top of page


Canadian Immigration, despite the term "Express Entry," is a marathon and a big part of this is jumping through many hoops to obtain sufficient documentation so that when you receive your Invitation to Apply (ITA) you submit a successful application for permanent residency.

In our blog, we've compiled a must-read list of the "5 Serious Canadian Immigration Mistakes" you should avoid at all costs.

EXPRESS ENTRY ERRORS 1,2,3,4,5 1. Proof of Work Experience

This is an absolutely critical part of your application! You must prove that your work experience is eligible for Express Entry and if you are unable to do this your application will be closed or rejected.

Work experience is demonstrated by including a specific set of documents that are prepared in a specific way. The Canadian government determines what documents qualify for this purpose, and applications are assessed for completeness upfront. If you do not provide the correct type of proof, and your application is found to be inconsistent, or incomplete it will be rejected. If this occurs there will be no way to have the application reopened. All fees associated with the application will be refunded to you.

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: Make sure that you include as much evidence of your employment as you can and that it includes all of the information that is required by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada so that you make it easy for the officer to assess your application. Express Entry applications must include an employment verification letter, written to the specifications that have been prescribed by IRCC. It must demonstrate that your employment meets the minimum requirements for length of time, the number of hours, and national occupation code skill type. Leaving out a vital piece of information could cause an application to be rejected so be sure the provide complete employment verification letters.

You should also provide additional documentation such as payslips and contracts. If you are in Canada, T4s and notices of assessment are also very good evidence of your employment.

2. Sending Documents in a Language Other Than French or English

The two official languages in Canada are English and French. As such, all documents must be submitted in English or French. If you have sent a document without a translation your application will be returned as incomplete or denied.

Canada's Official Languages are English and French

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: If your document is in another language then you must provide a translation of the document that has been completed by an approved translator. You should include the translator’s affidavit, the original document, and the translation. Your document may be translated into English or French.

If a supporting document is in a language other than English or French, the applicant must provide IRCC with

  • an English or French translation stamped by a certified translator or accompanied by an affidavit from the person who completed the translation, if it is not possible to have the translation done by a certified translator

  • The translation package should include a copy of the original source document that was used by the translator and the translation of all contents of the original document in either English or French. Both the source document and the translation must either be stamped by the translator or referred to in the affidavit

  • A scan of the original document, or a scan of a certified photocopy of the original document

3. Incomplete Travel History

Often people ask if they can leave out parts of their travel history, because it was insignificant in length, or because it was a series of 20 countries in 20 days and they don't want to list them all, or it was a series of countries in a geographical area and they would rather list the area than the specifics surrounding their travels in an effort save time. However, saving time may come at the cost of permanent residency in Canada.

Providing incorrect information may lead to your being found inadmissible for misrepresentation.

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: The answer is really simple - include your entire travel history, no matter how long or short the trip! You are required to provide a complete travel history for your Express Entry application. The travel history does not include your country of residence or citizenship but does include all other travel. If you do not include travel that may seem insignificant to you, you risk having your application returned to you or being found inadmissible for misrepresentation. You must include your entire travel history, big or small!

4. Incorrect National Occupation Code

Choosing the correct National Occupation Code (NOC), which corresponds with your work experience, is another critical part of your Express Entry application. The Express Entry program requires that work experience is in a TEER 0, 1,2, or 3, and to be related to a specific NOC you must have performed the actions prescribed in the lead statement, all of the main duties, and a substantial number of all of the duties that are listed.

Canada's National Occupation Code classification is a standardized system that is used by the Canadian government to assess different occupations by assigning a five-digit classification code and a job description to all occupations. The codes are broken down further into TEER, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Assessing officers will use this information when they are reviewing your application, comparing it to the work experience documentation you provided, so that they may ensure that you meet the requirements for the stream of immigration to which you were invited to apply for permanent residency. Choosing the wrong national occupation code or having work experience that is ineligible will result in your application being rejected.

The assessing officer will be looking to ensure that your employment occurred in the correct skill type and for the duration required by the stream of immigration through which you received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. The duties of the position must match those of your stated primary National Occupation Code.

Choosing the wrong NOC could result in your application being denied!

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: Your choice of primary National Occupation Code is very important to your application for permanent residence in Canada. The best place to start is by doing a search of the NOC database to find out how individual occupations are classified or to learn about the main duties, educational requirements, and other related information.

You should search by name and review the duties of the position. It is important that you review the NOC codes very carefully and consider any exclusions (related jobs) to the NOC code you are looking at. Focus on the duties listed in the NOC, rather than the title of the position, and find the one that most closely relates to what you do in your job. Finding the correct NOC can be challenging and if you need help from a professional, don't hesitate to get it because choosing the wrong code could result in your application being denied.

5. Calculating Full and Part-Time Hours

Work experience hours are often miscalculated. This happens when you consider only the yearly total (1560 hours) and do not consider how this is calculated.

Many people count the actual number of hours worked per week to make up the total of 1560 per year, assuming that they are able to complete their work experience requirement in less time than is prescribed for each Express Entry program. You may assume that if you typically work a 40-hour work week then you will reach the total number of hours after 39 weeks, or if you work really hard and do 60 hours a week then you will reach the total hours after just 26 weeks. Don't do this! You'll exhaust yourself and you still won't be qualified for Express Entry. On the upside, you will hopefully have lots of money!

Any hours above 30h hours per week are not counted so don’t try to get your experience in half the time by working 60 hours a week.

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: The program requirement for work experience seeks to validate both the period of time and amount of work in the period and to ensure that both of these requirements are satisfied only 30 hours of work per week will be calculated towards your total full-time hours and only 15 hours of work a week will be counted towards your total part-time hours.

Most streams require one year of work experience or 1560 hours. The Federal Skilled Worker stream requires that one year of work is continuous. In contrast, the Canadian Experience Class allows you to obtain one year of work experience non-continuously.

If you work 30 hours per week it will take 52 weeks to obtain 1560 hours, ensuring that both the hours of work and the requirement for 1 year of work experience is satisfied.

When you are calculating your hours be sure to count only 30 hours per week for a full-time position and only 15 hours per week for a part-time position. This may be made up of more than one job in many cases, but no more than 30 hours will be counted towards your work experience.

If you need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact Immigration Station Canada, where we offer professional immigration advice to help you through every step of the process.

Immigration Station Canada will work with you and guide you through the best process to achieve your goals, wherever they lead!


About Us

Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.

How Can We Help?

We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications. Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.

108 views0 comments


bottom of page