CEC Canadian Experience Class  


Skilled immigrants are chosen as permanent residents based on their ability to settle in Canada and take part in our economy. We assess them on their:

  • English and/or French language skills,
  • Education,
  • Work experience, and
  • Other factors that have been shown to help newcomers prosper in Canada.

As of January 2015, there is a new system to manage how people with skilled work experience apply to immigrate to Canada. It is called Express Entry.

Under Express Entry, people will first fill out an online profile that includes their language test scores, their Educational Credential Assessment (if they need one) and outlines their work experience. There is no cost to complete and submit an Express Entry profile.

Based on their profiles, candidates will be ranked against others in a pool. On a regular basis, CIC will draw top candidates from the pool and send them an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Only those who get an Invitation to Apply from CIC will be able to apply.

Under this new system, most complete applications will be processed in six months or less.


You must meet these minimum requirements to apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class. You must: 

  • Have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before you apply,
  • Have gained your experience in Canada with the proper authorization,
  • Meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

 Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (for example, on a co-op work term) does not count under this program.

Note: The province of Quebec does not use Express Entry. They select their own skilled workers. See Quebec-selected skilled workers to find out more.


 According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means: 

  • Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or
  • Skill Level A (professional occupations) or
  • Skill Level B (technical occupations and skilled trades) 

Your experience must be at least 12 months of full-time (30 hours of paid work per week or more) or an equal amount in part-time hours.

You must show that you did the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

If you do not show that your experience meets the description in the NOC, CIC will not accept your application.

If your existing work permit is about to expire you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit. Bridging open work permits allow qualified applicants to keep working while they await a final decision on their permanent residence application.



Education

There is no education requirement for Canadian Experience Class. But, if you want to earn points for your education under Express Entry, you either need:

  • A Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, or
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report produced by an agency approved by CIC to show your education is equal to Canadian education standards.


Language ability

You must:

  • Meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs OR Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for NOC B jobs, and
  • Take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.

You must show that you meet the requirements in English or French by including the test results when you complete your Express Entry profile. Your test results must not be more than two years old on the day you apply for permanent residence or you will need to retake the tests.


Principal applicant

If you are married or live with a common-law foreign national partner in Canada, and that person also meets the above conditions, you can decide which one of you will apply under Express Entry as the principal (main) applicant.

A common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner refers to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Check to see which one of you is most likely to be found eligible. That person should apply as the principal applicant.