The Canadian Experience Class is for skilled workers who have Canadian work experience and want to become permanent residents. Temporary foreign workers and/or foreign students who graduated in Canada can often make the successful transition to permanent residence; their familiarity with Canadian society and the ability to contribute to the Canadian economy makes this easier. There are advantages for people within this class as they have built up at least one year of Canadian work experience which gives them additional points in the CRS ranking. Also, they are not required to show proof of funds, and their application may be faster than others in the pool because it is faster to evaluate and confirm their work experience or school qualification having obtained them in Canada.

Canadian Express Class applications are managed under the Express Entry System. Applicants expressing an interest to immigrate to Canada must complete an online Express Entry profile. Potential applicants who are deemed to have met the eligibility criteria are then entered into a pool with other eligible candidates. If selected by IRCC from the express entry pool, the candidate will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and will have to submit a full application within 90 days.

To meet the minimum requirements to apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class, applicants must:

  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec;
  • have one year of full time (or part-time equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before you apply, and the work experience must be full-time, or an equal amount in part-time
  • have gained work experience by working in Canada while under temporary resident status with authorization to work
  • meet the required language levels needed for each language ability (writing, reading, listening & speaking)
  • must not be inadmissible in Canada

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

  • managerial jobs (skill level 0)
  • professional jobs (skill type A)
  • technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B)

Your work experience can be in 1 or more NOC 0, A or B jobs. You must show that you performed the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC. This includes all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed. Your application will be assessed on two requirements if you apply as a temporary foreign worker:

  • your work experience; and
  • your ability in English or French.

One of the benefits of the Canadian Experience Class Immigration Program is that applicants may remain in Canada throughout the application process. In cases where an applicant is working in Canada on a work permit that will expire before their CEC application is processed, they may be eligible for a bridging open work permit which allows such applicants to remain in Canada and work during the processing of their application.

Applicants who qualify under this program but are no longer in Canada are also allowed to submit their application so long as it is within three years of leaving their job in Canada. Self-employment, work experience gained as a full- time student (co-op work)or work performed in an unpaid internship capacity does not count towards the minimum requirements for this program. Work experience must be gained after graduation and on a valid work permit.