What is Canadian Experience Class? – Everything you need to know!

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) applications

The Canadian Experience Class is an immigration program for individuals who have worked in Canada and want to become permanent residents. CEC supports the transition from temporary to permanent status depending on the time individuals have spent contributing to Canadian society.

There are plenty of highly skilled individuals working in Canada. The Canadian government encourages expert employees and wants them to become permanent residents. Such individuals and families have established their roots in Canada and have made plans for the future there. Canadian Experience Class is a part of Canada’s Express Entry immigration system.

What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry program allows Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to invite eligible individuals to apply for permanent residence. This program support three economic programs, one of which is the Canadian Experience Class. 

Programs under Canadian Express Class are:

  • FSWP – Federal Skilled Program
  • FSTP – Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • CEC – The Canadian Experience Class

Applicants meeting the minimum requirements can apply for this program. The candidates must have to create an online Express Entry profile and show a formal ‘Expression of Interest’ to settle in Canada. The profiles of eligible candidates are accepted to the Canadian Express Entry pool. Based upon the candidates’ provided information, they are given a score and ranked for selection. The candidates that have lived and worked in Canada before might have more chances of CEC candidacy. The individuals eligible for the CEC program or any of the Express Entry programs will be scored under the Comprehensive Ranking System (according to CRS Calculator).

For awarding CRS points, factors such as education, experience, age, and official languages skills are considered.

After submission of the application, an IRCC immigration officer will evaluate it for approval. Once the application is approved, the individual can officially immigrate to Canada after completing the landing process.

CEC Canada Advantages

Under Express Entry, the Canadian Experience Class candidates can have multiple distinct advantages.


  • The candidates must have a minimum of one year of Canadian work experience. It is a highly regarded factor under the CRS and provides candidates with Canadian experience access to more CRS points.
  • There is not much documentation required. The processing of Canadian Experience Class application is often takes three to four months.
  • Unlike FSWC and FSTC candidates, applicants under the Canadian Experience Class do not have to provide proof of settlement funds.

Furthermore, it offers benefits to skilled workers, they can:

  • Live, work, and stay anywhere in Canada.
  • Sponsor their family and their spouse can work anywhere in Canada.
  • Apply for Citizenship and get a Canadian Passport after spending three years in Canada.
  • Enjoy the same benefits as that of Canadian Permanent Residents, including medical benefits
  • Educate their children at Canadian universities.

Potential Disadvantage:

The applicants have to face one disadvantage. There is no guarantee that you receive an invitation to apply, even though you are eligible to apply under the Canadian Experience Class. 

Eligibility Criteria – Canada Express Entry Canadian Experience Class

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Requirements

In order to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class, the candidate must:

  • Have worked in Canada for at least 12 months full-time (or an equivalent number of hours part-time) within the past three years.
  • Meet the language levels requirements of the job for each of the four language abilities: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  • have achieved work experience by legally working in Canada

How Canadian Work Experience is Calculated

  • The candidate must have paid work experience including paid wages or earned commission. Work performed as a volunteer or unpaid internship is not considered.
  • Working part-time means up to 1,560 working hours per year, whether that’s 15 hours per week or more. In order to complete the hours required for an application, you can do more than 1 part-time job!

According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification, skilled work is defined as:

  • Managerial jobs; skill level 0
  • Professional jobs; skill type A
  • Technical jobs and expert trades; skill type B

Work experience can include one or more NOC 0, A, or B jobs. 

Note: The experience gained as a full-time student (i.e., during a co-op work term) or Self-employment do not count under CEC.

Education Requirements for CEC Canada Immigration

Canadian Experience Class doesn’t require candidates to have any formal educational background. However, candidates can improve their CRS score by using their education experience. They have to choose following two options:

  • The candidates who went to school in Canada can get points for their education. It can be any certificate, diploma, or degree from a university or post-secondary institution in Canada. 
  • Applicants who have completed education in other countries can get CRS points for a completed foreign credential or an EAC report. 

