Experience Class Immigration Program

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category for foreign workers seeking permanent residence status

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category is suited to foreign workers seeking permanent residence status. Ideal candidates for this category include Temporary foreign workers with Canadian work experience as well as individuals who have settled into the fabric of Canadian society, who have established important networks in their communities and established their careers.

Canadian Experience Class applications are processed through the Express Entry selection system. Qualifying candidates create an online Express Entry profile, submit an expression of interest, they then receive an Invitation to Apply before they may make an application for permanent resident status.

CEC requirements

Candidates must meet the following minimum requirements.

  • Must possess at least one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience in Canada within 36 months of the application date; and
  • Meet or surpass a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5 (“initial intermediate”) or 7 (“adequate intermediate proficiency”), depending on the level of the job; and
  • Plan to live and work outside of the province of Quebec (individuals with work experience in Quebec and who plan to reside in Quebec can apply to the Quebec Experience Class).

Applicants are allowed to reside in Canada during the application process, notwithstanding the Canadian Experience Class remains open to individuals who are no longer in Canada, conditional upon submission of their application within three years of leaving their job/work in Canada.

The Canadian Experience Class selection process is based on a simple pass or fail result. Applicants become eligible to enter the Express Entry pool conditional upon the minimum requirements being met.

Note: Excluded from this program is work experience including Self-employment or a coop student related work gained while a full-time student.

A Popular Option for International Students

The Canadian Experience Class may be the fastest and easiest route for many international graduate seeking to acquire permanent residence status.

International graduates can remain in the country on a post-graduate work permit after completing a program, study or course at a recognized and accredited Canadian educational institution.

If however during this time, the graduate obtains work in a skilled, professional or technical field for a minimum of one year, they may qualify to enter the Express Entry program under the Canadian Experience Class.


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Jamael Bell

The information provided on this site does not constitute legal advice. For detailed assessment of your situation contact an immigration professional.