimum of one year.
This job offer is valid.
A construction company offers a plumber a position for 25 hours per week. It’s on a non-contract basis.
This job offer isn’t valid. A job must be for at least 30 hours a week to be full -time.
Jobs exempt from needing an LMIA
There are only two reasons the employer making you the offer doesn’t need to get a new LMIA:
- if you’re already working for them with a work permit based on that LMIA
- if you work in a job that doesn’t need an LMIA
Find out more about jobs that are exempt .
Your employer must get a new LMIA if:
- your work permit has expired
- you’re working on an open work permit
- you have a job offer from an employer not listed on your work permit
Can you do the job?
Our officers must be convinced that you will:
- be capable of doing the work you’re offered
- likely qualify to be licensed or certified by the relevant regulatory body once you’re in Canada ( if the job is regulated in Canada)
Provinces and territories are responsible for designating professions and trades in their jurisdiction. Designation and certification requirements vary by province. Get more information on licensing and regulatory requirements for specific professions or contact the relevant body in the province/territory where you plan to live.
Top questions about Express Entry
- I was found not eligible for Express Entry and I can’t change my profile. What do I do?
- Why didn’t I get points for my job offer in Express Entry?
- I am working in Canada on a valid work permit. Does this count as a job offer?
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How to get employment reference letters for Canadian immigration
When you apply for immigration to Canada, you’ll be asked to submit several documents to support the information you include in your application. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses these documents to verify your details and determine whether your application should be accepted.
If you’re applying for permanent residence (PR) in Canada through an economic immigration program, one of the factors that improve your chances of qualifying is your professional experience within or outside Canada. To prove your professional history, you’ll need to submit employment reference letters from your current and past employers. In this article, we outline how to get employment reference letters for Canadian immigration, including the accepted format for work reference letters and what to do if you’re unable to get a reference letter from a past employer.
In this article:
What is an employment reference letter?
Do you need work reference letters for canadian immigration, employment reference letter format for canadian immigration, is an employment reference letter the same as a recommendation letter.
- How to get work reference letters from previous employers
What to do if you’re unable to get a work reference letter
Will i need reference letters from past employers to find a job in canada.
An employment reference letter, or work reference letter, is a document that confirms the specifics of your employment with a particular organization. It is typically issued upon request, by your supervisor, the management, or an authorized person in the human resources (HR) department in your current or previous organization.
As an experienced professional, you may need work reference letters to verify your employment history at many stages of life, including when you interview for a new job, for admission into certain higher education programs , or while applying for immigration to Canada or other countries.
Many economic immigration streams require work experience as a qualifying criteria. When you apply for PR in Canada through the Express Entry program or through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) , you get Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points based on the total years of work experience you have. For instance, under the Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, you can get up to 50 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points if you have three or more years of foreign work experience, and even more if you have worked in Canada for a few years.
To demonstrate that your work history is legitimate and in alignment with the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes, you’ll be asked to submit work reference letters from your current and past employers to confirm the details you provide in your immigration application. For these programs, you’ll only be required to submit these documents after you’ve received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for PR.
In addition, you may need to provide employment reference letters at different stages of the application process for other economic immigration streams, including the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) , caregiver program, and Quebec economic immigration programs .
For some temporary or permanent immigration programs that require a job offer, such as for an employer-specific work permit , you may also need reference letters from previous employers to secure a job in Canada .
Any employment reference letters you submit as part of your immigration application must include the following:
- Employer’s name.
- The start and end dates of your employment.
- Your job title.
- The job duties you held at the company. These must closely match the duties and responsibilities outlined in the NOC you selected in your immigration application or Express Entry profile.
- The number of hours you worked there per week and whether the job was part-time or full-time.
- Your annual salary plus benefits. It’s good to also mention how much that is in CAD.
- The name, designation, and signature of the signatory. This can be your manager, department head, HR staff, or someone in the company’s management team.
- The company’s contact details.
Work reference letters must be on the company letterhead and should be signed and stamped. If you’ve held multiple positions within a company, each job title must be separately listed, along with corresponding dates, duties, working hours, and compensation details.
An employment reference letter is not to be confused with a recommendation letter. A work reference letter is a factual and objective letter that confirms you’ve worked for a particular company and lists your duties and employment details, including your job title and dates of employment. It does not, however, talk about your performance or positive attributes as an employee.
On the other hand, a recommendation letter is a formal personal note from a past employer, manager, client, colleague, or someone in your network, highlighting the qualities, capabilities, and characteristics that made you an asset to their team or organization. A good recommendation letter can make a compelling case in your favour when you’re being considered for a job in Canada. However, you will not need recommendation letters from past employers for your immigration application for Canada.
How to get work reference letters from previous employers
- Start the process early: It can take some time to get work reference letters from past employers, especially if you have a long career history. For Express Entry and PNP programs, you need to submit your documentation, including work reference letters, within 30 to 60 days of receiving an invitation to apply for PR. Ideally, you should contact your previous employers before you receive an ITA and ask for employment reference letters.