Language Requirement for CEC

Applicants must:

  • have a minimum proficiency in Canadian Language:
  • Benchmark 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs OR
  • Benchmark 5 for NOC B jobs
  • pass language tests of:
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Listening
    • Speaking
  • Include the results of the language test in their Canadian Express Class profile

The language tests are valid for 2 years after the result declaration date. While applying for permanent residence, applicants must make sure that their tests are valid. 

While applying, the candidates are allowed to stay in Canada throughout the application process. In addition, the Canadian Experience Class is also open to those who are no longer living in Canada. Such individuals need to submit the application within three years of leaving the job in Canada.

The Canadian Experience Class requirements are according to a pass or fail model. The applicants meeting minimum requirements are eligible to enter the Express Entry pool.

Canadian Experience Class Applications – How to apply?

Here is a proper guide of the process from starting work in Canada to getting your Permanent Resident (PR) card.

Step 1. Get a Canadian work permit.

In order to be eligible for this program, individuals must have the right to work in Canada. Some people may qualify for an open work permit, such as those who are eligible under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. A spouse or common-law partner of an international student or foreign worker may also qualify under this provision. In other cases, an employer may issue a closed work permit. Such permits include those issued with a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment and intra-company transfers. The first and foremost step for applying to CEC program is to have a Canadian work permit. If you’ve obtained one, proceed to the next steps.

Step 2: Complete one year of employment in Canada

In order to be eligible under the Canadian Experience Class, candidates must have at least one year of work experience (or more if part-time). Even eleven-and-half months will not be acceptable. When you’re deciding to apply for CEC, make sure that you’ve completed 12 months of work or 1560 hours of part-time work. 

Step 3: Ensure that you meet additional eligibility requirements

Pass your language test. For English proficiency, the candidates must have to pass one or both of the IELTS and CELPIP tests. The test options currently available for the French language are the TEF and TCF. Candidates having the ability with both English and French can have some additional benefits. They can get extra points for their proficiency in the second language. If a candidate fails in an attempt, he can’t proceed further unless he has cleared the test. Also, take into account the validity duration of the test. A test result is valid for two years after the result declaration date. After this limit is expired, the candidate must consider retaking the test.

Step 4: Creating an Express Entry profile

Once the candidates have fulfilled all the requirements for applying, they can proceed to the next step. They are eligible to create the express entry profile. The candidate’s express entry profile is created on the IRCC website. The applicants are asked to provide some personal information. Some sections of the profile include self-declared information such as the candidate’s work history. While some sections require you to upload documents such as your proof of language ability.

Step 5: Improve the profile and ranking for Canadian Experience Class Express Entry Points Calculator

While applying for the Canadian Experience Class, each individual gets some points according to his experience and skills. Having enough points for applying makes applicants eligible for CEC admissions. If they cannot achieve a cut-off required points, they fail to get themself registered for permanent residency. In such cases, the applicants must have to earn some more points to increase their ranking under CRS. To find out if your CRS score has fallen below the cut-off for an invitation to apply, you can consult our guide on how to improve it.

Sometimes the candidates never receive invitations to apply. One of the common reasons is that such individuals fail to provide proof of their level of education. The reason is that they didn’t take any additional steps to prove their levels. Candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker program must have to prove their education. On contrary, the candidates for the Canadian Experience Class are not required to provide educational certificates as a requirement.

However, if they ignore updating their certificates, even if they have an educational background, they may lose some points. By not updating information properly means leaving up to 250 CRS points behind. The education level contributes 150 CRS points to them. While 100 points are added for Canadian work experience and/or language ability.

Candidates who have completed their studies outside Canada will have to provide Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). They will be able to get these points only if their education is completed and have a certificate. The Canadian Experience Class candidates should get an ECA to prove their education. If they upload proof of their Canadian education credential, then they will have a greater chance of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

There are some other potential ways to enhance the ranking in the CRS calculator. Candidates can increase their points by completing additional work experience. Or they may check one of the Provincial Nominee Program streams aligned with Express Entry, especially those in the province where they worked(ed). While improving the points, individuals must make sure that their experience and skills are in demand in the province. Thus, they can get a 600-point bonus.

