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Canadian Experience Class Route to Permanent Residence

There are various routes to getting Canadian Permanent Residence (PR) permit. One of these is the Canadian Experience Class program which grants skilled workers who are resident in Canada with temporary work permit easy access to Canadian Permanent Residence permit. The method an applicant chooses will depends on the person’s profile make up of age, language proficiency (English and or French), work experience and other qualifications. In this article you will learn all you need to know if you want to apply for PR in Canada using the Canada Experience Class (CEC) option.

What the Canada Experience Class Is

Canada Experience Class is one of the three express entry programs for immigration into Canada managed by the Federal Express Entry System. It is designed specifically for skilled workers who have either worked in Canada or are still working in Canada with temporary work permit who want to obtain Canada Permanent Residence(PR). CEC allows such residents to acquire permanent residence permit which allows them to work and live in Canada permanently and eventually become citizens of Canada.

Canada Experience Class is an easy way to acquire Canada PR permit because it is managed by express entry system and because it doesn’t take time to process. It can be acquired in less than four months once the minimum requirements are met by the applicant. The advantage of CEC is that you can use it to reside in any province of your choice and you also don’t need the proof of settlement of funds before you qualify. This makes it relatively easy for applicants.

Requirements for Canada Experience Class

To qualify for the Canada Experience Class, you must meet the following requirements:

1. Work experience:

The primary requirement for CEC is one year experience as a skilled worker in Canada in the last three years before applying. This experience can be in the form of:

  • Full time job of 30 hours per week;
  • Part time job for number of years/hours equivalent to a full time job;
  • It must be a legally obtained job in Canada;
  • It must be a job ranked as O, A or B jobs by Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC).

2. Academic requirements:

There are no academic requirements before you qualify for Canada Experience Class but your academic qualification can help you rank high in comprehensive ranking system which is used to rank students for Express Entry. Your academic qualifications can help you in two ways:

  • If you get a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian secondary school or tertiary institution, you can score high in the CRS.
  • If you have foreign education, then you need to complete a foreign credentials, the World Educational Services (WES) is a good recommendation. Get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) showing that your previous educational standard is equal to certificates, diploma and degrees acquired from a Canadian secondary school or tertiary institution.

3. Language skills/abilities

The next requirement for Canada Experience Class is language ability. You must have the necessary Canadian language skills before applying for CEC. You can get this by:

  • Taking approved language tests for reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • Meeting the minimum language level of:-
    • Canadian Language Benchmark 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs or;
    • Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for NOC B jobs.
  • The language course you can take include:
    • IETLS for English speaking candidates;
    • FEC for French speaking candidates.

Ultimately your level in any Canadian language also helps you to rank high in your points. If you can speak both English and French, it is also an added advantage to your CRS points.

4. Admissibility

You must be legally allowed into Canada. This means you must be legally resident in Canada and you must be cleared by the police. You must not have any criminal record.

Who is ineligible for CEC in Canada?

Once you have the above requirements 1-4, you are eligible for CEC unless:

  • you are a refugee claimant in Canada;
  • you are working without authorization;
  • your work experience was gained without temporary resident status in Canada;
  • you are self-employed as a student (full-time);
  • your language test has exceeded 2 years before the day you apply for PR permit.

How to apply for Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The following are the steps to take to apply for Canada Experience Class:

1. Obtain a Canadian work permit.

The first step to take towards obtaining Canada Experience Class permit is to get the temporary work permit which allows you to work in Canada on a temporary basis. You can get this in many ways including: open work permit or specific/closed work permit. For those eligible under International Experience Canada(IEC) program or the spouse or common law partner of international students or foreign workers, open work permit may be best, while closed/specific work permit suits those with Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and those under Intra-Company Transfers.

2. Get one year working experience in Canada

To qualify for Canada Experience Class, you must have at least worked in Canada for at least one year as a skilled worker. The jobs must meet the criteria of NOC as O, A or B jobs. This does not include jobs done as a full-time student. You can use experience gathered through temporary working visa like Working Holiday Visa.

3. Be Eligible

You are eligible for Canada Experience Class when you have met the requirements above. You can take tests for Canadian languages like IELTS for English or TEF for French. You are advised to register for ECA on time as it takes time to complete.

