Started in 2008 as an immigration gateway for professionals, trained youth, and skilled workers with Canadian work experience – the Canadian Experience Class or CEC is a perfect channel to gain permanent residency. The CEC is one of the most sought-after immigration gateways under the Express Entry programme. Temporary foreign workers easily fulfil the Canadian experience class eligibility (staying in Canada) and international students (willing to stay and work in Canada).
To resolve the shortage of labour and trained workforce in different industries in Canadian provinces, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will soon start the process of Express Entry draws. This will provide eligible applicants ample opportunities to apply for the Canadian experience class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and Federal Skilled Trades Program.
The CEC was designed and framed for applicants who have studied or worked in any Canadian province and are looking forward to securing Canada's permanent residence status. The CEC is an ideal gateway for Temporary Foreign Workers and international students willing to stay in Canada as permanent residents. Such candidates create an online profile (applications) in the Express Entry pool.
Applicants can apply for immigration through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) gateway from outside of Canada or from other locations and countries. The only condition that should be kept in mind is that the Canadian work experience should not exceed three years before applying under CEC in Express Entry.
It is the most popular and fastest Canadian immigration pathway. It is a system to manage online applications of interested candidates seeking migration through three immigration programs - Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Applicants gather points on the Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) scale based on human capital factors like age, education, skill training, relevant work experience, language ability, availability of funds, adaptability, etc.
It is important to note that the IRCC defines 'skilled' work, which matches the National Occupational Classification (NOC) eligibility criteria. Please note that occupations under skill levels 0, A, or B are considered 'skilled'. The highest scorers in the Express Entry pool receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) to secure permanent residence status in Canada.
IRCC conducts Express Entry draws every two weeks. Selected profiles (or applicants) are supposed to submit permanent residence applications and relevant documents to IRCC within 60 days after receiving ITA.
The CEC is an economic program that tries to identify the ideal and suitable candidates from the Express Entry pool for permanent residence status to fill vacant positions in industries and organisations that require experienced professionals and trained youth.
The IRCC will resume sending ITA to applicants under the CEC category from July 2022. The CEC draws under Express Entry have been on hold since September 2021 due to the backlog of previous applications. The federal government of Canada has announced that by 2024, Canada will welcome more than 110,000 skilled workers, trained professionals and immigrants through the Express Entry gateway.
The Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) is a scale to rank online profiles in the Express Entry pool. Besides meeting the eligibility age, language ability, required education, skill training, relevant work experience, valid job offer, sufficient funds, and adaptability, those with Canadian work experience get extra points on the CRS. It helps applicants easily score benchmark points.
Applicants must understand all eligibility criteria before applying for the Canadian experience class. Some of the basic requirements for the Canadian Experience Class are below -
The Canadian work experience means applicants must have professional work experience, full-time paid and valid (or legal). The IRCC does not count volunteer work or unpaid internships.
If applicants have done part-time work in Canada, it should include 1,560 hours or at least 15 hours (or more) per week. Applicants who are doing more than one part-time job in Canada can quickly meet the target of required working hours and are also eligible to apply for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Applicants pursuing paid internships not part of an academic program can apply under the Canadian Experience Class program. Applicants should pursue this sort of internship after completion of studies, otherwise paid internship is not considered in the case of regular full-time international students (graduates).
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) has divided skilled work experience into three major categories in Canada. They are –
Applicants can gain Canadian work experience in one or more than one job listed under NOC 0, A or B categories.
Improving and upgrading academic qualifications always help applicants to get better CRS points and receive ITA on the first attempt.
Applicants who have completed schooling in Canada quickly get CRS points after receiving a degree, certificate or diploma from a recognised Canadian University or higher studies academic institute.
Applicants who have completed schooling or higher education from other countries also get better CRS points for foreign credentials or Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).
It is important to note that international students and graduates who have completed education from Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) can easily apply for Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). It is an open work permit that allows applicants (students) to work anywhere in Canada for three years and gain Canadian work experience, which helps them quickly secure permanent residence status in Canada under the CEC of Express Entry program. In addition, the PGWP does not require a valid job offer letter and helps applicants to join any Canadian organisation or employer after meeting essential eligibility criteria.
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