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Canadian Experience Class program is your way to get PR if you are already in Canada


So, what is Canadian Experience Class (CEC)? In summary, CEC is for foreign skilled workers and international students already in Canada to become Canadian permanent residents (PR).

Note that CEC is processed through the Express Entry system.

It is also one of the fastest routes to Canadian PR. Moreover, CEC takes as little as 2-4 months to process.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.


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Importantly, CEC candidates dont need to demonstrate settlement funds. Canada requires proof that PR candidates can financially support themselves in Canada.

Immigrations, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) expects to soon start issuing Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for all Express Entry programs, including CEC. IRCC suspended all-program draws in 2021 due to applications backlog. It focused in the lasts several months on Provincial Nominee Programs candidates.

These are applicants who demonstrated intent to settle in a province or territory which then nominated them to apply for Canadian PR in the Express Entry pool. PNP candidates usually have a job offer and receive an automatic 600 points on top of their Express Entry profile scores.

CEC is most likely to be on top when IRCC resumes all-program Express Entry draws later in 2022. 


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Eligibility to apply for the Canadian Experience Class

To be eligible to apply, a candidate must meet the following program requirements.

Minimum requirements for CEC

You must

  • meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability
    • writing
    • reading
    • listening
    • speaking
  • have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last 3 years before you apply. You can meet this in a few different ways:
    • full-time at 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months = 1 year full-time (1,560 hours)
    • equal amount in part-time work: for example 15 hours/week for 24 months = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
      • You can work as many part-time jobs as you need to meet this requirement.
    • full-time work at more than 1 job: 30 hours/week for 12 months at more than 1 job = 1 year full time (1,560 hours)
  • have gained your work experience by working in Canada while under temporary residence

How IRCC calculates work experience for CEC

Your skilled work experience must be paid work including paid wages or earned commission. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not count volunteer work or unpaid internships.

Part-time work ok as long as it adds up to 1,560 hours. You can work more than 1 part-time job to get the hours.


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IRCC does not count any hours you work above 30 hours/week.

Ineligibility for the Canadian Experience Class

You are not eligible for the CEC if

  • you’re a refugee claimant in Canada
  • you are working without authorization
  • your work experience was gained without temporary resident status in Canada

According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means:

  • managerial jobs (skill level 0)
  • professional jobs (skill type A)
  • technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B)

Your work experience can be in 1 or more NOC 0, A or B jobs.


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You must show that you performed the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC. This includes all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

Self-employment and student work experience

Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student.

Education requirements for CEC

There is no education requirement for the CEC.

If you want to improve your rank in the Express Entry pool for immigration purposes, there are 2 ways you can do this.


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  • If you went to school in Canada, you can get points for a certificate, diploma or degree from a Canadian:
    • secondary institution (high school) or
    • post-secondary institutionor
  • If you have foreign education, you can get points for:

Language requirements for CEC

You must:

  • meet the minimum language level of:
    • Canadian Language Benchmark 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs or
    • Canadian Language Benchmark 5 for NOC B jobs
  • take approved language tests for:
    • writing
    • reading
    • listening
    • speaking
  • describe the test results in your Express Entry profile

Your language tests are valid for 2 years after the date of the test result and must be valid on the day you apply for permanent residence.

Admissibility to Canada

You must be admissible to Canada.

Where you can live in Canada

Above all, you must plan to live outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers. If you plan on living in Quebec, see Quebec-selected skilled workers for more information.

When you fill out your profile, we’ll ask you where you plan to live in Canada. You don’t have to settle in that province or territory.

Very importantly, if you’re a Provincial Nominee, you must settle in the province or territory that nominated you.

Become Eligible for the CEC as an International Student

International students who go on to graduate from an eligible educational program in Canada are the main group of individuals who gain permanent residence through the CEC. 

For instance,

1: Complete your educational program at a Canadian designated learning institution.

2: Go to IRCC and apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

3: With your PGWP, obtain at least 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B job. 

4: Take an English or French language test designated by IRCC and obtain the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) requirement (a CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A work experience and CLB 5 for NOC B work experience). 

5: Enter the Express Entry pool. If you secure an invitation to apply, IRCC will aim to process your permanent residence application within six months.

Become Eligible for the CEC as a Temporary Foreign Worker

Temporary foreign workers can become eligible for the Canadian Experience Class program after obtaining one year of professional work experience in Canada.

For example, most common ways

1: Get a Canadian work permit.

2: Obtain at least 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B job.

3: Take an English or French language test designated by IRCC and obtain the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) requirement (a CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A work experience and CLB 5 for NOC B work experience).

4: Enter the Express Entry pool. If you secure an invitation to apply, IRCC will aim to process your permanent residence application within six months.

Next steps

Popular Questions about Canadian Experience Class program

Applying for CEC immigration – General

Determining your eligibility

Work Experience


You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.