Step 6: Receiving an invitation to apply

The most joyful step in the entire process of applying for CEC is receiving an invitation to apply. It allows individuals and their families, if applicable, to submit an application for permanent residence. After receiving an invitation, selected candidates will have a 60 day duration to submit a complete application. The International Recruitment and Certification Corporation (IRCC) issues ITAs when it holds a draw from its Express Entry pool.

Having‌ ‌a‌ ‌work‌ ‌permit‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌basic‌ ‌requirement for applying for the Canadian Experience Class. The candidates having their permit about to expire within the next four months can apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit. Doing this will allow you to continue the other steps of the process. ‌But‌ ‌the‌ ‌application‌ ‌will‌ ‌only‌ ‌be‌ ‌submitted‌ ‌when‌ ‌you’ve‌ ‌submitted‌ ‌your‌ ‌permanent‌ ‌residence‌ ‌application‌ ‌for‌ ‌CEC.‌ ‌

Step 7: Perform a medical, provide a background check, and submit an electronic application

The Canadian Experience Class screens all applicants for potential medical and criminal inadmissibility. The candidates must have completed their medical checkups before submitting the final application. When submitting the application, they will need to show that you have undergone a complete medical examination. Only those medical examinations will be valid those are done by IRCC-recognized panel physicians.

Further, the applicants will have to submit a police background verification, also called a clearance certificate. They need the certificate from the previous country they’ve lived in for at least six months since turning 18. After receiving an ITA, applicants must submit an electronic application within 60 days. The final application must also include detailed work experience letters from previous employers.

Candidates must have gathered the background information and reference letters before receiving an ITA. It is a great idea to avoid problems they had to face due to the tight time frame. 

Step 8: Your e-application is reviewed

Once an application is submitted, it is reviewed for all the mistakes, documents, and certificates. The Canadian immigration officer reviews the submitted e-application. They will let you know if there is anything missing or anything else required.

Step 9: Obtain confirmation of permanent resident status and complete your application

The processing of more than 80% of applications submitted under the Canadian Experience Class is completed within less than six months. The person approved for permanent residence receives a document called a confirmation of permanent residence (COPR). It is a confirmation that permanent residence is granted to the applicant. An officer at the Canadian port of entry or the IRCC office signs the document of residence. He dates the documents for granting the permanent residency.

Step 10: Get your PR card

The next step after confirmation of permanent residency is to get a PR Card. Candidates can apply for their PR card just after confirmation of their status. If an individual has to travel to any other country, he can use this card as proof of his status in Canada.

Taking the CEC in 2021 is a good idea

Canadian Experience Class category is now accepting applications from thousands of foreign workers who are in Canada. Those who have worked in Canada for one year could qualify for this program. It will let them become permanent residents of Canada. Since March 2020, the Express Entry pool has frequently targeted CEC applicants because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so now is the time to apply!

In addition to earning extra points on CRS, New Trencs Canada immigration (NTC immigration) can also save you time by eliminating the need to show proof of sufficient funds.

How Help You make Your CEC Application successful

Offering high-end services, NTC immigration attempts to make the process of CEC application successful. The process is not as easy as it may seem to someone. While the CEC Application procedure has its advantages, there are many challenging aspects that must be addressed to ensure a successful application. From beginning to end, the application forms, procedures, and documentation must be handled perfectly.

NTC Immigration offers this tremendous opportunity for countless immigrants every year. They become able to achieve their goals through the trades and education they have learned during their time in Canada. This can be you, but only if you take the necessary steps to get your dreams. 

Over the years, we have assisted many skilled workers and students with obtaining permanent residence in Canada. Our immigration Consultants will be able to assess your case and recommend the best course of action for your situation.