After receiving any PNP nomination or  ITA (Invitation to Apply ) through Express Entry the most important document to prove work experience is a Job reference letter as part of application for PR ( Permanent Residence).


It is an official document printed on company letterhead. As part of your application, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) will prompt you to submit supporting documentation for all work experience you claimed during the last 10 years. This will be requested for both the principal applicant and your accompanying spouse, if applicable. Here the most important thing is your “Job Responsibilities” should match your NOC.

Not to forget, reference letter really make or break your case. As it might be time consuming process, so it makes sense to start working on this from a very early stage. You definitely do not want to miss the 90 days deadline post ITA.

To be clear, a letter of reference for Canada immigration process is different from the kind of reference letter you may use when you are 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.

Which points should be mentioned?

If the visa officer isn’t convinced that your letter of reference is genuine, or if it’s missing with some information, the officer needs to assess the validity of your work experience, they may reject your application or may ask for further proof. Though there is no particular order and best format, you can create your own letter you can use the format that your HR provides to you but ensure that the following information is present in the letter.

  1. Your reference letter should be on your employer’s letterhead that should contain your employer’s name, address and contact information.
  2. It should state the date of issuance, try to use letter which were issued as close as possible to the date of submission. DON’T go for a letter which is more than a month old.
  3. Name of applicant should be stated clearly.
  4. It should indicate all the designations held while employed at the company.
  5. It should clearly states that you are a permanent /contractual , full / part time employee.
  6. Number of hours should be mentioned as Express Entry looks for 37-40 hours of work per week.
  7. Annual salary plus benefits should be stated.
  8. Your date of joining and ending (if previous job) the organization should be clearly stated.
  9. It should mention all your individual job roles and responsibilities, with exact dates as in if you had promotions or changes in roles whatever all that should be clearly mentioned in your letter.
  10. These job roles should clearly reflect the NOC requirements stated on the IRCC website (
  11. Finally, it should clearly mention the name, designation, contact information and signature of immediate supervisor or HR personnel. It’s always wise to mention his/her personal email and phone number along with the official one, it will help to reach him /her if s/he is not working anymore with the organization during your application verification process.

These are the 11 points that the case officer would be looking for in your reference letter. 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.

What is about “Self-employment”?

If you are self-employed, you will need to submit documents showing your ownership of your business, as well as evidence of income, and documentation from third-parties indicating the service provided along with payment details and last but not the least is your Tax papers.

What is about “In-Canadian work experience”?

If your work experience is in Canada, you can also include copies of your T4 tax slips, which will be accepted as supplementary proof of your employment.

Special Tips

You need to submit work reference letters from all the employers that you have mentioned on your application. Job reference letter is must for current or last job you have under the NOC you claimed. For previous job, it’s nice to have but not mandatory if your duties are clearly mentioned in the experience or release letter. All the information provided in your letter must be True and Accurate. Immigration officers are professional enough to spot your fake documents.

To understand further about the Job reference letter, this video will be helpful.

If you are about to submit your ITA or PNP application, the below video will be surely helpful.

Good Luck to all !!!

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Lead writer: Shawmi Hossain 
Co-writer: Md Siddiqur Rahman

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