How to prove your work experience

When you reach the application stage of the process (which occurs after receiving an ITA), you will have to prove that you have claimed the correct NOC code for your occupation by providing supporting documentation such as employment reference letters.


The employment reference letter required is different from the one you would use to search for a job. The point of this reference letter is to verify that you have obtained the work experience you are claiming by detailing:

  • your job title, duties and responsibilities 
  • your salary
  • the number of hours you work per week on average
  • the dates of your employment

The visa officer reviewing your application will try to match the NOC you claimed in your profile to your work experience by examining your supporting documentation.

In the event you cannot obtain a reference letter to support your work experience, you may be able to provide the following as a last resort:

  • a letter of explanation outlining your efforts to obtain a reference letter in vain 
  • any communications between you and your employer that show they cannot provide you with a reference letter, for whatever reason
  • an affidavit of self-declaration of employment
  • salary slips or pay stubs (the first and last three, to prove the duration and continuity of your employment)
  • income tax documents (which show the name of your employer and your salary) 

In the end, being unable to provide a letter of reference will be a point of weakness in your application, so you should do everything you can to obtain one. 

The next module will cover what you need to do to evaluate and prove your language ability in English and/or French.