The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration program that allows individuals who have worked in Canada for at least one year to immigrate permanently.
The government of Canada recognizes the deep pool of talented workers already working in Canada, and wants them to become permanent residents. These are individuals and families who have set down roots and made plans for the future in Canada.
Prior to 2015, Canadian Experience Class applications were managed on a first-come, first-served basis. Since 2015, however, Canadian Experience Class applications are processed under the Express Entry immigration selection system.
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.
For Canadian Experience Class candidates there are three distinct advantages, and one possible disadvantage, under Express Entry.
- Canadian Experience Class candidates have built up at least one year of Canadian work experience. This is a highly-valued factor under the CRS, and, as such, gives these applicants something of a “head start” against other candidates in the pool.
- Because the required documentation is minimal, Canadian Experience Class applications are processed quickly, often within three to four months.
- Applicants under the Canadian Experience Class are not required to show proof of settlement funds, as FSWC and FSTC candidates are.
Even if you are eligible to apply under the Canadian Experience Class, there is no guarantee that you will be invited to do so. There are steps you may take to improve your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
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