Express Entry: Employer Reference Letters

If my employer will not give me a reference letter for Express Entry, what should I do?

Question [Holthe Tilleman LLP website]:

My employment reference letter states my hierarchical designation as General Manager but does not detail my duties or role. I do not wish to inform my employer about my intention to immigrate, and asking any such letter now may create difficulty for me.

How do I meet CIC’s requirement of proof of my duties as per my stated occupation to qualify for Express Entry through the Federal Skilled Worker Program? Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Listen to Mark Holthe’s Answer


[Advisory] The following information is for reference purposes only. Because the Express Entry system changes frequently, you must consult the specific instructions contained within your portal when seeking to upload an employer reference letter. There is currently no available template listed on the general CIC website that describe the specific information that must be included in employer reference letters for Express Entry. As such, I have provided below a sample of what you could use in the interim. However, the instructions below come from the old document checklist for the Canadian Experience Class and are only to be used as a general guideline.

Employer reference letters must be:

  • written on company letterhead,
  • signed by the responsible officer/supervisor,
  • have the printed name and title of the responsible officer/supervisor beneath the signature,
  • show the company’s full address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail and website addresses, • stamped with the company’s official seal (if applicable).

Reference letters must include all of the following information:

  • the specific period of your employment with the company,
  • the positions you have held during the period of employment and the time spent in each position,
  • your main responsibilities and duties in each position,
  • the corresponding National Occupational Classification (NOC) code (if known),
  • your total annual salary plus benefits,
  • the number of hours worked per week.

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