What is the Canadian Experience Class?
The Canadian Experience Class is an immigration program which is a part of Canada’s Express Entry system. It allows foreign workers who have worked in Canada for at least one year to transition from temporary status to permanent residency.
The Canadian Experience Class is intended for individuals working in jobs where there is a lack of skilled Canadian workers.
As part of the application process, foreign citizens receive scores under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Those who get competitive CRS scores are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
- What is the Canadian Experience Class?
- Who is eligible for the Canadian Experience Class?
- What is the work experience requirement for the Canadian Experience Class?
- What is the application process for the Canadian Experience Class?
- What is the Canadian Express Entry?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
To be eligible to apply for the Canadian Experience Class, foreign citizens must meet the following requirements:
- Have at least 12 months of full-time skilled work experience in Canada or the equivalent in part-time hours
- Have gotten the required work experience within 3 years preceding the application
- Have obtained the required work experience while on a valid Canadian work permit
- Have work experience in one or more occupations classified as managerial roles, professional jobs, or skilled trades and technical jobs
- Have the required work experience in two different National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes (both must be skilled positions)
- Intend to live outside the province of Quebec
It is important to note that the experience foreign citizens gained while being self-employed or studying full-time does not count towards the minimum work experience requirement. And neither does experience gained through unpaid work such as volunteer work or unpaid internships.
In addition to these general eligibility requirements, those who want to apply for the Canadian Experience Class must take an approved language test. To do that they need to:
- Schedule their test with an agency approved by IRCC
- Pay the fees
- Enter the results of the test into their Express Entry profile
- Provide the results with their application if they are invited to apply for permanent residency in Canada
If you are not sure whether you are eligible to apply for the Canadian Experience Class, get in touch with our lawyers. They will assess your circumstances and, if you qualify, will help you submit your application.
What is the work experience requirement for the Canadian Experience Class?
The main requirement to be eligible to apply for the Canadian Experience Class is to have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada. This experience must have been gained within the last 3 years prior to the application.
The qualifying work experience can be gained through full-time or part-time work, or through a combination of both. That can be converted into 1,560 hours. Examples of how foreign citizens can get the required work experience include:
- Full-time at 1 job: 30 hours per week for 12 months
- Part-time at 1 job: 15 hours per week for 24 months
- Full-time at more than 1 job: 30 hours per week for 1 year
Generally speaking, it does not matter how many jobs an applicant worked as long as they got the hours required to submit the application.
However, according to the Canadian National Occupation Classification, the work experience must be in one of the following:
- managerial jobs (skill level 0)
- professional jobs (skill type A)
- technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B)
There is no requirement to have a job offer at the time of applying for the Canadian Experience Class but those who do not have a full year of skilled work experience in Canada are not eligible to apply.
What is the application process for the Canadian Experience Class?
Those who want to apply for the Canadian Experience Class must create an online Express Entry profile to make a formal ‘expression of interest’ to stay in Canada permanently.
If an applicant meets all the requirements, Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) accepts their profile to the Express Entry pool. Then, they receive a score calculated using a points-based system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS ranks their:
- Work experience
- Language skills
- Other factors
Whenever there is an Express Entry draw, there is a different cut-off threshold. Those who obtain a certain score or higher receive invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Once an applicant gets the invitation to apply, they have 60 days to submit their permanent residence application which includes the following:
- Proof that the applicant completed a medical examination with an IRCC-recognised physician
- Clearance Certificate from each country where they lived for 6 months or more since they were 18
- Reference letters from previous employers
If their application is approved, they receive a confirmation of permanent residence document. They need to show this document when applying for their Permanent Resident card that proves their immigration status in Canada.
On average, the processing of applications for the Canadian Experience Class takes six months but the waiting time can be shorter.
What is the Canadian Express Entry?
The Canadian Experience Class is a program that is part of the Canadian Express Entry. This system is used to manage applications for Canadian permanent residence submitted by skilled foreign workers.
In addition to the Canadian Experience Class, there are two other programs that fall under the Canadian Express Entry. These are:
- Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) – intended for skilled workers who have foreign work experience. To qualify, applicants need to have at least 1 year of full-time or equivalent part-time work experience in the managerial, professional or technical occupations. They need to have gained this experience in the last 10 years preceding their application
- Federal Skilled Trades – intended for workers qualified in a skilled trade. To be eligible to apply, they need to have at least 2 years of full-time or equivalent part-time work experience
In some Canadian provinces and territories there also are Express Entry streams called Provincial Nominee Programs which are intended for foreign workers who want to move to a specific part of Canada. The eligibility requirements vary depending on the labour market in each province.
If you have been working in Canada and you want to become a permanent resident there, our lawyers can help you determine whether you qualify to apply for the Canadian Experience Class.
They can explain to you how you can check your CRS score so that you can assess what the chances of you getting the invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residency are.
Our lawyers have expert knowledge of Canadian immigration law so they can answer all your questions and offer advice on how you can increase your CRS score. They can review your application before you submit it to make sure you did not make any mistakes and included all the necessary information. And, they can liaise with IRCC on your behalf.
Even if your application for the Canadian Experience Class is unsuccessful, they can tell you what your options are. Thanks to their help, you can be sure to find a way to get permanent residence in Canada.
By hiring an immigration lawyer, you can make the application process straightforward and you can maximise the chances of your application being approved.
Get in touch with us by calling 0333 305 9375 and find out more about how we can help.
Last modified on August 18th, 2023 at 2:38 pm
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Work experience gained during an internship in Canada might count towards the CEC work experience requirement as long as the applicant was getting paid and the program was not part of their studies. Unfortunately, unpaid internships and internships done while an applicant was a full-time student do not count.
Additionally, the internship needs to be in a relevant field as only occupations that fall under NOC 0, A, or B count towards the work experience requirement.
There are several National Occupational Classification (NOC) Codes assigned to the following employment positions:
- 0 for management positions
- A for professional jobs that typically require a university degree
- B for technical jobs and skilled trades jobs that typically require a college diploma, vocational training, or an apprenticeship
- C for intermediate jobs
- D for labour jobs
Work experience gained by a foreign worker wanting to apply for the Canadian Experience Class needs to be under Code 0, A or B.
Some individuals might qualify under more than one code. As long as their work experience falls under NOC 0, A, or B, it can be broken up between different jobs.
Those who want to apply for the Canadian Experience Class program can create an Express Entry profile for free. Only once an applicant receives the invitation to apply do they have to pay the processing fee which is $825 CDN for an adult and $225 CDN for each dependent child. This means that those whose application for the Canadian Experience Class is unsuccessful, do not have to pay any fees.
There might also be additional fees that applicants need to pay, for example, for sitting a language test, having certain documents translated, or for attending a medical examination.