Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a permanent resident category for individuals who had already established themselves as skilled workers in Canada. CEC program opens the door to Canada for foreign students and foreign workers. For many international graduates, Canadian Experience Class may be fastest option for achieving Canadian permanent residence. One of the objectives of the CEC is to increase the supply of skilled workers in Canada. Please note that any work experience acquired in Canada without valid work authorization will not be considered. Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (such as on a co-op work term) doesn’t count under this program. CEC application will take some time to process. If you are currently working in Canada and you have applied for permanent residence under CEC class, you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit if your work permit will expire in four months or less. This means you can keep working while IRCC makes a decision on your permanent resident application. As of January 1, 2015 foreign nationals will be selected through Express Entry System and must receive invitation before they may apply. 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, if they submit their application within three years of leaving their job in Canada.

To qualify for the CEC through Express Entry, you must have:
  • at least 12 months of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last three years (before you apply). The work was: full-time OR an equal amount in part-time
  • gained your work experience in Canada with the proper authorization
  • take approved language test and meet minimum requirements
  • planned to live outside the province of Quebec

To be eligible for the CEC, you need to have 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 type A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill type B)

Your experience must be at least

  • 12 months of full-time work: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours), OR equal amount in part-time hours, such as: 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
  • 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
  • If you your experience doesn’t meet the duty and job description requirements set in the NOC, IRCC may not accept your application.

Please note Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) require that applicants submit government application processing fees for most of applications. Speak to licensed immigration consultant to find out, if you’re eligible to proceed with CEC application under Express Entry or a bridging open work permit by booking consultation.

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