Canadian Experience Class Program
The Canadian Experience class program is a pathway to residency for all those candidates who are already in Canada and have recent Canadian work experience to apply for Canadian Permanent residency. CEC is one of the fastest programs for international graduates and skilled workers seeking a way to settle in Canada. This program was launched in 2008 by IRCC to offer a dedicated residency pathway to temporary workers and graduates who have the potential to contribute to Canada’s economy by sharing their valuable skills.
What is the Canadian Experience Class Program?
CEC, or Canada Experience class program, is one among the three Federal programs under the express entry system that uses the CRS(comprehensive Ranking system) to select candidates who have worked in Canada for at least one year.
Eligibility criteria for CEC
Candidates willing to apply under the CEC program must meet the eligibility requirements set by IRCC. Check the list below if you want to ensure Canadian experience class eligibility :
- Applicants must take approved language tests and meet the minimum language criteria: CLB 7 for Teer 0 and Teer 1 jobs and CLB 5 for Teer 2 and Teer 3 jobs. Note that your test results must be valid when you apply for permanent residency. For the English test, you can appear for IELTS or CELPIP. For French, candidates can select between TEF and TCF. Candidates with proficiency in both languages can appear for both tests and get additional points for the secondary language.
- Applicants must have one year of professional work experience in the last three years before they apply for CEC. You must have completed at least 1560 hours of skilled work in Canada in the last one year through a full-time or an equivalent part-time job.
- Self-employment and work experience gained during the study permit will not be counted in applying for CEC.
- IRCC does not take into account voluntary or unpaid work.
- You must be living or plan to live outside the province of Quebec. (Quebec has its system for skilled worker nomination for Canada PR). Temporary foreign workers can also apply for the Canada Experience Class program after one year of professional work experience in Canada.
Benefits of Applying Under the Canada Experience Class Program
- Applicants do not need to show proof of funds to apply for CEC.
- CEC candidates are likely to get their residency faster than candidates who apply through other immigration pathways.
- CEC Candidates can claim more points for their Canadian Work experience in the CRS system of express entry and thus have a high chance of getting an invitation to apply.
- There is no education requirement for Canada experience class. However, your education can help you improve your ranking in the Comprehensive Ranking System of Express entry.
How to Apply for the Canada Experience Class
Let’s explain to you how to apply under the CEC program in a step-by-step process:
1). Obtain a work permit
Having a valid work permit is mandatory to apply for this program. Once you graduate from a Canadian university, apply for a work permit.
2). Work for at least one year in Canada
Once you get a work permit, make sure to gain at least one year of Canadian experience in NOC Teer 0,1,2 or 3 occupation level.
3). Check if You Meet the Eligibility Criteria
Take an English and French language test from an approved language test and obtain a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark(CLB) 7 for TEER 0 and 1 and CLB 5 for Teer 2 and 3 occupations.
4). Create an Express Entry Profile
Create your express entry profile online on the Canadian immigration website and fill out the application form with the correct information. You will have to fill in personal, educational, and employment details in this form. Make sure you provide precise and accurate details.
5). Try to Improve Your CRS Ranking
Once you have created your express entry profile, try to improve your CRS ranking by providing proof of your education level. CEC candidates can claim upto 250 points for their education and experience, which increases their CRS ranking significantly. Other ways to improve your CRS ranking include increasing your band score in the language proficiency test.
6). Wait till You Receive an Invitation to Apply(ITA)
Now comes the most awaiting moment that you were waiting, which says that you are “invited to apply.” You will have 60 days to gather and submit the request, mainly educational, personal, and employment documents, from the day you get an invitation. If your work permit is about to expire within the next four months, you can also apply for a Bridging open work permit, which allows you to continue work throughout the process. Note that your work permit application must be submitted only after completing your CEC permanent residency application.
7). Get Your Medical Test and Security Check Done and Complete the Application Process
All CEC candidates must submit their medical test reports, criminal background check, and other supporting documents and complete their CEC applications. One must also submit detailed work reference letters from previous employers within 60 days of receiving their invitation. Hence, gathering all your essential documents ahead of time is a good idea.
8). Receive Confirmation of Your Permanent Residency Status and Apply for a PR Card
An immigration officer will review your application and get back to you if he needs more information. With most CEC applications being processed in just six months, you can expect your Canadian residency to be approved in no time. When your permanent residency application is approved, you will get confirmation of Permanent residency (COPR). You can use this letter to apply for a PR card, and COPR is valid proof if an officer at a Canada airport asks for proof of your residency for entry.
Application Processing Time
Canada experience class is considered the fastest immigration pathway for permanent residency and takes around six months or less to process the application.