- Be transparent and polite: When you ask for employment reference letters, you may need to explain why you require these documents. By being polite and keeping your current employer informed about your immigration application status and expected timelines for your move to Canada , you’ll not only be able to maintain a positive professional relationship, but can also avoid unnecessary delays in getting a reference letter. Remember, when you start your job search in Canada, a good recommendation from past employers will increase your chances of success.
- Tell your employers exactly what you need: The IRCC clearly specifies what needs to be included in employment reference letters for Canadian immigration applications. The work reference letter format may be different in your home country, so be sure to communicate exactly what you need to your current and past employers clearly. To make the process simpler, you can share a sample employment reference letter or a template for them to use.
- Set reasonable timelines: While requesting a reference letter, make sure you give your employers at least a week to draft and share the document with you. If you’ve already received your ITA and have a tight timeline to gather documents, you can follow up with the authorized person in the organization and politely ask if they can expedite the process.
A reference letter from your past employers is the best way to prove your work experience for the purpose of immigration. However, it might not always be possible to get these documents within the prescribed time, especially if you ended your professional relationship with an organization on a bad note or if the person in charge is away.
If, for some reason, you’re unable to get employment reference letters from one or more previous employers, you will need to provide alternative documentation to verify your work history. Some of the documents you can provide in such cases include:
- Paystubs or salary slips from the period you were employed with the organization.
- Bank statements that show salary being regularly deposited by the employer in question.
- Documents that prove your employment record, such as your offer letter, employment contract, joining letter, and resignation or termination letter.
- Signed affidavits from your co-workers in that organization.
If you’re unable to provide a particular employment reference letter, you should also include a statement in your PR application explaining why you weren’t able to get the letter and the documentation you are providing instead. The more information and documentation you include, the easier it is for the visa officer and the IRCC to believe that your employment record is genuine. However, the decision is entirely up to the officials reviewing your application and, even with complete paperwork, there’s no guarantee your immigration application will be accepted.
You will likely need work reference letters even after your immigration application for Canada has been approved. When you start l ooking for a job in Canada , most Canadian employers will ask for employment reference letters as part of the background check before they hire a candidate. However, the format for those reference letters may be different, so it’s good to ask the hiring manager or recruiter about the information they’re looking for.
When you start your job search in Canada, never lie on your resume or during interviews , as some employers may contact your past employers directly to get a reference or to confirm your employment history.
As you plan your move to Canada, reference letters from previous employers are a key component of your permanent residency application package. It’s important to be clear and transparent while asking employers for reference letters so you can get your paperwork done accurately and on time. Moreover, always make your request in a professional manner as references from employers in your home country will remain valuable even after you start your career journey in Canada.
Things our lawyers want you to know
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.
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Employment Reference Letter Sample
What to include in the employment reference letter, how to get the employment reference letter from my employer, what to include in the duties and responsibilities section of the letter, employment reference letter sample, abonnez-vous à la newsletter just for canada .
Employment Reference Letter For Canada Immigration
Work experience and employment reference letter are essential factors when applying for Canadian permanent residence through the major economic immigration programs introduced by Canadian authorities such as Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs, Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, etc.
In your immigration application, you will need to provide proof of your previous and current work experience or a letter from your company with specific information about your job responsibilities to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). For many immigration streams, that work experience needs to be skilled – meaning it must be classified under NOC Skill Level 0, A, or B.
So how do you prove that you have the right kind of work experience or how can you compose an employment reference letter?
This article provides you with all the necessary information to compose a reference letter. In addition, it will help you with what to include in your reference letter, what information Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are looking for, and finally, a sample letter for your use.
What Is Employment Reference Letter For Canada Immigration?
Employment Reference Letter for Canadian immigration differs from the letter you write when searching for a job. Instead, it refers to the letter you write when looking for a Canadian permanent residence. In addition, it contains the work experience you have gained over the years as a worker inside and outside Canada.
In addition, it will show all the experience that you have indicated that you have while applying for Canadian immigration. It must also be according to NOC skill types.
The quality of your reference letter can determine if your application will be successful; for instance, if the visa officer is not convinced of your work experience in the reference letter or if there is a piece of missing information, your application may be rejected. So, you must include all necessary information in your letter of reference for Canadian immigration.
What To Include In Your Employment Reference Letter?
IRCC requires that the letter of reference has the following information:
- The company’s contact information, i.e., email, address, and phone number, should be printed on the letterhead of the company.
- The company’s superior officer or Human Resource Manager details, i.e., name, title, and signature, should be included in the letter.
- The company should include your name, title held at the company, a list of duties, number of work hours, salaries, and beginning and ending date of employment on the reference letter.
At the moment, according to IRCC’s guidelines, there is no need to have the company stamp on the letter. The most important part is to have the duties, and responsibilities list included in the Employment Reference Letter.
In a situation where you held different positions in one company, you can submit only one letter of reference, but you must include all the information mentioned above.
If your experience is inside Canada, you can include your tax slip as evidence; this can be accepted as proof of employment.
