It is not uncommon for people who have previously overstayed in Canada to wish to return. Many people worry that it will not be possible to do so. However, regardless of whether one previously overstayed but left Canada before Canadian immigration authorities discovered the overstay, or even if one was ordered to leave Canada, it is certainly possible and common that a Canadian visa office abroad will approve a visa to allow that person to return to Canada, despite the previous non-compliance.
The following is a reference letter that an applicant used in the case AlOmari v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration). It is as a good example of the level of detail that should go into such a letter, and can serve as a useful reference for others.
In November 2015, I made the mistake of not renewing my study permit because I was not able to complete my flight training during the unstable weather conditions of the fall and winter seasons. This bad decision and judgment call is what led me to overstaying.
I could not leave until July 11, 2016 because I was required to remain with my wife and sisters who were actively studying. As outlined in the translated Saudi government scholarship rules, female students are required to travel and live with a male relative, such as a father, husband or brother. Leaving my wife and sisters would have led to them losing their scholarships, and ability to study.
I should have sought the assistance of a lawyer to discuss how I could extend my stay in Vancouver, even though I could not complete my flight training during the fall and winter seasons. My current lawyer informed me that I could have extended my stay in Canada as a visitor until I was ready to get back to my studies.Read more ›
Last updated on June 22nd, 2021
Most Canadian economic immigration programs require that applicants have qualifying work experience. In order to demonstrate that past and current positions qualify, applicants are required to provide references letters from their employers. Such reference letters must state the position title, duration, duties and wage.
Prospective immigrants who are obtaining reference letters should understand how officers determine whether specific employment experience meets program eligibility requirements, why reference letters are needed and how immigration officers will assess them.
Relying on the NOC system
In determining whether work experience is qualifying, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) relies on the Government of Canada’s national occupational classification (or NOC) system.
In the federal skilled worker class, for example, applicants need to have within the 10 years before they apply at least one year of full-time work experience, or the equivalent of part-time work, in their primary occupation that is listed on the NOC website as being skilled.
In the Canadian experience class, meanwhile, applicants need to show that they have acquired in Canada, within the three years before the date on which they apply for permanent residence, at least one year of full-time work experience in one or more occupations that are listed on the NOC website as being skilled.
This reliance on the NOC website applies to almost all economic immigration programs, including determining whether work experience qualifies for Express Entry comprehensive ranking system points, provincial nomination programs and caregiver programs.
Determining your NOC
The NOC system comprises more than 500 unit groups organized according to skill levels and skill types. Each occupational group on the NOC website typically contains a lead statement, example titles, main duties and general employment requirements.Read more ›