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Mastering the Canadian Immigration Marathon: Avoiding Express Entry Pitfalls

Embarking on the journey to Canadian immigration through the Express Entry system may sound like a sprint, but in reality, it's more of a marathon. A significant part of this marathon involves meticulously gathering the required documentation to ensure a smooth and successful application for permanent residency upon receiving your coveted Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Once you receive an ITA, you have a limited window (usually 60 days, extended to 90 days during the COVID-19 pandemic) to submit your application. Any missing or incorrect information can lead to your file being closed or even rejected. In the world of Express Entry, there's no second chance to reopen an application, so getting it right the first time is crucial.


Common Express Entry Errors and How to Avoid Them

1. Proof of Work Experience

Your work experience is a cornerstone of your application. You must prove that it's eligible for Express Entry, and failure to do so could result in your application's rejection.

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: Ensure you provide comprehensive evidence of your employment, including all required information specified by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Your Express Entry application should include an employment verification letter that adheres to IRCC's prescribed specifications, demonstrating that your employment meets the minimum requirements for duration, hours, and National Occupation Code (NOC) skill type. Additionally, consider including payslips, contracts, and, if applicable, T4s and notices of assessment for evidence of employment.

2. Sending Documents in a Non-Official Language

Canada's official languages are English and French, and all application documents must be submitted in one of these languages. Failing to provide translations can result in your application being deemed incomplete or denied.

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: If any of your documents are in a language other than English or French, ensure you provide a translation completed by an approved translator. Include the translator's affidavit, the original document, and the translation. Both the source document and the translation must be stamped by the translator or referenced in the affidavit.

3. Incomplete Travel History

Leaving out parts of your travel history, regardless of how short or seemingly insignificant, can have serious consequences for your application. Incorrect information can lead to inadmissibility for misrepresentation.

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: It's imperative to include your entire travel history in your Express Entry application, without exceptions. Your travel history should encompass all trips except for your country of residence or citizenship. Omitting any part of your travel history, even seemingly insignificant trips, risks your application being returned or you being found inadmissible for misrepresentation.

4. Incorrect National Occupation Code (NOC)

Selecting the correct NOC corresponding to your work experience is pivotal for your Express Entry application's success. Work experience must fall within skill type 0, A, or B and closely align with a specific NOC.

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: Take the time to research and find the appropriate primary NOC for your occupation by using the NOC database. Focus on the duties listed in the NOC rather than the job title, and pay attention to any related occupations (exclusions). Accurate selection is crucial, as choosing the wrong NOC or having ineligible work experience can lead to application rejection.

5. Calculating Full and Part-Time Hours

Miscalculating work experience hours is a common pitfall, particularly when attempting to condense work hours to meet Express Entry program requirements.

How to Avoid this Common Immigration Error: Understand that Express Entry program requirements validate both the duration and amount of work over a specific period. Only 30 hours per week for full-time work and 15 hours per week for part-time work will be counted toward your total hours. Most programs require one year of work experience or 1560 hours, with the Federal Skilled Worker stream necessitating continuous work. Calculate your hours based on these guidelines, ensuring both the duration and weekly hours align with program requirements.


In the Canadian immigration marathon, attention to detail and precision are your best allies. Avoiding these common Express Entry errors can significantly increase your chances of a successful application for permanent residency. Remember that immigration rules and requirements may evolve, so always refer to the official IRCC website for the latest information. Your journey to becoming a Canadian permanent resident is a marathon, and with careful planning and accuracy, you can cross the finish line successfully.

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, 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 contact form.

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.


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