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Understanding Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

What is the Canadian Experience Class?

The Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC) is a Canadian immigration category that allows temporary foreign workers who have been working in Canada for at least one year to obtain permanent residence.

This program is intended to retain the skills offered by temporary foreign workers in Canada by allowing such workers to transition into permanent resident status, provided that they meet the criteria of the program.

CEC applications were made directly to the immigration authorities on a first-come, first-served basis before 2015, but now require first enrolling with the Express Entry immigration selection system. The Express Entry is an initiative of the Canadian immigration department to process and manage applications made through the federal economic immigration programs. Those who qualify under the CEC must enrol with the Express Entry which invites eligible candidates to make permanent residence applications based on its own set of criteria.

Other than the CEC, the Express Entry system is also used for two other federal economic immigration programs, namely the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC). Those who come into Canada through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) also pass through the Express Entry, but only if they are eligible under the CEC, FSTC, or FSWC categories.

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What are the Benefits of CEC – Canadian Experience Class?

  • Qualified foreign workers can transition to permanent residence in less than one year, negating the need to continuously renew their work permits.
  • A bridging work permit can be obtained if the workers’ work permit will expire within the CEC processing period,
  • The dependent spouse / partner and/or children of the principle applicant can also obtain permanent residence at the same time,
  • By obtaining permanent residency, you will be able to work in any employment position, study, and access social services in Canada, among other benefits. You be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada for at least 3 out of any 5-year period as a permanent resident.

However, you should note that even when eligible to apply under the CEC, it is not a guarantee that you will be invited to apply through the Express Entry. The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery can assist you in this regard. We can assess your qualifications and explain the steps you can take to improve your chances of getting an invitation to apply (ITA).

What are the Eligibility Criteria of the Canadian Experience Class?

  • You must have worked for at least 12 months full-time (or its equivalent in part-time) in an employment position in Canada within the last 3 years. Work experience obtained while a full-time student and self-employment do not count.
  • You must have had a valid work permit at this time and the occupation must have been classified as skill type 0, A, or B under the NOC (National Occupational Classification). NOC skill level 0 is for managerial jobs, skill type A is for professional jobs, and skill type B is for skilled trades and technical jobs.
  • You must plan to live outside Quebec. Quebec does not use the Express Entry, but selects its own skilled workers through the Quebec Experience Class.
  • You must take the IELTS or CELPIP test if you are an English speaker or TEF if you are a French speaker.
  • You must meet the required language levels for writing, reading, listening, and speaking. There are different Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) for the different NOC skill types.

The Process

At the Law Office of Matthew Jeffery, we will assist you through the entire process. The CEC application process basically involves:

  • Obtaining at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada
  • Completing language testing and educational credential equivalency assessments
  • Creating an Express Entry profile
  • Preparing and filing a permanent residence application under the CEC after receiving an invitation to apply

Our office provides a complete application processing service, including guiding you through all preliminary requirements to set up an Express Entry profile, the preparation and filing of the Express Entry profile, the monitoring of the profile, then once you are invited to apply for permanent residence, the preparation, filing and processing of the application under the Canadian Experience Class, including dealing with all government correspondence and further documentary requirements, until the application is completed and you obtain your permanent resident visa.

To see if you qualify under the CEC, and for further information, please fill out the Skilled Worker Free Assessment Form on our website. We will respond promptly to qualified individuals.