Canada provides several immigration routes, all of which are intended to accommodate people with diverse experiences and backgrounds. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is one such immigration initiative that provides skilled workers having recent Canadian work experience with the opportunity to immigrate permanently to Canada.

For applicants who are seeking permanent resident status in Canada and have at least one year of work experience in the country, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) VISA is the optimal choice. It is among the fastest routes to permanent residence in Canada, with processing times as short as three to four months.

Understanding the CEC VISA

For temporary foreign workers and international graduates seeking permanent residence status, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) system in 2008. It was developed as a dedicated channel to assist skilled workers in their journey towards Canadian immigration.

Since then, the CEC has expanded to become one of Canada’s main immigration routes for skilled workers, and employers, communities, governments, and even immigration candidates themselves consider it to be a resounding success.

The Canadian Experience Class VISA is managed under the Express Entry immigration program overseen by the Canadian government. It employs the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assign scores and ranks to potential candidates. 

The CEC VISA — Benefits Attached

The CEC is the outcome of a collaborative effort made by Canada’s federal and provincial governments to drive more temporary foreign workers and international students to build their futures in Canada.

Candidates who have prior experience in skilled labour jobs and have lived in Canada before have a significant advantage when adjusting to the Canadian labour market. Additionally, candidates with work experience in Canada are awarded higher CRS points in the express entry comprehensive ranking system, which boosts their chances of being granted permanent residence in Canada.

Another added perk is that CEC candidates who are successful through Express Entry typically obtain permanent residence status within six months.

In contrast to the other two Express Entry programmes, candidates who are granted permanent residence under the CEC are exempt from having to prove their financial sufficiency and ability to prove themselves to the IRCC.

The CEC VISA — The Eligibility Criteria

Beyond fulfilling the basic prerequisites for the Express Entry pool, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) has specific qualifying standards. The specific eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • The intent to take up permanent residence — The candidate must showcase their intention to pursue employment and permanent residence in Canada. Such employment and residence must be taken up outside of the province of Quebec. The candidates attempting to apply for Quebec must adhere to the requirements under the Quebec Experience Class program.
  • Linguistic abilities — The candidate must meet the specified language requirements needed for the job for each language ability (speaking, reading, listening, and writing). A CLB 5 language proficiency score is all that is required for CEC under the TEER 2 and 3 job profiles. However, a CLB 7 or higher language proficiency score is required for eligibility under the TEER 0 and 1 job profiles.
  • Work experience — The applicant must have three years and at least twelve months of full-time (or comparable part-time) skilled work experience completed in Canada. The National Occupational Classification (NOC) categories for Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) must have included at least some of the experience that was obtained while the applicant had a valid work permit.
  • Educational requirements — Although work experience is the main consideration, eligibility for CECs is also influenced by educational background. Applicants educated in Canada can get points by providing their Canadian educational certificate, diploma, or degree. Those with credentials from overseas schools have to figure out how to get them evaluated in Canada.

The CEC VISA — The Application Process

STEP 1: Acquiring a Canadian work permit

Obtaining the right to work in Canada is the first and foremost prerequisite in your CEC VISA application process. In addition to acquiring a work permit, you must spend at least one year obtaining Canadian work experience.

STEP 2: Fulfilling all eligibility requirements

It is important to positively meet the eligibility criteria before proceeding with your CEC VISA application. Such criteria would include your proficiency in the English and French languages. To prove their English proficiency, applicants can take tests like the IELTS and CELPIP. The same for French would involve tests like the TEF and TCF. Applicants having some grasp of both languages would effectively score additional CRS points.

STEP 3: Creating an Express Entry profile

To successfully meet all eligibility criteria, applicants would need to create a profile under the Express Entry immigration program. This can be done by visiting the official IRCC website. Creating an Express Entry profile would require applicants to provide personal information related to their age, educational qualifications, income information, Canadian work experience, and linguistic abilities.

STEP 4: Polishing up your CRS scores and awaiting an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

On completion of your Express Entry profile comes the time to await your ITA. For many, receiving an ITA can be a reassuring stage in the procedure. A request for permanent residence is made possible by an Invitation to Apply (ITA), which is extended to certain individuals who have completed an Express Entry profile. On accepting the ITA, most CEC VISA applications are processed within six months or less time.

STEP 5: Health and security standards

Every applicant undergoes screening to rule out medical and criminal ineligibility. Presenting proof of having finished a medical examination with a doctor recognized by the IRCC is required at this point.

Furthermore, for every nation you have resided in for at least six months since turning eighteen, you must present a police background check which is also called a clearance certificate.

In addition, within 60 days of receiving an ITA, applicants must submit an electronic application. This should include thorough job reference letters from prior employers.

STEP 6: Confirmation of PR status

The final step in the CEC VISA application process would be receiving a confirmation of the applicant’s request for permanent residence, followed by the acquisition of a PR card. 


After carefully reviewing your case, the skilled immigration attorneys at Kurzfeld Law suggest a plan of action that will best meet your requirements. We expedite the process of adding you to the Express Entry pool and optimize your profile for maximum selection odds.