Canadian Experience Class

Table of Contents

Please note that on January 1, 2015 the way that Canada accepts permanent residents has changed. The new system, called Express Entry, represents a change in method rather than in requirements. 

Express Entry




Becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada under the Canadian Experience Class (in Canada with work experience)

Many people who have worked in Canada on a temporary work permit are eligible to apply to live in Canada permanently under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). This includes foreign workers on an open work permit, or on an employer-specific (closed) work permit, those on a post-graduate or other student work permit, and others legally allowed to work in Canada.

If you have worked in Canada on one of these permits, you will have already demonstrated your English or French language skills, a sufficiently high level of education, as well as relevant work experience. This means you have shown an ability to integrate into Canadian society and thus are considered qualified to live in Canada on a permanent basis.

If you are approved for the CEC stream you will become a permanent resident of Canada, which means you can live in Canada permanently and apply to become a Canadian citizen after 4-6 years, provided you meet the additional requirements for citizenship which include studying for and passing a citizenship test.

Refugee claimants and people without status in Canada are not eligible to apply. CEC applicants are also not able to reside in the province of Quebec because of the unique immigration requirements and selection criteria used by Quebec immigration authorities.


How Immigroup can help you get permanent residence in Canada (with Canadian work experience)

To discuss how you can become a permanent resident under the Canadian Experience Class, contact us for a consultation. We can assess your eligibility to apply, help you figure out how you can prove you meet the requirements, and file your application with IRCC.

Immigroup will assist you throughout the entire Express Entry application process from start to finish, including:

  • Determining your eligibility to apply;
  • Determining the likelihood of success of an application for CEC;
  • Ensuring your forms are complete and accurately reflect the details of your situation affording you the best chance of success;
  • Ensuring you have the necessary and appropriate documents in support your application;
  • Handling the Express Entry portal for you;
  • Advising the privileges permanent residence affords you;
  • Determining the best way to proceed once the outcome of your case is reached (applying for Canadian citizenship, re-application if necessary, etc.)

Contact us for a consultation to assist you with a CEC application.


Costs of Canadian Experience Class Applications


CEC Legal Fees

IMMIgroup fees are on a case-by-case basis, but our service fees are significantly lower than what you would pay a lawyer for less personal attention from the lawyer. Top Priority service is sometimes available for clients who need to file their application urgently at an additional cost.

If you do not know where you stand, whether or not you are eligible apply under the Canadian Experience Class, or how to proceed, contact us for assistance. Consultations start at CAD$150+HST.


CEC Government Fees

In addition to the legal fees paid to Immigroup to assist you with this process, you must also pay a fee to the Canadian government for filing the CEC application. Please refer to the fee chart below for how much you’ll have to pay. CEC applicants must pay both the processing fee and the right of permanent residence fee.

Government application fees are subject to change at any time without notice and are not refundable from IRCC regardless of whether or not the application is approved.

Processing Fee Number of persons Amount per person Amount Due
Principal applicant (You) 1 x $550 $550
Each family member age 22 or older (i.e. your spouse or partner, and any adult children) x $550
Each family member under age 22 who is married or in a common-law relationship x $550
Each family member under age 22 who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship (i.e. children) x $150
Total Payment:
Right of Permanent Residence Fee Number of Persons Amount Per Person Amount Due
Principal applicant 1 x $490 $490
Spouse or common-law partner x $490
Total Payment:

Government application fees are subject to change at any time without notice and are not refundable from IRCC regardless of whether or not the application is approved.


Canadian Experience Class Basic Requirements

You must demonstrate that you:

  • Have lived in Canada during the time your work permit or study permit was valid;
  • Have gained at least 12 months of full-time or equivalent part-time work experience in an eligible field;
  • Have gained this work experience within 3 years before your CEC application was received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC);
  • Have the required level of English or French language ability;
  • Have not worked in Canada without authorization (illegally or without a valid work permit);
  • Have not stayed in Canada without authorization (illegally or without permission);
  • Are not inadmissible to Canada because of criminal convictions or health problems.

