Canadian Experience Class – CEC Immigration Program

Canadian Experience Class – CEC Immigration Program

September 21, 2019

What is the CEC immigration program?

The Canadian Express Entry system is known as one of the popular ways for skilled employees who gain experience when working in Canada and want to become a permanent resident.

CEC, a category of immigration system under Express Entry, is most suitable for people who gained previous work experience at least one year. The government uses this program to encourage talented workers to have an opportunity to acclimate to Canada society and become a legal immigrant.

This program helps many international graduates have an opportunity to continue living in the country on post-graduate work permits when they completed their studies in Canada. Therefore, a graduate should gain at least one year of previous work experience in NOC field so as to be eligible to apply for the CEC under the Express Entry.

Regarding many international graduated people, the CEC could be the ultimate path not only fast but also simple in order to achieve PR.

If you wonder whether you should apply for CEC, these are some things that you need to consider.

  • Candidates must have worked in Canada for at least one year. This is the most highly-valued factor ranked by the CRS.
  • Owing to the minimum of the required documentation, they are often assessed more quickly within three to four months.
  • When applying under the CEC, applicants don’t need to prove their settlement funds.
  • Even if you satisfy all the criteria under the CEC, there is no guarantee that the government will send you an invitation to apply. If your score which is ranked in the EE is below the cut-off required to receive an invitation, you should improve your score based on the CRS standard.

Requirements / Eligibility

In order to be eligible, CEC applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Previous work experience

  • The experience must be under the NOC Code Skill Level 0 (managerial jobs), A (professional jobs), or B (technical jobs and skilled trades).
  • Applicants must gain work experience at least 12 months (30 hours per week) for a full-time job and 24 months (15 hours per week) for a part-time job.
  • Have past experience as per the guidelines of authority to work associated with the visa
  • Lawfully obtained work experience in Canada.
  • 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

2. Education

There is no requirement for educational background under CEC, but you also can use the following factors to improve your score in the EE pool:

  • You can earn points thanks to a certificate, diploma or degree you get from either secondary (high school) or post-secondary school in Canada.
  • If you study in a foreign country, you need to have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an independent company to prove that your foreign education is equal and acceptable in Canada.”

3. Language Proficiency

  • You have to show at least an intermediate language test of either English such as IELTS, CELPIP or French such as TEF, TCF to prove your language proficiency with four skills including reading, speaking, writing, listening and ability to settle in Canada. This may be an advantage for gaining points under the CRS.
  • If you worked in NOC type 0 or A occupations, it is significant to get a minimum score of either English or French based on CLB standard is 7, while 5 is required for type B jobs
  • Your language certificates are valid for 2 years from the date you receive the result. Therefore, when applying for PR, this must be valid or your application will be refused

4. You must be admissible to Canada

5. You must plan to live outside the province of Quebec

Although Quebec is one of the largest provinces in Canada, it releases its own immigration policy and chooses immigrants by itself. Therefore, if applicants plan to live and work in Quebec, they should consider the Quebec Experience Class as an alternative

6. Some additions

There are some situations that accepted candidates typically worked in Canada in one of the following capacities:

  • Having received a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or in an LMIA-exempt category
  • On an open work permit as the spouse of a partner who was working in Canada
  • On an open work permit under an international exchange program
  • On a post-graduate work permit, having completed full-time studies in Canada at a designated institution.

Your application could be refused in some cases

  • If your work is not an accurate endorsement such as illegally, working without a visa, your application will be refused.
  • You may work in a job that does not belong to the NOC including skill type 0, A or B.
  • Your application would be unacceptable because of the previous work experience that you gained when you were self-employed or on a student work permit such as co-op placements, apprenticeships, and internships.
  • Having less than one of a full-time job or an equal amount in a part-time job experience in Canada would be denied.
  • Last but not least, if you get your certain criminal offenses and medical exam which are able to affect negatively on their country, you might also be disapproved.


Step 1: Getting a Canadian work permit

Applicants have to be entitled to work in Canada, which is the most essential condition to apply for CEC, so you should get a work permit.

