Working in Canada has many benefits. One such benefit is the incredible ability to become a Canadian permanent resident through immigration programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The best part is that you only need one year of skilled work experience obtained anywhere in Canada to qualify for this program among a few other criteria.

The CEC is a fast-tracked immigration program that can help you and your family immigrate to Canada in less than a year! Find out more details below.

What Is the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)?

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is one of three federal skilled immigration programs managed by the popular Express Entry system. What makes the CEC unique is that it's specifically designed for foreign nationals with Canadian work experience behind their name. It doesn't matter in which province or territory you obtained the work experience as long as it was for a minimum of one year in duration. Through the CEC, you can fast-track your immigration journey to Canada in as little as six months!

Do I Qualify for the Canadian Experience Class?

You can apply under the CEC if you have skilled work experience obtained in Canada and meet the rest of the minimum requirements outlined in the table below.

One great benefit of the CEC is that you don't need to have a specific amount of settlement funds as with the other two Express Entry programs and you don't need to hold a current job offer in Canada either but it can increase your points in the Express Entry pool.

Canadian Experience Class Requirements

Canadian Experience Class Requirements
Work Experience You must have one year of skilled, Canadian work experience. The work experience must be:
  • for a full-time position; or;
  • the equivalent time in a part-time position;
  • legally obtained in Canada;
  • from jobs defined by the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) as level 0, A or B.
Education There is no education requirement for this program. But you can increase your Express Entry score with a:
  • certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian secondary or tertiary school;
  • certificate, diploma or degree from a foreign secondary or tertiary school (as long as you submit an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report;
Language Skills You must take an approved language test in either French or English and score the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark of:
  • 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs; and
  • 5 for NOC B jobs.
Admissibility You must be able to legally enter Canada.
  • Submit a medical examination
  • Submit a police clearance certificate

How to Apply for the Canadian Experience Class?


Step 1: Work in Canada for One Year

You must work in Canada for at least one year in a skilled job position to apply under this program. You can gain Canadian work experience by applying for a work permit program. The following job groups are eligible under the Canadian Experience Class:

National Occupation Classification (NOC) System

  • NOC A - Professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university
  • NOC O - Management jobs
  • NOC B - Technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice

Step 2: Create Your Express Entry Profile


As mentioned previously, the CEC program is managed by the Express Entry system. This means that you can create an online Express Entry profile if you meet the Canadian Experience Class requirements.

The Express Entry is a point-based system that ranks profiles according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that takes into consideration your age, years of work experience, level of education and language proficiency among other criteria. Your profile will be given a score out of a possible 1,200 points.

The highest scoring candidates are issued with Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residency (PR) during bi-weekly Express Entry draw rounds.


Step 3: Collect Your Supporting Documents

When you receive your ITA you will have 60 days to submit your PR visa application along with your supporting documents to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The supporting documents will include your language test results, medical examination certificate, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report if needed among other documents.

Step 4: Get Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) in 4 to 6 Months!

Express Entry applications are processed in as little as four to six months. If you are approved, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) document that you can activate when arriving at a Canadian port of entry.

How We Can Help You

Interested in applying to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)? Find out if you qualify to take the Express Entry route to Canada and discover your CRS score with our online comprehensive evaluation today. At VisadeCanada, we specialise in helping clients from South America make the complex move to Canada. The team of licensed immigration consultants we work with are authorized by the Canadian government to handle your paperwork and optimize your application for success. Click on the button below to start your journey.