Letter Of Reference For Self-Employment
If you are self-employed, it may be hard to present evidence of employment to an immigration officer. However, you must submit documents showing that you are the owner of a business, evidence of income and services/products provided to customers, and documents showing payment details.
What If You Can’t Get An Employment Reference Letter From Your Employer?
There are multiple reasons not to be able to get an employment letter from your employer. Fortunately for you, the IRCC is open-minded and willing to accept or consider you on the condition that you provide other supporting documents and a letter of explanation (LoE). In that case, you can try to convince the IRCC with the supplementary documentation. Some of which should include the following:
- Employment contracts
- Promotion letters
- Pictures of you at work
- Sworn declarations from former colleagues
You should also include a signed letter of explanation (LoE) describing why you cannot provide a letter of reference.
Format For Writing Employment Reference Letter for Canada Immigration
How you present your letter of reference for Canada Immigration determines your success in your application process. It must be formal and must reveal enough information about your company. The more information revealed, the better your letter of reference.
A letter of reference for Canadian immigration should, therefore
- be written on company letterhead
- should be duly signed by an official
- have supervisor’s name
- job title printed beneath the signature of the supervisor
- include company’s contact information
- have the company’s official seal(if applicable)
- if possible, have a business card of the person signing it
Employment Reference Letter Sample
If you have gone through the process listed in this article and still find it challenging to write an employment reference letter, send your email to us and your name. We will be glad to provide you with one as soon as possible.
See Also : Easiest Province in Canada to Immigrate to
FAQ About Employment Reference Letter For Canadian Immigration
What is a reference letter for Canada Immigration?
A reference letter is an important document required for permanent residence in Canada. It is proof of experience a candidate has claimed to have gathered as work experience. A letter of reference differs from the letter submitted when applying for a job .
Is a reference letter mandatory for Canada PR?
Ans. Yes, a reference letter is necessary to get a work permit for Canadian permanent residence. If you have the right reference letter, your application for a work permit and permanent residence will be easy to process. An ideal work permit must be written on company letterhead; should be duly signed by an official; have the supervisor’s name; job title printed beneath the signature of the supervisor; include the company’s contact information; have the company’s official seal (if applicable) and if possible have a business card of the person signing it.
It must also contain your name, date of employment, the number of hours worked per week, the name of the position, duties and job descriptions according to NOC’s code, and annual salary and benefits.
In conclusion, employment reference letters are essential to the Canadian immigration application process. They can help demonstrate that you are a good match for a particular job and can be a valuable employee. Use these letters wisely, and follow the instructions provided by the Canadian immigration authorities.
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Record of Employment instead of reference letter
- Thread starter EESandidate
- Start date Yesterday at 11:50 AM
Hello, I have one year Canadian experience as a data engineer. I was laid off few months ago but I had one year of work experience. I have been working at another company as a data engineer for 6 months now. I applied for express entry and received an ITA under FSW. My current company gave me a very detailed reference letter but the previous one is unwilling to give me one, and their offer letter doesn't have the role description either. I have T4, all my paystubs and my Record of Employment from Service Canada. Considering that my express entry profile was based on this one year work experience, what do you think I should do? Do you think T4, paystubs and record of employment would be accepted as proof of employment as a data engineer?
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- Electronic Application for Permanent Residence(e-APRs)
The Letter of Offer from the Employer
Purpose: For confirming an applicant’s qualifying offer of arranged employment, for validating that the applicant meets the program requirements and for appropriate screening to address concerns of fraud
- The applicant only needs to submit this document if the applicant claims to have a qualifying offer of arranged employment
- The authorities would typically require a letter from the employer(s) offering the job in Canada
- This should be an official document printed on the company letterhead
- It must contain:
- The applicant’s name
- The company’s contact information i.e. the address, the telephone number and the e-mail address
- The details of the immediate supervisor or the personnel officer at the company i.e. the name, title and signature
- The letter must specify all the positions held while employed at the company
- It must also include the following details:
- The job title
- The job duties and responsibilities
- The job status (if it is the current job)
- The dates worked for the company
- The number of work hours per week and,
- The annual salary plus benefits
- The authorities could also request for the associated Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) number as part of the application
- Applicants do not need to submit a scanned copy of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) when submitting the electronic Applications for Permanent Residence (e-APRs)
- However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) might request for this subsequently
The Individuals who would need to submit this documentation:
- The principal applicant
Source: Citizenship and Immigration
- Tags: letter of offer e-aprs , Letter of Offer from the Employer , offer letter e-APRs
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What is a port of entry (POE) letter?
It’s a letter you may receive from IRCC if you’ve been approved for a
- study permit
- work permit or
- super visa (if you’re from a country that doesn’t require a visitor visa)
Officially, it’s called the port of entry (POE) letter of introduction. But this letter is sometimes called the
- correspondence letter
- introduction letter
- introductory letter
The letter of introduction is not your study or work permit.
You’ll get this letter if you were approved and you
- applied online or
- gave us your email address in your study or work permit application
When you arrive in Canada
Tell the officer at the port of entry about your approved application.
