How to apply for permanent residency (PR) through the Canadian Experience Class Program (CEC)
Not everyone who moves to Canada stays there for good. Even though Canada has open immigration policies, there is a lot of competition for most permanent residence (PR) programs, so many skilled people are left out.
If you don’t meet the requirements for PR right now, you could apply for a work permit or study permit and then use the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program to get PR after you’ve worked in Canada for a while. In this article, we look at what the CEC program is, who is eligible for it, how to apply for it, and how to apply for permanent residency (PR) under the CEC program.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program is one of the three economic immigration streams in the federal Express Entry program. Unlike the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) Express Entry streams, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program requires Canadian work experience.
Many skilled people who come to Canada on work permits or get a Post-Graduation Work Permit after they finish their studies in Canada later apply for PR and settle here. The CEC program helps the government keep skilled workers and encourages temporary residents who are already getting used to life in Canada to stay and become permanent residents.
Eligibility Criteria for the CEC Immigration Program
The Canadian Experience Class program requires minimum work experience and language skills. For Canadian immigration, you must also pass security, background, and medical checks.
CEC Program – Work Experience Required
- The CEC program requires one year (1,560 hours) of paid skilled Canadian work experience within the last three years.
- Work full-time or part-time for an equivalent number of hours to gain qualifying work experience.
- This program does not count students’ part-time, self-employed, or unpaid work like volunteerism and internships as Canadian work experience.
- You must work in Canada while you have temporary residence and work authorization.
- You must have managerial, professional, technical, or skilled trade experience (NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3, previously skill type 0 or skill level A or B).
CEC language requirements
Your Job’s NOC determines the minimum CLB level needed for CEC.
- A CLB score of 7 or higher is required for NOC TEER 0 or 1 (previously skill type 0 or skill level A) jobs. CLB 5 is required for NOC TEER 2 or 3 (previously skill level B) jobs.
- You must take an approved language test—IELTS or CELPIP for English, TEF Canada or TCF Canada for French. When applying for PR, your language test must be less than two years old and valid.
CEC education requirements
Canadian Experience Class requires no education. If: Your educational credentials can boost your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score and PR chances.
- You attended a Canadian high school or college.
- An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) validated your foreign high school or post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree.
Who should take the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)?
The CEC requires prior Canadian work experience, so this immigration program is best for Canadians, recent Canadian immigrants, or temporary residents.
If you want to apply for permanent residence but your estimated CRS score is below the cutoffs for the Federal Skilled Worker or Federal Skilled Trades Programs, the CEC program may be a good long-term option. If so, you may want to move to Canada temporarily on a work or study permit and apply for PR after a few years.
Work experience gained while studying does not count toward CEC eligibility. After finishing your Canadian studies, you may qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
CEC Permanent Residency Application Process
Step 1: Get one year of Canadian work experience.
You need one year of Canadian work experience in a NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 (previously skill type 0 or skill level A or B) occupation to apply for Express Entry under the Canadian Experience Class program. You can either apply for an open work permit or look for a job in Canada from abroad.
Start your job search with an impressive Canadian-style resume tailored to each job listing. Start building your professional network in Canada since recruiters fill most job openings without posting them online. Our career and networking guides can help newcomers in Canada find jobs.
It’s possible to work in Canada from home, but it’s difficult. Many newcomers study in Canada and qualify for a PGWP after graduation to gain work experience.
Step 2: Estimate the CRS score
Use the CRS score calculator on the federal government’s website to estimate your score before creating your Express Entry profile. Comparing your projected score to recent cutoffs can help you determine your PR chances.
Step 3: Gather vital documents
Before creating an Express Entry profile, gather the required documents. You need a passport or travel document, language test results, Canadian work experience, an ECA report if you studied abroad, or Canadian educational credentials.
Step 4: Register for Express Entry.
Create an IRCC account after gathering your documents. Before submitting your Express Entry profile, pay the processing fee online with a debit or credit card.
Step 5: Apply for PR with an ITA
Your Express Entry profile will stay in the candidate pool for one year or until you receive an ITA. Respond to an ITA within 60 days and apply for permanent residence. Upload your travel documents, language test results, ECA, employment reference letters, and valid work permit. If you hire an immigration consultant or representative, you may need a police certificate, medical exam result, marriage or birth certificate, and representative form.
Is proof of settlement funds required CEC PR application?
The Canadian Experience Class does not require settlement funds like the FSW and FSTP programs. If you have a Canadian job offer and are authorized to work in Canada, other Express Entry programs waive the proof of funds requirement.
CEC PR application processing time
IRCC estimates that CEC permanent residence applications take nine months to process from ITA response. This estimate includes biometric submission time.
This does not include the time it takes to complete and submit your Express Entry profile online or stay in the pool. The processing time also depends on the application backlog, whether your application is complete, how easily your information can be verified, and more.
Canadian Experience Class PR application fee
Adult CEC PR applications cost $850 CAD. The right of permanent residence fee is $515 CAD. For each dependent child, you must pay $230 CAD.
Most CEC applicants have already submitted biometrics for a study or work permit. Fresh biometrics cost $85 CAD per person or $170 per family.
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