4. Create Your Online Express Entry Profile

Since Canada Experience Class is managed by Federal Express Entry (EE), you are required to create an online profile to qualify for CEC. Your profile will be scored over 1200 based on CRS criteria. The score is based on age, work experience, language ability, education, and other factors. The successful candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through draws held by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  Make sure to include every detail as it will be used in scoring you.

5. Get your documents ready

As stated above, the process is fast. So, you are to gather your documents and get them ready once you have your Invitation To Apply(ITA) for Canadian PR. You must submit your application within 60 days from the day you receive the invitation.

6. Get your certification

As mentioned above, the Canada Experience Class does not take long to process and it can be done under four months. So, once you are certified you will receive a confirmation message. This is a proof that you have been offered a Canadian Permanent Residence(PR) permit. With this you can live in any province of your choice apart from the Quebec province which has special skilled work preference.

Documents Required for CEC

Documents Needed for Canadian Experience Class

The following are necessary documents for Canada Experience Class (CEC):

  1. Criminal records check;
  2. Medical certificate;
  3. A valid international passport;
  4. Language test result;
  5. Provincial nomination (if you have a certificate from any province).

Valid Work Experience for CEC in Canada

The skilled work experience must be a paid work. The work does not include self employed work done as a full-time student. Volunteer work or internship work that is not a paid job does not count. The good side is that you can use either full-time job or part time job, but jobs done after 30 hours per week are not counted.

Calculating Work Experience for Canada Experience Class

For full-time job, you can work for either 30 hours per week in one job for 12 months which equals to 1,560 hours per year which is the minimum working hours.
Or you can take more than one job and add up the hours to reach the minimum 30 hours per week. For part-time jobs, you can take as many jobs as possible to reach the minimum 15 hours per week. Thus, you will work for 24 months to reach the minimum 1,560 hours per year.

Canadian Experience Class Express Entry Draws

This is a draw organized IRCC for the highest ranking candidates in CIC. The EE draws is for candidates who scored a certain points above Comprehensive Ranking System. The draw is organized every two weeks for a number of successful candidates. If you score above the minimum CRS, you may be called for the draw depending on the number of successful candidates. So, it is necessary you get all necessary points to rank high in the CRS to stand a high chance of qualifying for the draw. Invitation to Apply (ITA) pre-qualifies a candidate for Canada PR.

Benefits of using Canada Experience Class for PR

There are many benefits of applying for PR under CEC. Some of the benefits including:

  • The choice of residence outside Quebec.
  • It is easy for the candidates as it takes lesser amount of time to get compared to other forms of PR.
  • You also don’t have to show any proof of settlement of funds. For you to apply for PR under other programs under the Express Entry system, you must have proof of settlement of funds but it is not required under CEC. So, candidates applying for PR through this do not have to worry about that.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Experience Class

Q: What is the difference between Federal Skilled Worker and Canadian Experience Class?
Ans: Federal Skilled Worker Program is a program for foreign skilled workers with foreign working experience who want to immigrate into Canada permanently, while Canada Experience Class is a program for foreigners with at least one year working experience in Canada.
Q: How many points do I need for Canadian Experience Class?
Ans: An applicant under CEC will need at least 470 points to qualify for ITA. This allows the candidate to be eligible for permanent residence in Canada.
Q: Who can apply for Canadian Experience Class?
Ans: Only candidates who have one year working experience in Canada can apply for CEC. You have to complete 1560 working hours to be eligible.
Q: Does Canada Experience Class need proof of funds?
Ans: No, you do not need to provide proof of payment if you are invited under Canada Experience Class. Even though the system requires all candidates to show proof of payment but you can bring documents showing that you are invited under Canada Experience Class program.
Q: Who is eligible for Canada Experience Class?
Ans: This is for candidates who already have Canadian work experience and want to become permanent residents. You have to have at least one year working experience to be eligible.
Q: Where can I live with Canada Experience Class visa?
Ans: You can live anywhere except in the French speaking province of Quebec. If you wish to live in the province of Quebec, you have to apply for the special program and take your language test in French.