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Canadian Experience Class – Immigration Program

The Canadian Experience Class is a Canadian immigration program created for Canada’s temporary foreign workers who wish to gain Permanent Resident status.

Temporary Foreign Workers are ideal immigration candidates and likely to establish themselves in Canada. The Canadian government recognizes that immersion in Canadian society as a temporary foreign worker significantly increases the likelihood of economic integration as a permanent resident. Members of the Canadian Experience Class have typically established important networks in Canada as temporary foreign workers and international students.

The Canadian Experience Class is governed on a pass/fail basis, meaning that candidates will be accepted as long as they meet the minimum requirements (and are not found inadmissible for reasons such as criminal or medical inadmissibility). Candidates who are successful in meeting the selection criteria for this Canadian immigration program will become a permanent resident of Canada.

Applicants to the Canadian Experience Class must meet the following minimum requirements.  Applicants must have:

  • A minimum of 12 months of “skilled”, professional or technical, work experience in Canada within 36 months of the date of application; and
  • Achieved a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) threshold of 5 (“initial intermediate”) or 7 (“adequate intermediate proficiency”) depending on the job being used to qualify; and
  • Applicants must not intend to live in the province of Quebec (see the Quebec Experience Class);

Note: Applicant’s must provide proof of their employment experience, including pay stubs, tax documents and reference letters. Applicants must have gained their experience in Canada with the proper authorization from the federal government of Canada.

CEC Applicants may remain in Canada throughout the application process. Applicants can choose to apply for the Canadian Experience Class from inside or outside of Canada, as long as their Canadian work experience was gained within three years prior to application submission. If you are currently working in Canada and your existing temporary work permit is going to expire before your CEC application can be processed, the “bridging open work permit” may be a good option for you. A “bridging open work permit” will allow applicants to continue working while they await a final decision on their permanent resident application.

International Students should consider the Canadian Experience Class. The Canadian Experience Class is designed to facilitate the transition from international student to permanent resident of Canada.  

After graduating from a qualifying academic program or course of study at a designated Canadian learning institution, many international graduates become eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). A PGWP is an “open” work permit, which means it can be used to work for any Canadian employer. If a graduate obtains at least one year of work in a skilled occupation, they may become eligible to apply for permanent resident status under the Canadian Experience Class.


What is “skilled work experience”?

As previously mentioned, applicants must have work experience in a skilled occupation.  For the purposes of the Canadian Experience Class, Canada immigration regulation defines “skilled work experience” as experience in jobs that are either:

  1. managerial (NOC skill type 0);
  2. professional ( NOC skill type A); and
  3. technical job and skilled trades (NOC skill type B).

Full-time work is defined as at least 30 hours per week, however, applicants may apply if they have the equivalent amount in part-time work experience.