If you don’t have a printed copy of your letter of introduction, you can show
- an electronic version or
- the visitor visa in your passport, if you have one
Answers others found useful
- Do I need a permit to study in Canada?
- I am an international student in Canada. Can I work while studying?
- As a foreign student, can I return home or travel outside Canada while studying?
- When should I apply for my study permit?
- How do I apply for a study permit?
- I’ve applied to extend my study permit. Can I travel outside Canada and be able to return?
- I want to change my school or study program. How can I change my study permit?
- What do I do if the school I’m studying at loses its designated learning institution status?
How to video
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- Work permit
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Got questions about the Canadian job offer letter? We’ve answered your most pressing questions in this article!
FAQs: Canadian Job Offer Letter
If you want to work in Canada then you'll most likely need a Canadian job offer letter as it's one of the required documents for your work visa application. Canada readily welcomes foreign workers to help fill ongoing skills shortages and to transfer important skills to the Canadian workforce.
Approximately 159,030 foreign nationals have already been issued Canada work visas in 2021 through the International Mobility Program (IMP). Are you interested in working in Canada? We answer your most frequently asked questions about the Canada job offer letter below.
5 FAQs: Canada Job Offer Letter
1. What is a Canada job offer letter?
A Canada job offer letter or employment letter is a letter that a Canadian employer gives a foreign worker in order to work in Canada. The letter explains the details of your job but is less detailed than an employment contract. The letter will include information about your pay and deductions, your job duties, and conditions of employment such as work hours.
2. What is the difference between an offer of employment and a job offer letter?
An offer of employment is not the same as a job offer letter.
Offer of employment
A foreign worker who doesn't need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to apply for a work permit in Canada won’t need to submit a job offer letter either. However, the employer who wishes to hire you must submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal. This generates an offer of employment number that you’ll need instead of a job offer letter when applying for your work visa.
An offer of employment is a more detailed letter that follows a similar structure to that of an official contract between the Canadian company and the foreign worker they intend to hire. An offer of employment must include information about:
- the business/company;
- the foreign worker intended for the position;
- the job details; and
- wage and benefits
Job offer letter
On the other hand, if you need an LMIA to apply for your Canadian work permit then you’ll also need a job offer letter to apply for your work visa.
3. How to get a job offer letter in Canada?
Foreign workers have several ways to apply for a Canadian job offer. Firstly, it is possible to apply directly to any company based in Canada through online platforms or directly on their websites. Secondly, job portals like the Canadian Job Bank and Indeed Canada offer a wide selection of job posts. Most of them are free to access but you also can enlist the help of a recruitment agency to help you with your job search.
On the other hand, Canada offers different programs for in-demand foreign workers . One of the most popular is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The PNPs allow provinces and territories to request specific job skills according to their needs.
4. How to verify a Canadian job offer letter?
With the increase of job offers, scams in the form of fake job offers also started to appear. And applicants must be aware and vigilant to catch them before starting their visa application and travel arrangements. The biggest red flag to look out for is any mention of payment to secure the job or to receive mandatory training.
Learn more: How to tell if a job offer letter in Canada is real or fake
5. What should a Canadian job offer look like?
See below for the general layout of a job offer letter:
For professionalism and authenticity, the job offer letter must have the company’s official letterhead with a high-resolution image of the company logo.
Date and contact information
In the upper left-hand corner, you’ll typically find the date, the candidate’s first and last name, and their address.
A job offer letter will start by addressing the employee and stating the job position being offered.
A Canadian job offer letter must include specifics about the position, as well as work logistics. This should include the formal title of the position, the anticipated start date, full or part-time status, the office location, work hours and the applicant's direct manager/supervisor, and a brief description of the role and its responsibilities.
The letter must explain the compensation package including specific details about how much the candidate will be paid on an annual, monthly, or hourly basis. The payment date and available payment method should also be included in addition to deductions and bonus or commission structures applicable to the role.
The letter must state whether the job offer is contingent on the candidate meeting certain targets (KPIs) or completing certain tasks.
How to Apply for a Canadian Work Permit
A job offer letter is only one of a few documents required for your work visa application. As soon as you’ve collected the rest of the required documents (see below) then you’re ready to submit your application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you plan to apply for a work permit from outside of Canada then the following requirements will apply to you:
What do you need for your work visa application
- Job offer letter from your prospective employer;
- Proof indicating you meet the requirements of the job being offered;
- A photocopy of the information page of your valid passport or travel document;
- Two ID size photos or you may be asked to give your biometrics;
- Photocopy of your Marriage License/Certificate;
- A copy of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); or
- An Offer of Employment number to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
What are the different types of Canada work permits?
There are two types of work permits available; an open work permit and an employer-specific work permit. An open work permit does not require a valid job offer but is less commonly issued under specific conditions. One popular program is the International Experience Canada (IEC) through which open work permits are issued. These permits are also exempt from the LMIA requirement.
An employer-specific work permit is more commonly issued under both the International Mobility Program (IMP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The permit restricts foreign workers to work for one employer in a specific province and city.
