Who can apply: Canadian Experience Class

On October 24, 2017, the age limit for dependants changed from “under 19” to “under 22.” Check if your child qualifies as a dependant to see if you can add them to your application.

You must complete an Express Entry profile as the first step to immigrate to Canada permanently as a skilled worker under the Canadian Experience Class.

Use our Come to Canada tool to see if you meet the criteria to get into the Express Entry pool.

Minimum requirements

To qualify for the CEC through Express Entry, you must have:

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

Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (such as on a co-op work term) doesn’t 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 eligible for the CEC, 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 work
    • 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours), OR
  • equal amount in part-time hours, such as:
    • 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
    • 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 occupational description in the NOC. This includes all the main duties listed.

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

Education

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

  • you went to school in Canada, and have a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian:
    • secondary (high school) or
    • post-secondary school
  • you have foreign education, and you have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an approved agency showing that your foreign education is equal to a completed certificate, diploma or degree  from a Canadian:
    • secondary (high school) or
    • post-secondary school

You'll 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
  • take a language test approved by us that shows you meet the level for:
    • writing
    • reading
    • listening
    • speaking

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 test.

Principal applicant

The person who is invited to apply and submits an application is the “principal applicant.” If you're married or live with a common-law foreign national partner in Canada, and that person also meets the requirements, either or both of you can fill out an Express Entry profile.

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

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're eligible for the Express Entry pool.

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