Determine your eligibility – Canadian Experience Class

Note: The CEC cap of 8,000 applicants for the period of May 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 has been reached. Completing an Express Entry profile is now the first step for interested candidates who want to be considered for CEC. Paper applications available before January 1, 2015 are no longer being accepted.

As of January 2015, we have a new system for people to apply to this program. It is called Express Entry.

You can use our online tool, Come to Canada, to see if you meet the criteria to get into the Express Entry pool.

Minimum requirements

You must:

  • have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before you apply,
  • have gained your experience in Canada with the proper authorization,
  • meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening),
  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (for example, on a co-op work term) does not count under this program.

Note: The province of Quebec does not use Express Entry. They select their own skilled workers. See Quebec-selected skilled workers to find out more.

Skilled work experience

To be considered for the Canadian Experience Class, you need to have Canadian skilled work experience within three years of applying. According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means:

  • Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0)
  • Professional jobs (NOC skill type A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill type B)

Your experience must be at least 12 months of full-time (30 hours of paid work per week or more) or an equal amount in part-time hours.

Full Time

30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)

Part time

15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
Or
30 hours/week for 12 months at more than one job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)

You must show that you did the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC, including all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

If you do not show that your experience meets the description in the NOC, we will not accept your application.

Find out the NOC code, title and skill type or level for your job.

If your existing work permit is about to expire you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit. Bridging open work permits allow qualified applicants to keep working while they await a final decision on their permanent residence application.

Education

There is no education requirement for Canadian Experience Class. But, if you want to earn points for your education under Express Entry, you either need:

Note: You will only benefit from getting an ECA if your foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian high school diploma or greater.

Language ability

You must:

  • 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, and
  • take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that shows you meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.

You must show that you meet the requirements in English or French by including the test results when you complete your Express Entry profile. Your test results must not be more than two years old on the day you apply for permanent residence or you will need to retake the tests.

Principal applicant

If you are married or live with a common-law foreign national partner in Canada, and that person also meets the above conditions, you can decide which one of you will apply under Express Entry as the principal (main) applicant.

A common-law partner is a person who has lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner refers to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Check to see which one of you is most likely to be found eligible. That person should apply as the principal applicant.

Other requirements

If you have skilled work experience and want to live in Canada permanently, use our Come to Canada tool to see if you are eligible for the Express Entry pool.

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