The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category for Canada's foreign workers who wish to become permanent residents.
Temporary foreign workers are ideal candidates for Canadian immigration (permanent residence). Having obtained Canadian work experience, these individuals have already settled into Canadian society and established important networks in their communities and their careers.
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Canadian Experience Class applications are processed through the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada. Eligible candidates must make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, create an online Express Entry profile, and receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence before they may make an application.
Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements. They must:
- Have obtained at least one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience in Canada within 36 months of the application date; and
- Meet or surpass a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5 ("initial intermediate") or 7 ("adequate intermediate proficiency"), depending on the level of the job; and
- Plan to live and work outside of the province of Quebec (individuals with work experience in Quebec and who plan to reside in Quebec may apply to the Quebec Experience Class).
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, provided that they submit their application within three years of leaving their job in Canada.
The Canadian Experience Class requirements are based on a pass or fail model. If the minimum requirements are met, the applicant is eligible to enter the Express Entry pool.
Note: Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (for example, on a co-op work term) does not count under this program.
A Popular Option for International Students
For many international graduates, the Canadian Experience Class may offer the fastest and most simple path to achieving permanent residence.
After completing a program or course of study at a Canadian educational institution, many international graduates are able to remain in the country on post-graduate work permits. If, during this time, a graduate obtains at least one year of work in a skilled, professional or technical field, they may then become eligible to enter the Express Entry pool under the Canadian Experience Class.
Additional Options for Foreign Workers
If you are considering applying under the Canadian Experience Class, you may have other additional for Canadian immigration through the various Provincial Nominee Programs.