How To Apply for Canadian Experience Class

If you have worked or studied in Canada, you may qualify for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream. Watch this video for more information. Then, fill out our immigration assessment form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.

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The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration program aimed to help temporary foreign workers and foreign students to apply their work experience and education towards their applications for residency. The Canadian Experience Class supports the transition from a temporary status to permanent taking into account the time that the international student or skilled worker spent in Canada while contributing to Canadian society.

Express Entry

The Canadian Experience Class program is one out of three economic programs within the online Express Entry system. The Express Entry pool manages permanent residence applications for immigrants who can fill jobs where there is a lack of available skilled Canadian workers.

Express Entry federal economic immigration programs:


Both foreign graduates as well as temporary foreign workers need to have work experience in Canada to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class draw. All of the requirements for the Canadian Experience Class are based on a pass or fail model. If the minimum requirements are met, the applicant is eligible to apply to this program.

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Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Requirements

When  order to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class you must:

  • meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability within writing, reading, listening, and speaking
  • have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last 3 years before you apply. The work experience must be full-time or an equal amount in part-time
  • have gained your work experience by working in Canada legally

How Canadian Work Experience is Calculated

Your skilled work experience must be paid work including paid wages or earned commission. Volunteer work or unpaid internships are not counted.

For part-time work, you can work more or less than 15 hours/week as long as it adds up to 1,560 hours. You can work more than 1 part-time job to get the hours you need to apply!

According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification, 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. Find your NOC Code!

Education Requirements for CEC Immigration

There is no education requirement for the Canadian Experience Class. Although if you want to increase your CRS score you can do so with your Education experience with these two options:

  • If you went to school in Canada, you can get points for a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian University or post-secondary institution. 
  • If you have foreign education, you can get points for a completed foreign credential or an EAC report.  

Language Requirement for CEC

You must:

  • 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:
    • writing
    • reading
    • listening
    • speaking
  • 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.

How to Apply for the Canadian Experience Class

Receiving a Canadian work permit is the first and most important step to applying for there CEC program. You need at least a year of work experience (or more, if part-time) in order to be eligible under the Canadian Experience Class.

This is when you will complete an approved Canadian language test followed by creating your Express Entry profile on the IRCC website.

You will be asked to provide some personal information on the following information:

  • age
  • education
  • language proficiency
  • income
  • Canadian work experience
  • spouse (if applicable)

After you’ve completed your Express Entry profile, its time to wait! Receiving an ITA can be a relieving step in the process for many. An Invitation to Apply (ITA) is an invitation that allows some people who submitted a profile to Express Entry to apply for permanent residence. If you accept the invitation, you application will be processed in 6 months or less.

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All applicants are screened for potential medical and criminal inadmissibility. At this stage, you will need to show that you have completed a medical exam with an IRCC-recognized physician.

In addition, you have to provide a police background check (also known as a clearance certificate) from each country you have lived in for at least six months since the age of 18. The e-application, which must be submitted within 60 days of receiving an ITA, must also include detailed work reference letters from previous employers.

Given the tight time frame, it is a good idea to gather the background checks and work reference letters before you receive an ITA.

A Canadian immigration officer will review the submitted e-application and let you know if anything else is required. Most applications submitted under the Canadian Experience Class are processed within less than six months. 

Once you have your confirmation of status, you may then apply for your PR card. If you travel outside Canada, you may use this card as proof of your status in Canada.

Why You Should Apply for the CEC in 2021

Canada is inviting thousands of foreign workers in Canada to apply for the Express Entry Canadian Experience Class. If you have a year of experience of work in Canada you could qualify for this program which would let you become a Permanent Resident of Canada extremely fast. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the Express Entry pool has frequently targeted CEC applicants so now is the time to apply!

Not only does the Canadian experience gain your extra points on your CRS Score, but you also don’t need to show proof of sufficient funds, and you can expect faster processing!

How We Can Help You With Your CEC Application

Due to the tremendous opportunity such a visa allows its applicant, the rate of application is extremely high and not all that apply may be accepted. While the CEC Application procedure has its advantages, there are many difficult aspects to the application that must be addressed in order to have a successful case. The application forms, procedures, and documentation must be handled perfectly from start to finish.

Each year, Canada offers countless immigrants the opportunity of realizing their dreams through the trades and education they have acquired during their time in Canada. This can be you, but only if you take the proper steps to achieve your goals. 

We have helped thousands of skilled workers and students to successfully obtain permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class program. Our experienced immigration lawyers will be able to assess your case and recommend a course of action to best serve your needs.

Call Us Today

The first step towards moving to Canada is to get an assessment of your specific situation. Call us today at 1.866.449.5904 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to move to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.