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Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category for Canada’s temporary foreign workers who wish to become permanent residents.

Canadian Experience Class applications are now being processed through the express entry selection system for immigration to Canada. Eligible candidates must make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, create an online Express Entry profile, and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence before they may make an application.

CEC Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements. They must have:

Skilled Work Experience

Applicant must have at least one year full time Canadian skilled work experience within three years of applying. According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means:

  • Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0)
  • Professional jobs (NOC skill level A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill level B)

Applicant’s experience must be at least 12 months of full-time (30 hours of paid work per week or more) or an equal amount in part-time hours.

Language Ability

The applicant must:

  • meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs OR Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for NOC B jobs, and
  • take a language test approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that shows they meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing

The applicant must show that they meet the requirements in English or French by including the test results when they complete the Express Entry profile. The test results must not be more than two years old on the day they apply for permanent residence or they will need to retake the test.

Applicants can remain in Canada throughout the application process. However, the Canadian Experience Class is also open to individuals who are no longer in Canada, provided that they submit their application within two years of leaving their job in Canada.

The Canadian Experience Class requirements are no longer based on a pass or fail model. If the minimum requirements are met, the applicant is eligible to enter the Express Entry pool but the selection will still depend on the points they gain in the Comprehensive Ranking System.

A Popular Option for International Students

For many international graduates, the Canadian Experience Class offers the fastest and most simple path to achieving permanent residence.

After completing a program or course of study at a Canadian educational institution, many international graduates are able to remain in the country on post-graduate work permits. If, during this time, a graduate obtains at least one year of work experience in a skilled professional or technical field, they may then become eligible to enter the Express Entry pool under the Canadian Experience Class.

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