Digital Visa Dashboard: Apply for Your Work Visa With Ease
Your most pressing questions are asked and answered to help get you closer to working in Canada with a valid job offer! Already got your Canadian job offer letter? Take the next step and apply for your work visa with ease by using our Digital Visa Dashboard.
Our affiliated visa consultants provide you with a document checklist and government forms to fill out plus a full verification of all documents to ensure that your visa application is fully optimized for success.
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Foreign nurses out $24,000 — and left with no recourse — after job offers in N.L. disappear
Social sharing, disbarred lawyer provided immigration services, cbc news found.
Joy Thompson has a dream of reuniting her family and having her daughters finally join her in Canada.
Thompson came here in 2004 as a domestic worker to help support her children and put them through school back in the Philippines.
"If I did not go out of my country, there's nothing for them. There's nothing for us," she said.
Thompson saw her children occasionally over the years. Her son, also a nurse, works in Yellowknife.
When Thompson's boss introduced her to the owners of a Toronto-based employment agency in late 2018, Thompson felt the dream of bringing her two daughters to Canada was finally about to come true.
Her daughters, Aubrey and April Nuval, were working as nurses in the United Arab Emirates. Thompson jumped at the opportunity when Rose and Bert Smith, co-owners of Apex Connection Corp., told her they could help get them Canadian visas.
But almost five years later, her daughters are still not in Canada, after their arrangement with the agency evolved into a dispute and the family found themselves with nowhere to turn for recourse.
Last fall, the federal government announced a new immigration plan that would see Canada welcome half a million immigrants per year by 2025, a move that could lead to an increase in those offering prospective newcomers help in obtaining a Canadian work permit.
Experts told CBC News it's important to only give money to a licensed immigration professional who is authorized to give immigration advice.
Service agreements signed
Thompson said that within a week of meeting the Smiths at the hotel where she worked in Niagara Falls, Ont., Rose Smith told her that a close friend in Newfoundland needed workers at the seniors home she operated.
Rhonda Simms, the owner of Pleasantview Manor in Lewisporte, N.L., needed personal care attendants, Smith told Thompson. The Nuval sisters were willing to take $15-an-hour positions, well below their nursing qualifications to get permanent residency in Canada.
Thompson signed two service agreements with Smith's agency — Apex Connection Corp. — for $24,000, or $12,000 each for Aubrey and April and their partners. The nurses had raised most of the money and, with help from family, had gathered the funds for the agreements.
The agreements included processing their federal immigration applications, their provincial applications and finding an employer willing to sponsor their permanent residency application.
However, by early 2021, more than two years after the agreements were signed, the job offers were gone.
Ironically, the relationship that Thompson once described as "God sent" spiralled into an acrimonious dispute between the Smiths and the Nuvals over who was to blame for the process falling apart.
CBC News has been granted access to the Nuvals' immigration files, in addition to email correspondence with them, their mother and with Smith over more than a two-year period.
Thompson said Rose Smith never allowed them access to their immigration applications. At one point in September 2019, when Thompson asked for an update, Smith told her to stop sending so many emails.
"I asked a friend for a favour to sponsor your daughters and she agreed to help me. But at this time, I think I prefer to refund you and close their applications," wrote Smith.
The Nuvals chose to stick with Smith. Aubrey Nuval's visa was approved first, but when she asked to speak to the employer Aubrey claims, "Rose didn't allow us to contact her."
Smith told CBC News in a written statement she did not prevent the Nuvals from speaking with the prospective employer, and the allegation they were not given a chance to see what was going on in their applications is untrue.
In December 2020, Smith told Aubrey Nuval that the employer had put hiring her on hold because of the impact potential exposure to COVID-19 might have on seniors at her retirement home.
This did not make sense to Thompson and her daughters, who had both been vaccinated in the U.A.E., and knew that Canada was allowing foreign workers to enter the country if they were quarantined for 14 days.
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They reached out to an officer with Newfoundland and Labrador Immigration, which administered the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program under which the Nuvals applied.
"We find the information your agent is giving you to be concerning," the immigration officer wrote.
The officer said the disconnect between the Nuvals and the employer was of great concern to their office, adding it was important they have access to their work permit and permanent residency applications at all times.
The officer also warned them about immigration fraud, and suggested they check if their agent was registered.
N.L. Immigration put the Nuvals' applications on hold to investigate, and asked them to send a copy of their signed agreement with their agent in Canada.
Not a registered consultant
Under Canada's Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), the only people who can charge a fee for providing immigration advice are lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society, notaries who are in good standing with Chamber of Notaries of Quebec or citizenship or immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC.)
It turned out Rose Smith was none of those, and therefore not authorized to provide immigration services for a fee.
"I know that we should have researched first," said Aubrey Nuval. "But I didn't expect that there is such a thing in Canada."
The Nuvals decided to retain an immigration paralegal to become their new authorized representative. Soon after, Simms withdrew her job offers.
"The employer is not familiar with that individual," Smith wrote in an email to Thompson. "She is my friend and only sponsored and hired the girls because of our relationship."
