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Canada Experience Class CEC

There are about 100 possible ways to apply for permanent residency in Canada. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is one of three programs for Canadian skilled workers regulated by the Federal Express Entry system. The Canadian Experience Class is a popular route to permanent residence for migrants with previous Canadian work experience obtained through a temporary work permit. This is a very popular visa for those already living and working in Canada on a temporary basis, but you can also apply from outside of Canada as long as you meet the requirements.

Because temporary foreign employees are most often already integrated into Canadian culture and have support networks, they can easily move to become permanent residents and eventually citizens of Canada. Another great benefit of this program is that if you qualify, you can migrate to any province or territory in Canada, with the exception of Quebec. Canadian Experience Class applications also do not meet the requirement for settlement funds, limiting the level of required documentation.

To be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class program, you must complete many prerequisites. Though no educational qualification is required to apply for the CEC, your educational credentials can help to enhance your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, which are used to rank your profile among the pool of Express Entry candidates.

Applicants for the Canadian Experience Class program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must have at least 12 months of full time (or an equivalent time in part time position) of skilled work experience in Canada which was obtained in the last 3 years under an O, A, or B occupation and which must have been gained under a valid work permit/visa (unless exempt)
  • Must meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) requirements for the job in which the work experience was obtained, i.e., if your work experience falls under NOC Skill Level 0 or A, you must have a CLB/NCLC 7 in all four modules on an approved language exam. Otherwise, you must have a CLB/NCLC 5 in all four modules on an approved language test if your work experience is under NOC Skill Level B.
  • This program has no educational prerequisites. However, you can enhance your Express Entry score by completing a certificate, diploma, or degree program at a Canadian secondary or higher institution, completing a foreign credential or getting an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) showing your previous education meets Canadian standards.
  • Must have received Canadian work experience while physically in Canada on a valid work permit.
  • You must be legally permitted to enter Canada.
  • Must plan to live outside of Quebec

There are several approaches to enhancing your Express Entry CRS score. The majority of them begin with gaining work experience or becoming more certified in your field of study. This is possible while you are submitting an Express Entry application. Furthermore, it is advised that you build a better profile and acquire all the required supporting documents before applying in order to have the maximum chance of succeeding early in the process.

Work Experience

Applicants must have at least 12 months of full time work experience – meaning 30 hours per week or more for a total of 1560 hours – or the equivalent amount in part time work experience, which must have been gained in the last 3 years.

However, not all work experience acquired in Canada can be applied to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class.
  • Any work experience as a self-employed person will not be counted toward the one-year of Canadian work experience relevant under the Canadian Experience Class.
  • Any work experience completed while on a study permit in Canada will not be counted towards the one-year Canadian work experience criteria under the Canadian Experience Class.
The experience must have been in one of the following classifications on Canada's National Occupation Classification List:
  • Managerial (Skill Level 0) occupations are of Management Positions
  • Professional (Skill Type A) jobs that normally require a university degree.
  • Technical (Skill Type B) and skilled trades’ employment that often need a college degree, training, or apprenticeship.

To check if your experience is suitable, please see our National Occupation Classification List page. You do not require one year of continuous work experience in Canada if you apply under the Canadian Experience Class, i.e., your work experience can be split among several employers, if it all comes under NOC 0, A, or B, within one year of full-time paid work experience.

English and/or French Language Skills

Applicants must have reasonable proficiency in English, French, or both languages. To prove this, applicants must provide test results from the following language test providers on their Express Entry profile before they can apply for a visa:

  • The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), OR
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), OR
  • The Test d’evaluation de français (TEF)

The level of English required depends on your professional classification:

  • Skill Level 0 and Skill Type A, applicants must score CLB level 5 in all 4 language test components (speaking, listening, reading, and writing)
  • Skill Type B applicants must score at least CLB level 7 in all 4 language test components (speaking, listening, reading, and writing)

Apply for the Canadian Experience

The Federal Skilled Trades Program has no educational requirements. However, there are two ways to improve your Express Entry pool ranking.

  • Work for a year in Canada
  • Meet the minimum requirements
  • Create and submit your Express Entry Profile
  • Gather and compile all the required Documents
  • Receive a Confirmation of permanent residence (COPR)