Canada experience class applicants are all subject to the minimum requirement to prove one year of full-time paid experience in Canada in an occupation at an appropriate skill level. The CEC program can be seen as relatively straightforward for certain cases. However, there are other cases which may fit a more complicated profile in the eyes of the immigration officer who ultimately looks at a CEC application.

The type of CEC application that would be subject to more scrutiny would be one in which the applicant worked for a company in Canada that had perhaps less than 10 employees. Another point of concern would be if the applicant worked for a company with less than 10 employees and had the same ethnic background as the employer.

Additional scrutiny by the immigration department may result if the above profile matches a Canadian employer of a CEC candidate. The type of additional scrutiny that would take place may include the immigration officer contacting the employer directly without the knowledge of the applicant. The purpose of this contact by one of Canada’s immigration officers would be to confirm that the employer did indeed sign a letter indicating the job duties performed by the applicant.

It is in this type of case where having an immigration lawyer represent the applicant can allay such concerns. First, an experienced immigration lawyer would ensure that the job reference letter conforms to the expectations of the immigration Department, and remains agreeable to the employer. There is some confusion when an applicant for the CEC finds out the immigration department’s specifications for a work reference letter. There is also some confusion about what the employer should write in terms of duties performed; the National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) is meant as a guide but if the employer writes a word-for-word copy of the NOC duties within the work reference letter, then this may cause suspicion about whether the person fulfilled the job duties.

Some guidance about these issues are referenced in a case our office filed at the Federal Court, called Nauman.

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