what is the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)? Canada chooses skilled workers based on their skills and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy.
However, CEC candidates do not need to display settlement funds. Canada requires proof that PR candidates can financially support themselves in Canada.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expect to soon start issuing Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for all Express Entry programs, including CEC. IRCC suspended all-program draws in 2021 due to applications backlog. It focused in the last several months on Provincial Nominee Programs candidates.
These are applicants who demonstrated intent to settle in a province or territory which then nominated them to apply for Canadian PR in the Express Entry pool. PNP candidates usually have a job offer and receive an automatic 600 points on top of their Express Entry profile scores.
CEC is most likely to be on top when IRCC resumes all-program Express Entry draws later in 2022.
Eligibility to apply for the Canadian Experience Class
To be eligible to apply, a candidate must meet the following program requirements.
A must Have
- meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability
- have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last 3 years before you apply. You can meet this in a few different ways:
full-time at 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full-time (1,560 hours)
equal amount in part-time work: for example 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1-year full time (1,560 hours)
- You can work as many part-time jobs as you need to meet this requirement.
- full-time work at more than 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than 1 job = 1-year full time (1,560 hours)
- have gained your work experience by working in Canada while under a temporary residence
How IRCC calculates work experience for CEC
Your skilled work experience must be paid work including paid wages or earned commission. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) do not count volunteer work or unpaid internships.
Part-time work ok as long as it adds up to 1,560 hours. You can work more than 1 part-time job to get the hours.
IRCC does not count any hours you work above 30 hours/week.
Ineligibility for the Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry)
- You are not eligible for the CEC if
- you’re a refugee claimant in Canada
- you are working without authorization
- your work experience was gained without temporary resident status in Canada
According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means:
- managerial jobs (skill level 0)
- professional jobs (skill type A)
- technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B)
Your work experience can be in 1 or more NOC 0, A, or B jobs.
You must show that you performed the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC. This includes all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.
Self-employment and student work experience
Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student.
Education requirements for CEC
There is no education requirement for the CEC.
- If you want to improve your rank in the Express Entry pool for immigration purposes, there are 2 ways you can do this.
- If you went to school in Canada, you can get points for a certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian:
- secondary institution (high school) or
- post-secondary institution or
- If you have foreign education, you can get points for:
- a completed foreign credential, and
- an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report for immigration purposes from a designated organization showing that your education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian:
- secondary institution (high school) or
- post-secondary institution
- Language requirements for CEC
- meet the minimum language level of:
- Canadian Language Benchmark 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs or
- Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for NOC B jobs
- take approved language tests for:
- describe the test results in your Express Entry profile
Your language tests are valid for 2 years after the date of the test result and must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.
Admissibility to Canada
You must be admissible to Canada.
Where you can live in Canada
Generally, you must plan to live outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information.
When you fill out your profile, we’ll ask you where you plan to live in Canada. You don’t have to settle in that province or territory.
Very importantly, if you’re a Provincial Nominee, you must settle in the province or territory that nominated you.
Become Eligible for the CEC as an International Student
International students who go on to graduate from an eligible educational program in Canada are the main group of individuals who gain permanent residence through the CEC.
1: Complete your educational program at a Canadian designated learning institution.
2: Go to IRCC and apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
3: With your PGWP, obtain at least 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B job.
4: Take an English or French language test designated by IRCC and obtain the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) requirement (a CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A work experience and CLB 5 for NOC B work experience).
5: Enter the Express Entry pool. If you secure an invitation to apply, IRCC will aim to process your permanent residence application within six months.
Become Eligible for the CEC as a Temporary Foreign Worker
Temporary foreign workers can become eligible for the Canadian Experience Class program after obtaining one year of professional work experience in Canada.
For instance, the most common ways
1: Get a Canadian work permit.
2: Obtain at least 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B job.
3: Take an English or French language test designated by IRCC and obtain the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) requirement (a CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A work experience and CLB 5 for NOC B work experience).
4: Enter the Express Entry pool. If you secure an invitation to apply, IRCC will aim to process your permanent residence application within six months.
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