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16th April 2024BY Nihang Law

Your Pathway to Permanent Residency: A Comprehensive Guide to the Canadian Experience Class

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is one of the three Express Entry pathways for aspiring immigrants to transition into permanent residency in Canada. The Canadian Experience Class is for skilled workers who have gained work experience in Canada.

To be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class, applicants must meet the minimum requirements: Canadian skilled work experience and language ability.

Canadian Skilled Work Experience

Aspiring immigrants looking to apply under the Canadian Experience Class must gain at least one year of full-time skilled work experience in Canada (or part-time in equivalent hours) within three years before applying for permanent residency.

A full-time job entails that you work a total of 30 hours per week for 12 months, which is equivalent to 1,560 hours. You can also work part-time hours (15 per week) for 24 months, as well as work multiple part-time jobs to reach the required 1,560 hours. Any work done past 30 hours a week does not count toward the requirement.

Canadian worker

Skilled work experience entails that you have worked in at least one of the NOC training, education, experience, and responsibilities (TEER) categories: TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3. You can check which TEER category your occupation falls under through the IRCC website. The skilled work must be paid, including paid wages or earned commission. Volunteer work or unpaid internships are not considered for the program.

Additionally, self-employment and work experience gained while serving as a full-time student do not count towards the minimum requirements for the Canadian Experience Class.

Work experience exception for foreign national physicians

There is, however, an exception for foreign national physicians. The Canadian government introduced a temporary public policy designed to streamline the issuance of permanent resident visas for foreign national physicians providing publicly funded medical services in Canada.

However, these physicians are often self-employed. Hence, they were ineligible to qualify for Canada’s federal economic immigration programs. By exempting certain provisions of the IRCC, the policy aims to facilitate the inclusion of physicians in programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under the Express Entry system.

Language Proficiency

An applicant must also be able to demonstrate language proficiency by taking an approved language test that evaluates their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Approved English tests include the CELPIP-General test, IELTS General Training, and the PTE Core. For French, eligible tests include TEF Canada and TCF Canada.

The language tests, which are valid for two years after the date of the test result, should be valid on the day the applicant applies for permanent residence.

To measure an applicant’s language ability, the IRCC uses Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) for English and Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadien (NCLC) for French. IRCC requires a CLB or NCLC score of 7 for TEER 0 or 1 occupations and CLB or NCLC score of 5 for TEER 2 and 3 jobs.

Is education a requirement to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class?

No, education is not a requirement to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class. However, it can increase your chances of eventually getting an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence. Applicants who obtained a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree in Canada will obtain points to improve their rank in the Express Entry pool.

Additionally, people who completed foreign education can get points if they have both completed an educational credential and possess an Educational Credential Assessment report for immigration purposes that is both from a designated organization. The Educational Credential Assessment should display that your education is equivalent to a completed certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian high school or post-secondary institution. Having foreign education also improves your chances of obtaining an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

Though your education enhances your application under the Canadian Experience Class, it is not a substitute for work experience or language ability.

Start Your Permanent Residency Journey Today

If you are ready to embark on your path towards permanent residency, now is the time to prepare your requirements. Connect with our experts at Nihang Law to guide you through the process and give you advice on the steps you need to take to achieve your PR dreams. Shoot us an e-mail at or explore our website for our other immigration-related services.

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