The work experience portion of your Express Entry profile plays a key role when it comes time to calculating your CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score. Of course, you need to meet the minimum work requirements, but you also need to be able to document all of your work history correctly.
When you begin setting up your Express Entry profile, it is easy to get confused about the details. I get lots of questions about what is required of candidates in the work experience section of the Express Entry profile, see some of the most common questions and answers below!
One of the more common questions I hear is about how to distinguish between part-time and full-time work in your Express Entry profile. It is essential to know how IRCC classifies your work history so you can calculate your work requirements correctly. What do they consider to be full-time? What is classified as part-time? You need to be sure you are using their definitions of these terms when you set up the work experience in your profile.
IRCC does not base its definitions of these terms off of your employer’s classification. They do not really care about how your boss or company classifies your employment. What they care about is how many hours you actually work on a weekly basis. That is the baseline they are using to make their classifications.
A full-time employee is someone who works 30 hours or more per week. Since many employers don’t classify someone as a full-time worker until they are working 35 or 40 hours per week, this is a big point of confusion for applicants. It’s also an incredibly important distinction because as a full-time employee, the work requirements for your application are calculated by the number of months you work. To meet those requirements, you must work full-time (30 hours or more per week) for 12 months.
A part-time employee is anyone who works under 30 hours per week, every week. When you are a part-time employee, you become eligible after you have accumulated 1,560 hours because that is equivalent to 1 year of full-time work experience (30 hours times 52 weeks).
Entering your work experience as a full-time employee is as simple as entering the number of months you worked full-time. The math gets a bit trickier when you are a part-time employee, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are just a few things you need to keep in mind.
When calculating your part-time work experience, count the weeks that you worked part-time and add up all of the hours. For example, if you worked 20 hours per week for 40 weeks, you’ll have worked 800 hours. Since you haven’t hit the required 1,560 hours, you know you aren’t eligible for Express Entry just yet.
Either way, always remember that IRCC will not count any hours you work above 30 hours per week, so 30 is the maximum you can count for any week.
The end goal for both full-time and part-time work is to have 1,560 hours of work to meet the requirement. You can get to this goal by working one full-time job over the course of the year, working one part-time job for more than a year, or by working multiple part-time jobs. Just make sure your work experience is paid, skilled and that you’re calculating the hours correctly!
At this point, you might be wondering what you should do if you have a gap in your work experience? Any gap that isn’t due to just a casual holiday does have to be included. Don’t be tempted to cover it up or hide it. Instead, you are going to make two different entries in your Express Entry profile to cover the gap in work experience.
For example, if you worked part-time from January until April, experienced a layoff, and then started a full-time position in August (a break from April to August), you would make one entry for the first work experience from January to April and then a second entry for the job that you started in August. The gap in employment is still visible, but you don’t have to say or do anything else to address it. This can also be done for temporary layoffs or long holidays too.
Gaps in employment happen, often through no fault of your own. However, misrepresenting how long you worked in any position may actually have a negative effect, which is why it’s better to be transparent and accurate with your information. Remember that when you submit your profile, you will be including reference letters for each position. Officials will be reviewing these reference letters quite carefully, and any inconsistencies in your work history are sure to be uncovered.
The only time that gaps in employment are likely to become a problem is when you are trying to prove eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker program, where the 12 months of work experience must be continuous, so no gaps are allowed.
The work history section of your application is extremely important, so taking a little extra time to make sure this section of your profile is correctly filled out can increase your chances of becoming a permanent resident as soon as possible. To learn more about how to get started with Express Entry, make sure to sign up for our free immigration platform here!