There are 2 kinds of work permit:

  • An employer-specific work permit is a category based on some conditions such as
    • The name of the company you work for
    • How long you plan to work there
    • The location where you can work
  • An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada apart from some organizations which regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.

Step 2: 12-month work experience

You have to ensure that you worked enough 12 months or more so that the Canadian government can approve your application.

Step 3: Preparing documents

Check all your documents to guarantee that your application could be admissible.

Step 4: Submitting your EE profile

Submit your profile in the online Express Entry system. If you think that your background can meet all the requirements of the CEC program, you may submit your profile to the EE, a new online system managed potential applicants by the government. This step would be completed on the IRCC website.

Step 5: Improve your score in CSR

Improve your CSR score to raise your chance to get the ITA. There are some possible methods that can help you maximize your opportunity of being ranked higher score, such as proof of your educational background or additional work experience.

Step 6: Receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA)

When the government sends you an ITA, it means that you met all of their requirements and willing to become permanent residents. You have 60 days to prepare carefully and submit a complete application.

However, if your work permit may be expired within the next four months, applying for Bridging Open Work Permit is also a good choice to continue your work throughout the rest of the process.

Step 7: Submit an e-application

You must have a medical exam to ensure that you don’t bring any serious medical problems which can influence negatively on their citizens.

Furthermore, police background is also one of the most significant things Canada will check. To guarantee that your police background is reliable, this has to be confirmed by a country that you have lived in for at least 6 months since the age of 18.

The authority also requires work reference letters for sure.

All the things mentioned above should be prepared and completed before applicants receive ITAs. This can help you submit the e-application the right time allowed within 60 days of receiving ITAs.

Then, your e-application would be reviewed by IRCC.

Step 8: Receive confirmation of permanent resident (COPR)

Most applicants are often responded during less than six months when submitting this program. After being accepted, applicants will receive a COPR document that is signed by a Canadian port of entry or an IRCC office.

Step 9: Get your PR card

You can then apply for your PR card when you have your status confirmation. If you plan to travel outside Canada, this card can be used as evidence of your status in Canada


  • Right of PR fee:  490 CAD
  • Principal applicant:  475 CAD
  • Principal applicant, if less than 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner (including a dependent child of the sponsor, a child to be adopted and an orphaned brother, sister, niece, nephew or grandchild): 75 CAD
  • A family member of the principal applicant who is 22 years of age or older, or is less than 22 years of age and is a spouse or common-law partner: 550 CAD
  • A family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner 150 CAD.
  • PR card: 50 CAD
  • PR travel document: 50 CAD
  • Biometrics fee: 85 CAD
  • Biometrics fee for your family pay for a visitor visa is maximum up to 170 CAD
  • Medical exams fees
  • Police certificate fees
  • Language testing fees

How long would it take?

  • Your processing time starts from the day the Canadian government receives your completed application to the day they make a decision.
  • The processing time for the CEC program may last 6 months. However, it can take longer if you get stuck in security screening or lack some documents.

What can influence your processing time?

  • Country of residence: Depending on the nation of residence, some IRCC processing times differ. The processing times for various services would be based on the visa office by December 2015. This was because the closest visa office was responsible for both permanent and temporary residence, visas and licenses. Nowadays, the application form has moved around the network of visa agencies globally, so that the processing of your application is as effective as possible, not necessarily in the visa office nearest you but in the office that has best intended to effectively process your request.
  • Type of application: There are also separate processing times for various kinds of visas and licenses. Both the sort of request and the number of participants in this category can impact the processing time. If more requests are received than predicted, then processing may take longer.
  • Completeness: If you lack any information or document, IRCC may either disapprove of your application, or they may require you to provide full of the document, which can cause essential delays to the process.

Benefits of this program

  • Can continue to live and work in Canada permanently
  • Your family member could also be sponsored to become a PR
  • Can apply after 3 years (1095 days) living in Canada for citizenship.

Additional opportunities for foreign workers

  • The Canada government also provides an alternative for skilled workers to have an immigration opportunity such as Provincial Nominee Programs.



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