The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is for people who already have skilled work experience in Canada.  It is most often used by temporary foriegn worker

To be eligible to apply as a permanent resident under the CEC, you must meet the following conditions:

The CEC is one of the economic immigration programs of Canada that uses the Express Entry system.  Therefore, completing an Express Entry profile is the first step to immigrate to Canada permanently as a skilled worker.

Completing an Express Entry profile does not automatically guarantee that you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. The ITA will be based on your score using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

>> Click HERE to read about the Express Entry System <<

Work Experience, National Occupational Classification and Annual Limits

The NOC is a systematic classification of occupations in the Canadian labour market and is divided into five bands:

Skill Type O

Management Occupations

Skill type A

Primarily comprised of professional occupations

Skill Type B

Consists of technical, skilled trades and paraprofessional occupations

Skill Type C

Comprises of occupations of intermediate level, clerical or support functions

Skill Type D

Elemental Sales or service and primary laborer occupations

Your 12-month work experience must have been earned within three years before your application for permanent residence has been received under the CEC.  It is not necessary that your skilled work experience is continuous but it MUST total one year of full-time work.

Full-time work means at least 30 hours of paid work every week. One year of full-time work is at least 1,560 hours.

And remember, your work experience must be considered skilled, categorized as NOC skill level "0," "A," or "B."  You must be able to demonstrate that you performed the duties in the lead statement of the NOC occupational description, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

There are exceptions though because of some occupations were over represented in past CEC applications.  These ineligible occupations are:

    • Cooks;
    • Food service supervisors;
    • Administrative officers;
    • Administrative assistants;
    • Accounting technicians and bookkeepers; and
    • Retail sales supervisors.

On November 9, 2013 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) imposed a limit of 12,000 new CEC applications per year AND a sub-cap of 200 applications for each occupation at NOC skill level "B."  While there is no sub-cap on CEC applications from candidates whose occupations are at NOC skill level "0" or "A" (managerial and professional respectively), these applications will still be counted toward the annual limit.

>> Click HERE to check your job's skill level in the 2011 National Occupational Classification  <<

Language Skills

Another important requirement is that you meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC "0" or "A" jobs OR Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for NOC B jobs.  

To check the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) of your International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score, check the table below:

CLB Level

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

4

4.5

3.5

4.0

4.0

5

5.0

4.0

5.0

5.0

6

5.5

5.0

5.5

5.5

7

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

8

7.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

9

8.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

10 and above

8.5 – 9.0

8.0 – 9.0

7.5 – 9.0

7.5 – 9.0

To check the NCLC (Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens) equivalent of your scores in the Test d'Évaluation de Français (TEF), check the table below:

NCLC Level

Speaking 

(expression orale)

Listening 

(compréhension de l'orale)

Reading 

(compréhension de l'écrit)

Writing 

(expression écrite)

4

181 – 225

145 – 180

121 – 150

181 – 225

5

226 – 270

181 – 216

151 – 180

226 – 270

6

271 – 309

217 – 248

181 – 206

271 – 309

7

310 – 348

249 – 279

207 – 232

310 – 348

8

349 - 370

280 - 297

233 - 247

349 - 370

9 and above

371+

298+

248+

371+

Education

Similar to the Federal Skilled Trades program, there is no education requirement for applications for the Canadian Experience Class.  As you will be submitting an application using the Express Entry System though, you may want to earn points for the education factor.  You will need:

As mentioned, there is no education requirement for the Federal Skilled Trades Program.  As you will be submitting an application using the Express Entry System though, you may want to earn points for the education factor.  You will need: • A Canadian post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree OR • A completed foreign credential, and • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  For you to benefit though, your foreign education must be the equivalent of a completed Canadian high school diploma or higher. 

Inadmissibility

Even if you meet all of requirements and have been issued an Invitation to Apply, your application may still be unsuccessful. There are many reasons that you may not be admitted to Canada.  These include the following:

Stop getting confused. Get started now by gathering information

Discover if you qualify to immigrate (and how to do it)

About the Author

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.


IVC and IVC staff are proud members or affiliates of

ICCRC logoIBP logoICEF logoPIER logo
MARA logoCANCHAM logoANZCHAM logoBritish Council logo
a