There's no indication Simms did anything wrong. CBC News reached out to Simms for a response. She said she had no comment but said she wished the best for the Nuvals.
"Our dreams shattered," said Thompson. "My hope of being with them disappeared."
When Thompson asked Apex Connection Corp. for their money back, Smith said she did the work they paid her to do, adding "Aubrey already obtained her visa and April is very close to receiving hers."
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The Smiths told CBC News they offered to meet and discuss a compromise with the Nuvals but they declined.
The Smiths also said neither of them is an immigration consultant, nor have they ever held themselves out to be.
When asked by CBC News why she was offering immigration services without a licence, Rose Smith said Apex retained a lawyer "throughout the endorsement process and to represent the Nuvals' work permit and permanent resident applications."
Thompson said they never heard from Apex's lawyer, never knew his name and the only person who ever gave them immigration advice was Rose Smith.
Aubrey Nuval filed a complaint with the Law Society of Ontario, which concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the allegation that Apex's lawyer engaged in professional misconduct.
"The issues that you have raised relate more closely to the service provided by the certified immigration consultant," the resolution counsel wrote to Aubrey in an email.
So the family reached out to the federal regulatory authority, the Canadian College of Immigration Consultants (CICC).
Ironically, the fact that Smith is not a licensed member means the CICC cannot discipline her even if it found wrongdoing.
The issue of unregulated consultants charging foreign workers for immigration services is not a new phenomenon in Canada, but one John Murray, president and CEO of the CICC, is trying to bring under control.
"Unlicensed practitioners have been extremely active in every aspect of Canadian immigration," said Murray.
The CICC was created by federal legislation in November 2021 to replace the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICRC). In addition to licensing and regulating consultants, it was given greater investigative powers.
The CICC has a "very limited power to bring injunctions against unlicensed practitioners," said Murray, adding that it has asked the federal government to amend the legislation to give it more power to curb this practice.
"We're still waiting for an answer."
Few remedies, experts say
Phil Mooney, a regulated Canadian immigration consultant who has served as an adviser to the Canada Border Services Agency and IRCC, and has examined the Nuvals' immigration case, says there are regulated professions in this country "in order to provide protection to the public."
Mooney said had Thompson signed service agreements with a licensed immigration consultant or a lawyer, their respective regulatory bodies have mechanisms in place that help protect clients.
"The contract has to be between ourselves and the end user that stipulates how much it costs and what services are being provided and how they can have access to the regulatory body in case there's a problem," said Mooney.
"For lawyers and consultants, if you take money from a client, that money should go into your trust account."
According to the Law Society of Ontario, licensed lawyers are required to maintain a separate client trust ledger account for each client to ensure that monies relating to one client are not misused to the benefit of another.
CBC News has obtained bank receipts that show at least some of the money Thompson paid went into Rose Smith's personal bank account.
CBC News has confirmed this is not the first time clients have accused Rose Smith of improperly handling their immigration files and their money.
Before starting Apex Connection Corp. in 2016, Smith had practised as an immigration lawyer under her previous married name, Rose-Laure Noel, at the Toronto firm Noel & Associates.
In 2014, the Law Society of Upper Canada — now the Law Society of Ontario — found Noel guilty of professional misconduct for failing to co-operate fully with its investigation into complaints from five clients.
The investigation involved the fees she charged and how she handled those fees. Noel was also found guilty of practising law while under suspension.
Noel's licence to practise law was revoked in both Ontario and Quebec, where she had practised under her maiden name, Rose Legagneur.
The first complaint came in 2008, from a client known in court files as E.T., involving work Noel had done for him on immigration and family law issues.
An investigation was opened that looked into, among other concerns, issues related to Noel's billing of services, including whether the retainers she received from E.T. were deposited to a trust account.
A law society hearing panel found Noel guilty of professional misconduct for failing to co-operate with its forensic auditor during its investigation.
The chair of the panel wrote in her summary that Noel "did not take seriously the need to be candid and helpful to the society."
Clients A.D., M.D. and D.S.
In 2011, the law society received letters from three more clients — A.D., M.D., and D.S. — all complaining about the services of Noel in their immigration cases.
The society repeatedly sent letters to Noel requesting responses to the allegations and the complete original files of the complainants, plus 16 additional clients.
Noel did not respond to most of the letters and did not send the requested information and documents to the society's investigation department.
Practising while under suspension
In 2012, while still under investigation, Noel's privileges were suspended with an undertaking not to practise law in Ontario, after she failed to pay annual dues.
A complaint was made to the society that while under that suspension, Noel intervened in a case involving a minor league football club east of Toronto and the suspension of one of its coaches — her fiancé at the time, Apex co-director Bert Smith.
Noel and Bert Smith — full name Englhieberth Sharon Smith — both testified before a society hearing committee that Noel had been acting purely on a voluntary basis. But evidence showed she wrote a letter to the Central Ontario Minor Football League saying she was the legal adviser for the club and that she had been retained by her client to forward a letter that was written on Noel & Associates Barristers & Solicitors letterhead.
