Canadian Experience Class
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) allows skilled workers who have at least 1 year of Canadian work experience an opportunity to become permanent residents.The CEC program is one of three immigration programs available under the Express Entry system.
- 1 year of full-time (or equivalent in part-time) skilled work experience inside Canada within the last 3 years before you apply
- Work experience must be obtained while legally working inside Canada
- Work experience must be obtained under NOC codes 0, A or B (see below)
- Language skill requirements (see below)
Am I a Skilled Worker?
It is important to first determine if your employment qualifies for the CEC program. There are a number of restrictions on what can be counted as work experience for the CEC program. The definition of skilled work comes from the National Occupational Classification (NOC) job categories. These NOC categories list the job duties which qualify under the CEC program.
Applicants must be employed under the following NOC categories:
- Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0)
- Professional jobs (NOC skill level A)
- Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill level B)
There are a variety of NOC codes associated with each NOC category. The goal is to find the NOC code which most resembles your job duties, not your job title. Many applicants fail to recognize this difference and later realize that the job duties associated with their NOC code fail to match.
Why is this important?
Once you receive your Invitation to Apply, the next step is to provide documentation supporting the information within your Express Entry profile. This includes the specific NOC code you have chosen. If you cannot provide evidence, such as employment reference letters, specifically outlining your job duties in relation to your chosen NOC code, you may be found ineligible to apply under the CEC program. As a result, your application will be refused.
Regardless of your existing ability in Canada’s official languages (French or English), you must write an approved language test which measures your reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills.
You must meet a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score for all language categories in order to be eligible for the CEC program. The minimum scores depend on the NOC you have chosen:
- NOC 0 or A CLB 7
- NOC B CLB 5
Note: your language test scores are valid for 2 years.
Obtain Canadian Work Experience and Create your Path to Permanent Residency under the CEC Program
Whether you are planning to enter Canada as a student or worker, the decisions you make at the outset are crucial in determining your options for permanent residency.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Work Permit
If you have an employer who can support you in obtaining an LMIA-based work permit under a CEC qualified occupation, you will be awarded 50 points to your express profile.
International Experience Class (ex. Working Holiday Visa) Intra-Company Transferee
Unlike the Federal Skilled Trades stream, there is no recognition of self-employment as experience for CEC. If you worked for yourself in Canada, without an employer, you are not eligible to apply.
The stream measures Canadian work experience in the last three years. This means it is acceptable to apply from outside, after returning to your country, as long as you do not stay too long and cause your experience to “expire” . If this happens, you will not be eligible for this stream unless you were to return and spend at least one more full year working in Canada
Unlike other Express Entry programs, CEC does not have an income requirement. You must only demonstrate at least one year of steady income in Canada for your employment (ex. pay stubs, T4, Notice of Assessment)
Have a Question?
How We Can Help
At VisaPath, our representatives are highly experienced with the Express Entry system and the Canadian Experience Class program. We help guide our clients through out each step of the process, ensuring they meet all requirements from the start to ensure a smooth process towards permanent residency.
To get started, call
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– Claire G.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply under the Canadian Experience Class route if I have studied or worked illegally?
Even if you have worked or studied for many years you are not eligible to declare those hours and experience. If you decide to submit an application declaring you have worked illegally than most likely your application will get refused and receive more severe consequences.