In 2008, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) established the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program to provide a specialized skilled worker pathway to temporary foreign employees and international graduates seeking permanent residency.
Since then, the CEC has developed into one of Canada’s major immigration channels for talented workers, and it is recognized as a resounding success by governments across the country, communities, companies, and immigration applicants themselves.
What are the benefits of the CEC?
The CEC is part of a coordinated federal and provincial government initiative to encourage more temporary foreign workers and international students to establish their futures in Canada. According to IRCC, Statistics Canada, and academic studies, skilled worker applicants who have previously resided in Canada have a significant advantage in integrating into the Canadian employment market. The combination of strong human capital characteristics (e.g., being young and middle-aged, having high levels of education, job experience, and education) and the ability to create social and professional networks in Canada allows CEC immigrants to be highly successful in labor market.
In addition to this advantage, applicants with Canadian experience can earn extra Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points through Express Entry. This boosts their chances of being granted permanent residency.
Third, CEC applicants who are successful through Express Entry normally receive their permanent residence status within six months.
A fourth significant advantage of the CEC is that, unlike the other two Express Entry programs, applicants who succeed under the CEC do not need to demonstrate to IRCC that they have sufficient settlement money to support themselves financially if granted permanent residence.
You must satisfy the following conditions to be eligible for the CEC:
In Canada, one year of work experience (or 12 months) is defined as at least 1,560 hours of skilled employment. The 1,560 hours can be earned by working full-time or part-time.
Applicants are permitted to remain in Canada during the application process. However, the Canadian Experience Class is also accessible to anyone who are no longer in Canada, as long as they apply within three years after leaving their work in Canada.
The Canadian Experience Class prerequisites are graded on a pass/fail basis. The candidate is qualified to enter the Express Entry pool if the minimal conditions are satisfied.
Note: Self-employment and job experience earned while enrolled full-time (for example, during a co-op work period) do not credit toward the CEC.
How the immigration process works with the CEC:
IRCC utilizes Express Entry to administer skilled worker applications for three programs, including the CEC. If you have previously lived in Canada and earned qualified work experience, you may be a great candidate for the CEC. You may also be qualified for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and, if you have a trades background, the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
The first step is to check that you are eligible for the CEC or one of the other Express Entry programs. If you meet the requirements, you must create an Express Entry profile on the IRCC website. IRCC organizes Express Entry lotteries every two weeks, offering permanent residency invites to candidates with the highest CRS scores. CRS scores are based on a candidate’s human capital attributes such as age, education, language skills, job experience, and Canadian experience, among other things. If you are issued an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residency, you must submit a completed application to IRCC before the deadline. The IRCC’s goal is to process applications in six months or less.
The majority of persons who receive permanent residence through the CEC are international students who graduate from a qualifying educational programme in Canada.
The following is the most typical approach for a foreign student to get a Canadian permanent residency through the CEC:
Step 1: Complete your educational programme at an approved learning institution in Canada.
Step 2: Apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit at IRCC (PGWP).
Step 3: Obtain at least 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B position with your PGWP.
Step 4: Take an IRCC-approved English or French language exam 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).
Step 5: Join the Express Entry queue. If you are granted an invitation to apply, IRCC will handle your permanent residency application within six months.
As a Temporary Foreign Worker, you can apply for the CEC.
After one year of professional work experience in Canada, temporary foreign workers can apply for the Canadian Experience Class programme.
The following is the most popular method for obtaining Canadian permanent residency as a temporary foreign worker through the CEC:
Step 1: Obtain a work permit in Canada.
Step 2: Gain at least 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B position.
Step 3: Take an IRCC-approved English or French language exam and obtain the minimal Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) requirement (a CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A work experience and CLB 5 for NOC B work experience).
Step 4: Join the Express Entry queue. If you are granted an invitation to apply, IRCC will handle your permanent residency application within six months.
Yes, as long as you intend to live somewhere other than Quebec.
No, you only need to get work experience that meets the CEC’s eligibility requirements.
Yes, if you match the CEC’s qualifying requirements.
No, unlike the FSWP and FSTP, you do not need to show proof of finances if you acquire an immigration invitation through the CEC.
The language requirements for the CEC vary according on the sort of job you have. You must fulfil the following standards across all four abilities assessed by your language exam (reading, writing, listening, and speaking):
If you work in a NOC skill level 0 or A employment, you must have a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of at least 7 across all four abilities.
If you work in a NOC skill level B job, you must have a CLB of at least 5 across all four talents.
You must have completed at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount of part-time) work experience in skilled employment in Canada during the three years before your application. A year’s worth of work experience is defined as at least 1,560 hours of skilled labor.
The Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) defines the jobs as follows:
No, that does not qualify. Work experience gained while enrolled full-time (e.g., internships or co-ops) does not count.
There are no educational prerequisites for the CEC. However, if you study in an authorized Canadian program, you can earn additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points through Express Entry. You can also earn CRS points if you studied in an appropriate program abroad that is supported by an Educational Credential Assessment ECA).
If you are a former foreign student with a PGWP, you can change jobs and still be eligible for the CEC if you gain appropriate work experience. Because the PGWP is a ‘open’ work permit, you can work for any employer.