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4 common mistakes made on immigration applications

The immigration process itself can be a stressful, emotional time. Not only are you worrying about filling out paperwork, preparing supporting documents and scheduling numerous interviews, you are still handling significant life events such as marriage, a new job and a physical relocation across international borders. With all these moving parts, it is not uncommon for individuals to make an error and create an unnecessary headache for themselves.

Identifying and avoiding common application mistakes can go a long way toward ensuring an efficient immigration process. Here are four common errors that could potentially derail your unique process:

  • Incomplete or inconsistent histories: Applicants are required to detail their personal history, travel history and educational history. This might even have to be completed in multiple spots at different times. One mistake people make is to provide an inconsistent history. If timelines are off by a few days or the names of two employers are transposed, it could cause unnecessary delays. It is wise for applicants to account for gaps or unexplained periods of time. Short vacations or periods of unemployment should be noted.
  • Language proficiency test scores: While numerous standardized tests can be accepted for proof of language ability, applicants must meet the minimum Canadian Level Benchmark in all language abilities being evaluated. It is crucial that applicants thoroughly understand the language requirements for their specific program and take steps to shore up any abilities that might need strengthening.
  • Incorrectly categorizing dependents: Individuals must list their dependents when filling out paperwork during the immigration process. For Canadian permanent residency applications, for example, only spouses, common-law partners and eligible biological or legally adopted children are considered eligible dependents. Mistakenly listing parents, siblings or other family members can lead to unnecessary delays in the immigration process.
  • Non-compliant employment letters: In most situations, applicants must prove their work experience through employment letters from various organizations. Whether from current or former employers, the letter must include specific information. The company must remember to print the document on official letterhead including a signature, address and contact information. Additionally, the company must include the position held, hours, salary, working conditions and a description of the job duties. If these requirements are not met, the business will likely be rejected as proof of the applicant’s work history.

An experienced legal professional can help you avoid mistakes or navigate the trouble that they cause if not corrected in advance. It is essential that your application, supporting documents and additional paperwork be carefully and thoroughly reviewed.