You must be able to demonstrate that you meet these requirements through providing the relevant documentation.

If you’re not sure if you meet these requirements or whether your supporting documents demonstrate this, contact us for a consultation.


Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Language Requirements

You must submit test results from language tests approved by IRCC for your application to be processed.


English Requrirements for CEC

  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP – General test only)
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System (General Training test only)

French Requirements for CEC

  • TEF: Test d’évaluation de français

You must meet the minimum requirement in all categories (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) to be eligible to apply for the Canadian Experience Class.


Language Testing minimum requirements for CEC

NOC Skill type or level CLB English NCLC French CELPIP Level IELTS Level Listening IELTS Level Reading IELTS Level Writing IELTS Level Speaking
0 or A CLB 7 NCLC 7 (French) 7 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
B CLB 5 NCLC 5 (French) 5 5.0 4.0 5.0 5.0

The following table gives minimum required results for French-language tests TEF & TCF:


NOC Skill type or level NCLC Level French TEF Listening TEF Reading TEF Writing TEF Speaking
0 or A 7 249-279 207-232 310-348 310-348
B 5 181-216 151-180 226-270 226-270
NOC type or level NCLC Level TCF Listening TCF Reading TCF Writing TCF Speaking
0 or A 7 458-502 453-498 10-11 10-11
B 5 369-397 375-405 6 6

Test results must be no older than 2 years old or they become ineligible for submission.

Test results should be sent to you, the applicant, and then enclosed with the rest of your Canadian Experience Class application and submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Test results sent directly to IRCC from the testing centre will be discarded and will not count towards any application. Your test results are the only proof that IRCC will use to assess your language ability.


Canadian Work Experience Requirements for the Canadian Experience Class

This program is for foreign skilled workers who have already accumulated work experience in Canada and gives them a way to apply for Permanent Residence. To qualify, you must have accumulated 12 months of full-time (minimum 30 hours per week) or the equivalent of part-time work. Your work experience can be in the following areas:

  • Managerial jobs (skill level 0),
  • Professional jobs (skill type A), or
  • Technical, or skilled trade jobs (skill type B)

Your work experience needs to have been in Canada within 36 months prior to your application being received by IRCC. However, you do not need to be employed at the time you submit your application.

The following does not count toward the work experience requirement for Canadian Experience Class applications:

  • Self-employment,
  • working without authorization (illegally without a work permit), or
  • work done while you were in college or university full time

If you are a student who has graduated from a college or university in Canada, you may gain the necessary work experience to apply for CEC through the Post-graduate Work Permit. You cannot apply for Canadian Experience Class without the necessary Canadian work experience.


Requirements for Accompanying Family Members for the Canadian Experience Class

For the purpose of your CEC application, ‘family members’ means your spouse or common-law partner, dependent children, and their dependent children (your grandchildren).

  • Spouse means your partner (opposite or same sex) who entered into a legal marriage with you either before you came to Canada or after you came here.
  • Common-law Partner means your partner (opposite or same sex) who lives in the same house with you in a conjugal relationship for at least 1 year.
  • Dependent Children means your children (and can include any spouses or common-law partners of your children) who are:
    • 22 years old or younger and single, or
    • Financially dependent since before 22 years old because they are unable to support themselves due to a medical condition.
    • Please note that the legal age of a dependent child in Canada has changed over the past few years:
    • From August 1, 2014 to October 23, 2017 the maximum age was 19 years old.
    • If your application was submitted on or before July 31, 2014 then a different set of rules applies regarding dependent children.
    • Go here and use the online tool to see whether your children are dependent or not.

Any of these family members of the CEC applicant can be included on your application and will become permanent residents of Canada if you are approved. If both you and your partner in a marriage or common-law relationship meet the requirements, one of you must apply as the principal applicant and your partner will then be included in that application as the spouse or partner.


Express Entry Points Cut Offs (including CEC)


Express Entry Invitations to Apply (including for CEC)

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