The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program is one of the three federal programs to immigrate to Canada under the online federal Express Entry platform. The CEC is an immigration program with the federal government of Canada to assist foreign nationals who have already worked in Canada to obtain permanent residence in Canada. The CEC can take less than fourth months to obtain permanent residence which makes it one of the fastest programs to get permanent residence in Canada.

This program is a branch of the federal government’s Express Entry system for evaluating permanent residency applications. The federal governments express entry program should not be confused with a provincial express entry of the same name.

The CEC program is very competitive. Even if you are fully qualified and satisfy all the requirements, your application for a permanent residence application might not be accepted since only the top candidates are selected from everyone competing.

Requirements for the “Canadian Experience Class” Program:

Work Experience Within the last three years, you must have a minimum of one year of full-time work experience in Canada. Alternatively, you can have part time experience that accumulates to one year of full time in terms of hours worked. However, this must all be based in Canada and must apply to professions in NOC Code Skill Level 0, A, B [insert link explaining these levels].

Internship programs may be applicable depending on if they qualify under the applicable NOC Code Skill Levels and the work experience did not count towards your education.

Work under this program is typically done with temporary resident status.

Language Proficiency The CEC requirement for language is at least a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7 for NOC Level 0 or A jobs. However, the CEC requirement for language is only a CLB score of 5 for NOC level B jobs.
Education There is no formal educational requirement. However, education can help you from a competitive perspective.
Finance/Income There is no minimum requirement of net worth and income. No financial documentation will be requested for an application under the CEC program.
Job Offer A job offer is not a requirement for this program. However, it can significantly increase your competitive advantage in the registration process. If a job offer is pursued, it may be required that your employer conduct a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for the offer to be considered valid.
Location of Residence The CEC program is not applicable for Quebec. As a result, the requirement is that your application must be for any province or territory in Canada outside of the province of Quebec.

Competitive Factors in the CEC Program:

Once you have determined that you have met all of the above requirements, you can apply to the CEC program. However, there are other factors that contribute to the competitive success of your application.

The competitive factors in evaluating a Canadian Experience Class program application include: age, education, work experience, if there is a job offer, language skills, and cultural adaptability. The competitive evaluation favours higher education, more work experience, economic or family ties to Canada, strong language skills, a valid job offer, and a suitable age for starting a life here.

Process for Applying to the CEC Program:

Step 1 Registration: The first step to applying to the CEC program is to register an Express Entry profile online with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It should always be remembered that submitting a profile does not guarantee a successful application. Once you have submitted your profile, you will be given a competitive score which will be evaluated against other people’s registrations. If your registration score is sufficiently competitive, you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Step 2 – Invitation: The second step after registering a profile is to apply to the CEC program with the IRCC. However, you can only apply if you have been given an “Invitation to Apply” by IRCC. An Invitation to Apply will only be sent to you if your profile is successfully competitive against other registrants. Once you have an Invitation to Apply, you have 60 days to prepare and submit the electronic application for permanent residence. The application will require additional documentation, often to evidence claims made in your profile registration. Submitting an application does not guarantee that you will successfully obtain permanent residence.

Step 3 – Permanent Residence: Once you have submitted your application, it will take approximately six months before a decision is made. If your application is approved, then you will be sent a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a permanent residence visa. Once you arrive in Canada, you will have an interview with an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) who will confirm everything is compliant with the documentation and travel requirements.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information and facts referred to herein may be amended, removed or otherwise changed by the applicable government authority. As such, the information contained herein is provided with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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