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In a followup email sent by Noel to the league, she wrote: "We wish to put you on notice that the decision to suspend Mr. Smith was not properly served."
Noel eventually paid her dues, but in April 2013, the hearing panel ordered Noel's licence to practise be suspended for a further 12 months for professional misconduct for failing to deposit the trust funds of 16 clients prior to completion of her services.
Later that year, in revoking her licence, the panel concluded that there were still complaints from members of the public for which their investigation could not be completed because of Noel's non-co-operation with their requests to produce documents.
Civil court case
In 2019, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered defendants Rose Laure Noel and an associate to repay $40,000 to a Markham, Ont., woman for failing to provide immigration services.
In 2013, Keshuai Chai was looking for help to sponsor her brother and his wife to immigrate to Canada from China, when she was introduced to Noel.
After signing a service agreement that promised to secure provincial nominee applications and permanent residence applications, Keshuai Chai paid a deposit of $20,000.
A few months later, Chai was advised that Noel had secured a job offer for her brother and his wife, so her brother made the balance payment of another $20,000 as per the agreement.
Afterward, when Chai inquired about the status of their file, she was advised that such matters took months and years to process.
Four years on, when Chai asked for a status update, her call was not returned and shortly after, Noel blocked her phone number.
Noel refused to respond, communicate or send a copy of the Chais's file to the new lawyer they retained to help.
In a written response to CBC News, the Smiths said that these were dated and unrelated matters that "distract from the fact that there has been no finding of misconduct in relation to the Nuval sisters."
Thompson said she has learned a bitter lesson by not ensuring that Smith was a registered immigration consultant.
"I trusted my employer that much, without me looking or trying to search if she is licensed or not," said Thompson.
Thompson has advice for anyone trying to help a family member immigrate to Canada.
"Don't trust easily," she said. "Search first, search many many times. Make sure … to see if they are real … if it's a legal immigration consultant."
Ontario woman out $24K after deal with employment agency goes sour
- An earlier version of this story said April and Aubrey Nuval were both still in the United Arab Emirates. In fact, April is currently in the Philippines, while Aubrey continues to work in the U.A.E. Mar 14, 2023 12:59 PM ET
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andreas Wesley has been an investigative journalist and documentarian for more than 25 years.
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To be eligible for most Canadian economic immigration programs, you need to have some work experience. For many streams, that work experience needs to be ‘skilled’ – meaning classified as NOC Skill Level 0, A, or B. So how do you prove that you have the right kind of work experience?
First off, you need to find the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes associated with each of your past positions. Once you’ve found the right NOC codes, you need to prove that you chose the right code by providing a letter of reference for each position.
What is a Reference Letter?
To be clear, a letter of reference for Canadian immigration is different from the kind of reference letter you might use when you’re applying for a job. Instead of recommending you as an employer, your letter of reference needs to verify that you worked for an employer for the amount of time you claimed to, and that your position matches the NOC code you’ve chosen.
The letters of reference that you provide let the visa officer reviewing your application calculate how much work experience you have, and at what skill level. Since work experience is such an important factor for most economic immigration programs, the quality of your letter of reference can have a huge impact on your application. If the visa officer isn’t convinced that your letter of reference is genuine, or if it’s missing some information the officer needs to assess the validity of your work experience, they may reject or refuse your application.
If you’ve held multiple positions within the same company, try to get the company to issue separate letters for each position. If you cover multiple positions in one letter, make sure the person writing it breaks up each period of employment.
What Should a Reference Letter Include?
What’s included in your letters of reference, and even how they’re formatted, can make a big difference to the success of your file. The letters need to be formal, and the more information they include about the company issuing it, the better. Ideally, each letter of reference should:
- Be written on company letterhead;
- Be signed by the responsible officer/supervisor;
- Have the responsible officer/supervisor’s name and job title printed beneath the signature;
- Include the company’s contact information, and;
- If possible, have the business card of the person signing it attached.
If your letters of reference don’t have these things, it might be a red flag to the visa officer that the employer issuing the letter is not genuine. There are also specific things that an ideal letter of reference should include:
- Your official job title
- The dates of your employment
- Your salary per week
- Your average hours per week
- A detailed list of your employment duties
The most important part of your letter of reference is the detailed list of your employment duties. It has to include your daily tasks and responsibilities, and should make up most of the content of the letter.
Remember, the visa officer is not necessarily familiar with your industry, so make sure you avoid industry-specific abbreviations or terms. Your duties should be listed clearly and concisely. The list of employment duties is how the visa officer confirms that you’ve chosen an appropriate NOC code. Every NOC code has an associated lead statement and list of duties. It doesn’t matter if your official job title doesn’t match up with a job title associated with your NOC code, as long as your employment duties match the lead statement and duties.
It’s suspicious if your letter of reference matches the NOC description exactly. The visa officer might believe that your letter of reference was created for the purposes of matching the NOC, rather than being an actual record of your work experience. In that case, the letter may be considered “self-serving”, fraudulently obtained for immigration purposes, and not eligible for processing.
What if I Can’t Get a Reference Letter?
