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Nail the Challenge of Getting Reference Letter from Current Employer!!


Reference Letter from employer plays a very important role as the document to prove your work experience for migration purposes. Many people have raised the issue on this forum that they are unable to get reference letter(s) from their employer for migration. I would like to highlight some points in this regard which worked for me and might as well work for you guys. After all you can give it a try, and if it works for you, good for you. If you have explored better ways of addressing this issue, please mention it here, so that others can also learn and approach it in a manner which will help them

Requesting a reference letter is an art, it all depends on your rapport with your manager/supervisor. If I were you, I would follow the steps given below, after all you are not moving to a competitor, you are only trying for a better life, which is not wrong at all.

1. Win Confidence – If you can win your manager’s confidence, then you can let him know this over a causal chat. The best way to approach is in the form of asking your manager’s advise on you moving to another country. Even if you do not like the current job, never ever do the mistake of complaining and citing it as the reason for migration. Instead, try to relate it with your personal aspirations, ambitions and quality of life and what you want to do with your life. If you ask for advise, it is an indirect way of flattering the manager and it will also make him feel that you consider him as a mentor, but do not overdo it :). This approach will definitely work, because we humans by our very nature love to advise others :). Listen to his views on the same, do not get demotivated in case he does not see immigration as a good way to better one’s life. In fact, it is his view, and you have anyway made up your mind to migrate. After all, you used this approach only to put this situation to him. If you are successful in this approach, then you have laid the foundation

2. Request Reference – Next ask him whether he would be willing to refer you in case you plan to migrate in future, never give him an indication that it is immediate, otherwise he will feel that you have made up your mind to move and the thoughts of replacing you would be running in his mind. You can give an indication about it and also assure your manager that you will be around for at least a year, so that you safeguard your job even if Canada does not go through as expected. If you put it this way, he will be more than happy and willing to refer you. But sometimes, even if he is willing to refer you, he may not have the right to issue a letter, so that is where the next step comes into picture.

3. Leverage Authority/Position – If you are successful in doing the above, you have crossed 50% of the hurdle. The next important step is to convince HR to issue a letter in the required format. This is a very crucial step, so leverage your manager’s authority/position and request your manager to speak to HR on your behalf and convince them about your requirement and also let him assure HR that the whole process would take at least a year (keeping buffer in mind :) ) and you would stick around for the said time being. Yes, this is the difficult part of assuring them, but you need to make a commitment (at least verbally) to stick around – if you need the letter badly, this is the least that you can do. This works in most of the cases, as they know that you may leave sometime in future and if they have to find a replacement, they know when to start the process. If this step does not work, then, from step 2 move to the step below.

4. Letter from Manager – If HR refuses to give you a letter, then ask your manager to issue you a letter on white paper (it should cover all the requisite points), along with a copy of his visiting card and company ID card and get the letter notarized. Submit it along with a Letter of Explanation (LOE).

LOE should cover the following points.
– State the reason why you cannot get a reference letter from employer, if you have any evidence to support you statement, please mention it and also attach it along with the letter.
– In absence of the letter, mention what proactive steps you have taken to prove your work experience.
– Mention the list of documents which you are submitting, in the absence of the reference letter.
– Request the Case Officer to consider your case in light of your situation and also in terms of the proactive steps taken by you to submit best alternative documentary evidence.

All the best! :)

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