Express Entry requires very specific documents, on very specific formats for its Permanent Residency applications.
So, if you are missing one or more items, or if you don't have them exactly on the requested format, you might be able to explain it.
That's when a Letter of Explanation comes in handy.
Letters of Explanation are an officially accepted way for you to explain IRCC why you are missing a specific requirement.
But be aware that it should only be used for exceptions, and as a last resource.
IRCC website says it itself:
"There is no guarantee we will accept a letter of explanation in place of any required document"
Also, use common sense when assessing if it will be accepted or not. For an example, a letter explaining why your proof of work experience doesn't include your annual salary (as requested by IRCC ) is totally valid. But a letter explaining why you don't have a valid passport won't make your case.
Here are some valid situations where a letter of explanation would be valid:
Letter of explanations will not solve all your problems or fill all the gaps on your application. Here are some situations where it will not be able to help you:
The most important thing to consider is that letters of explanation are meant to explain why you don't have a specific document on a specific format. But you still need to have the requirement itself.
For an example, Express Entry requires that you have enough funds to support you and your family while you settle in Canada. And it asks for letters from your bank on specific format to prove it (proof of funds). If the letter your bank provided doesn't check all the checkboxes on the requirements, you can write a letter of explanation about it, and that is totally valid. But you still need to have the money! If you don't have the funds, there is no letter of explanation that will solve your problem. Makes sense?
Your application will be analyzed by human beings (agents), not by computers.
So write your letters of explanation in a way that will convince the reader (agent) that you have what it takes, but you are just missing this or that paper to show it.
Also provide extra evidence, if it helps to build your case. For an example, if your letter for proof of funds doesn't have your average account balance for the last 6 months (as required), complement it with bank statements. If your proof of work experience doesn't have your salary (as required), complement it with pay stubs.
Agents are busy people, that analyze dozens of immigration cases on a daily basis. So be polite and objective on your letters. Don't write anything, unless you really need to.
The letter of explanation should be on the same file (pdf / docx / etc.) as the document it refers too.
Add the letter to the first page of that file, so that it will be the first thing the agent will read when he/she opens that file.
For an example, if you are writing a letter of explanation about your police certificate, go ahead and add it as the first page of your police certificate file. And the certificate itself will be on the second page.
Then upload the document normally, on the documents page on your "my application" page, on the "supporting documents" section.
Here is sample of a valid letter of explanation.
This sample explains why the proof of funds is missing two of the required items, and provides extra documentation to fill the gaps.
You can use it as a base for your own letter of explanations.
I hope this article helps you on your immigration journey!
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