A letter of reference is by far the best way to prove your work experience. But if, for a legitimate reason, you’re not able to get a letter of reference, then you can try to convince the visa officer with supplementary documentation. Some examples include:
- Employment contracts
- Promotion letters
- Pictures of you at work
- Sworn declarations from colleagues
You should also include a signed letter of explanation describing why you’re not able to provide a letter of reference. At the end of the day, even if you have a perfect letter of reference, the final decision comes down to the visa officer. Whatever documentation you use, the goal is to put together a complete and thorough record of your employment to convince the visa officer that your work experience is genuine. In general, the more information you include, the more credible it will be to the visa officer, and the better your chances of being accepted.
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It ends when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) makes a final decision on the application. A complete application includes the following: the e-APR; the cost recovery fees; and all supporting documentation to validate information contained in the applicant's Express Entry profile and e-APR.
Your job offer must: be recent (usually less than 1 year old) You can't use the same job offer letter that you used to get your work permit. be in writing not be from an embassy, high commission or consulate in Canada set out details of the job they're offering you, such as your pay and deductions your job duties
A job offer letter is a document that a Canadian employer gives you (as a temporary worker). It explains the details of your job. Generally, a job offer letter (or "employment letter") is less detailed than a contract. The letter includes information about: your pay and deductions from your pay your job duties
Any employment reference letters you submit as part of your immigration application must include the following: Your name. Employer's name. The start and end dates of your employment. Your job title. The job duties you held at the company.
A job offer must be in writing, and must set out details of the job they are offering you, such as: your pay and deductions your job duties conditions of employment, like your hours of work. In most cases, a valid job offer must be supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
IRCC requires that the Employment Reference Letter has: (i) to be printed on the letterhead of the company, and including the company's contact information (e-mail, phone number, and address), (ii) to include the name, title and signature of your superior or the company's Human Resources (HR) officer, and
Consider one of the following ways to request an employment verification letter from your employer: 1. Ask your supervisor Ask your supervisor if they can write an employment verification for you. It can be beneficial to ask your supervisor because they likely know more about your employment than other professionals.
I am deputed to Canada again in 2021 last quarter and working to date. This entire experience is with the same organization. Under CEC, claiming points for 2 years of Canada experience both 2019-2020 and 2021-Till. For Letter of Employment, I have attached my current deputation documents (From 2021), T4, CRA notice, and paystubs. what exactly ...
The letter needs to be formal, and the more information it includes about the company issuing it, the better. Ideally, a letter of reference should: Be written on company letterhead. Be signed by the responsible officer/supervisor. Have the responsible officer/supervisor's name and job title printed beneath the signature.
A letter of employment, also known as an employment verification letter, is a formal document from your employer. It states that you currently work for the company and includes details such as your job title, how long you've worked there, whether you work part- or full-time, your wage or salary, and your employer's contact information.
Ans. Yes, a reference letter is necessary to get a work permit for Canadian permanent residence. If you have the right reference letter, your application for a work permit and permanent residence will be easy to process. An ideal work permit must be written on company letterhead; should be duly signed by an official; have the supervisor's ...
My current company gave me a very detailed reference letter but the previous one is unwilling to give me one, and their offer letter doesn't have the role description either. I have T4, all my paystubs and my Record of Employment from Service Canada. Considering that my express entry profile was based on this one year work experience, what do ...
The letter must specify all the positions held while employed at the company It must also include the following details: The job title The job duties and responsibilities The job status (if it is the current job) The dates worked for the company The number of work hours per week and, The annual salary plus benefits
What is a port of entry (POE) letter? It's a letter you may receive from IRCC if you've been approved for a. study permit. work permit or. super visa (if you're from a country that doesn't require a visitor visa) Officially, it's called the port of entry (POE) letter of introduction. But this letter is sometimes called the ...
A letter of employment, also known as an employment verification letter, is a document that confirms an individual's working status. Professionals may need to write these on behalf of their team members to provide financial information for third-party organizations, such as mortgage lenders and landlords.
If you want to work in Canada then you'll most likely need a Canadian job offer letter as it's one of the required documents for your work visa application. Canada readily welcomes foreign workers to help fill ongoing skills shortages and to transfer important skills to the Canadian workforce.
A Niagara Falls, Ont., mother who paid a Toronto-based employment agency $24,000 for immigration services to bring her two daughters, who are foreign nurses, to Canada discovered there was nowhere ...
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Ideally, each letter of reference should: Be written on company letterhead; Be signed by the responsible officer/supervisor; Have the responsible officer/supervisor's name and job title printed beneath the signature; Include the company's contact information, and; If possible, have the business card of the person signing it attached.
employment letter format canada immigration forum web may 13 2017 yes this letter would suffice i just got a letter in the same exact format just make sure that. 2 the below are included before you receive it your date of employment your hours per week your salary to
You can find more information about the Federal NOC 2021 on the Statistics Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada webpages. ... hours of self-employed work must be quantifiable to ensure that you accumulated at least 3,120 hours over two years of employment. Reference letters from yourself, your business partners and/or a ...