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Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a sought-after immigration pathway for temporary foreign workers and international graduates who were looking to attain work experience and permanent residence in Canada.

Why Choose the Canadian Experience Class?

The CEC is part of a collaborative effort by federal and provincial governments to attract more skilled workers and international students to contribute to Canada’s workforce. Research conducted by Statistics Canada reveals that applicants with Canadian work permits will have an edge over other candidates. As Canadian work experience will help them in a smooth integration into the job market.

Also, applicants applying under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are given more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points under the Express Entry system which further increases the chances of attaining permanent residence. Additionally, successful CEC applicants usually receive their permanent residence status within a remarkable six months.

One unique benefit of the CEC is that candidates who qualify do not need to demonstrate settlement funds, unlike the other Express Entry programs.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements for CEC Applicants

To qualify for the CEC category, the candidate must meet certain minimum requirements related to work experience, education level, age, and English or French language proficiency.

Let’s know all the requirements below in detail:

Skilled Work Experience

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) classifies skilled trade occupations according to National Occupational Classification (NOC)categories. Working in any of these categories of NOC TEER qualifies you as a skilled worker. The NOC TEER categories are as follows:

  • TEER 0
  • TEER 1
  • TEER 2

The CEC applicants must show that while employed in the primary occupation, they carried out all of the fundamental duties mentioned in the occupational description:

  • The primary occupation should be the same as the job one wishes to use for the immigration application.
  • Must have gained work experience by working in Canada while under temporary resident status with authorization to work
  • Have a minimum of 1 year of skilled work experience within the last 3 years in the skilled trade or industry. One can meet this in different ways:
  • full-time at 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full-time (1,560 hours)
  • full-time at more than 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than 1 job = 1-year full-time (1,560 hours)
  • equal amount in part-time work: Like 15 hours/week for 24 month1-year full-time (1,560 hours)

Note: One may work as many part-time jobs as needed to meet this requirement.

Related Links

Federal Skilled Worker Program
Federal Skilled Trades Program

Temporary Foreign Work Permit Program (TFWP):
International Mobility Program
Global Talent Stream
Labour Market Impact Assessment
What is an NOC Code?
Find Your NOC Job Title Code and Skill Type
How to Apply For Jobs in Canada
How to Apply for a Canada Work Visa
Work Visa Types
NAFTA Work Permits
Working Holiday Visa
Open Work Permit
Bridging Open Work Permit

Self-Employment and Student Work Experience

The minimal criteria for this program do not include self-employmentor work experience earned while you were a full-time student (even if it was during a co-op work period). 

Language Requirements

  • Must have taken approved language tests in English or French for:
  • The CEC applicants must meet the following language abilities and skills:
  • writing, reading, listening, and speaking
  • Have received a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) language level of:
    • 7 for TEER 0 or TEER 1 jobs or
    • 5 for TEER 2 or TEER 3 jobs

Note: A language test is valid for two years after the date of the test result till you apply for permanent residency.


There is no such requirement for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) category. However, you may improve your CRS profile score in the following ways:

If you have done your schooling in Canada, you may get scores for a certificate/diploma/degree studied from

  • secondary institution (high school) or
  • post-secondary institution


If you have not done your schooling in Canada, you may get scores for

  • A completed foreign credential, and
  • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes from a designated organization showing that your education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma, or degree from a Canadian secondary institution (high school) or post-secondary institution.

Non-Eligibility for CEC

You’re not eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) if;

  • You’re a refugee claimant in Canada
  • You’re working illegally
  • Your work experience gained without temporary resident status in Canada

How does the Immigration Process Work with the CEC?

The Canadian Experience Class operates within the Express Entry system. Candidates with previous Canadian work experience have a strong chance of qualifying for the CEC. The candidate may also qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Approximately every two weeks, IRCC conducts Express Entry draws, inviting candidates with the highest CRS scores to apply for permanent residence. CRS scores are based on various human capital characteristics, including age, education, language skills, work experience, and Canadian experience. After receiving an ITA, the candidate must submit a complete application to the IRCC.

The Canadian Experience Class provides an excellent opportunity for skilled workers and international students to establish their lives in Canada. With its efficient immigration process and various benefits, the CEC remains a popular choice for those seeking to make Canada their new home. If you meet the eligibility criteria, don’t miss out on the chance to join the CEC and embark on an exciting journey toward permanent residence in Canada!