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Full-time vs Part-time Work Requirements

For certain immigration categories, you may have encountered the requirement for full-time work experience. However, did you know that some categories accept part-time work as well for the requirement? In this blog post, we will explain the difference between part-time and full-time work, and why it matters for your immigration application.

You may be wondering, why does it matter if I worked full-time or part-time? Well, before we get into that, let’s look at each term. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) has defined the term full-time work with a certain number of hours you are expected to meet to be considered full-time. If you do not meet the hours expected for full-time work hours, you are considered to have worked part-time. This distinction could affect your application; as if you are found to not meet the work experience requirements, your application could be subject to refusal, so it is super important to understand what the requirements are for the program that you are applying for. It is important to remember that you cannot assume you have worked full-time. You need to understand the definitions and figure out what your skilled work experience falls into.

Full-time vs. Part-Time

The difference between full-time and part-time work hours is the number of hours per week a person works. Full-time work hours for immigration purposes are defined as 30 hours or more per week, at a main or only job. In comparison, part-time work is less than 30 hours per week, at your main or only job. This distinction will be important for applying for Express Entry (EE) programs. Now that we know the difference between the two terms, why are they important to Canadian Immigration and your application? Their relevance lies in the work experience requirement for Express Entry.

How is Work Experience Calculated?

Let’s take a look at how the hours for work experience are calculated. We know that one must work more than 30 hours per week at your main or only job to have a full-time job. As for part-time work hours, you must work less than 30 hours per week at your main or only job. The work experience requirement is firm in what is considered acceptable to meet the conditions. There are different ways that work experience is counted towards Express Entry depending on the program. The EE programs include the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). For each of the programs, this is how work experience is calculated:

  • Full-time at one job: 30 hours/week for 12 months = one-year full-time work (1560 hours)
  • Equal amount part-time: 15 hours/week for 24 months = one year of full-time work (1560 hours)
  • Full-time at more than one job: 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = one year of full-time work (1560 hours)

Work Experience and Express Entry

As you can see within the work experience requirement, there are two elements to meet. The first element is that your work must be considered full-time or part-time, meaning it should fall within one of the two definitions we mentioned earlier. The second element is that you must meet the number of required hours (1560 hours) to be considered eligible. This means that it is not enough to just work full-time, you also have to have worked for 1560 hours. If you are found to not have met this requirement, your application is likely to be rejected.

In addition to this, there are specifications on the type of work you can perform full-time for certain programs. For example, the minimum work requirements for the FSWP are one year of continuous work experience within the last 10 years. However, this work experience must be in a skilled job, which is classified as a NOC 0, A, or B job. Your work experience must also be in the same type of job as the job you want to use for your immigration application. This requirement is similar for CEC where it requires one year of skilled work experience, but it must be in the last three years before you apply for Express Entry.

The FSTP requires at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade under NOC skill level B within the last five years before you apply. The work experience for the FSTP can be full-time or an equal amount of part-time work experience. However, for the FSTP, the work experience only counts after you are qualified to independently practice the trades occupation.

We have mentioned NOC in previous blogs, but just to refresh, it stands for the National Occupational Classification. This is the system in which Canadian jobs are categorized and how jobs are classified for immigration purposes. Each job is classified according to skill type and skill level. NOC levels, for immigration standards, include 0, A, B, C, and D. Please note that for work experience to be counted for your immigration application, you must have experience in a skilled job, which again, is classified as skill level 0, A, or B.

For all EE programs, in addition to the requirement that the work experience falls within a certain NOC skill, the applicant must have performed the job duties in the lead statement of the occupational description. This includes performing all of the essential duties in their job and completing most of the main duties. It may seem obvious, but please note that this work experience must be paid work (including paid wages or earned commission). Volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count towards the requirement.

Earlier we mentioned that work experience is not limited to full-time work hours; work experience can be calculated to include part-time work hours as well. As long as you were not a student during the time of this work, part-time work can count towards the requirement of skilled work experience. However, it is important to note that you must have gained the same amount of experience and skill as someone working in that position full-time for one year.

For part-time work, you can work more or less 15 hours/week as long as it does not exceed 30 hours per week. This part-time work must add up to 1560 hours to match the equivalent of full-time work. You can also work more than one part-time job to get the hours necessary to match this number of hours. However, if you work over 30 hours/week, the extra hours will not be counted. Although part-time work can count for work experience, keep in mind that for the CEC, self-employed work experience and work experience gained while being a full-time student does not count towards the minimum requirements.

In comparison, for the FSWP, student work experience may count towards the minimum requirements. In order to qualify, the work must be continuous, paid, and meet all the other requirements of the program, including the job being classified as skilled work.

What is needed to prove work experience?

Now that we know the difference between full-time and part-time work hours and how they can be counted, the next concern is how you can prove this work experience. When you complete your Express Entry application, a personalized document checklist will be generated and will include supporting documents that you are required to provide. However, for all applicants, it is mandatory to provide these documents for each work experience declared:

  • Reference letter
    • Should be an official document printed on company letterhead, which must include:
      • The applicant’s name
      • Company’s contact information
      • Name, title, and signature of immediate supervisor or personnel officer at the company
    • Should indicate all positions held at the company
  • If you are self-employed
    • The articles of incorporation
    • Evidence of self-employment income
    • Documentation from third-party individuals indicating service was provided

If your work experience was in Canada, you may include copies of the T4 tax information slips and a notice of assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency. Another important detail to keep in mind is that if your supporting documents are in a language other than English or French, you must provide Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) with an English or French translation. The translation must be stamped by a certified translator. A certified translator is someone who is in good standing with a provincial or territorial organization of translators and interpreters in Canada.

In addition to providing the IRCC with a translation of the document in either English or French, you must also provide a copy of the original source document. You may provide a scan of the original source document or a scan of a certified photocopy of the original document. A certified copy can be obtained by having an authorized person certify the copy of the original document.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has been helpful in explaining another part of Canadian immigration and one that is integral for all economic-based programs where work experience is the key component to the application. As you can see, it is important to understand the difference between full-time and part-time work hours. Although the Express Entry programs count work experience, in the same way, make sure that your work experience falls within the requirements for the program you are applying to, and that you have the amount of work experience needed.

If you are having problems with your work experience requirement, or want to learn more, please contact us at Second Passport!

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