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Changes to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

“The Canadian Experience Class has allowed more than 25,000 people to stay in Canada permanently to contribute their skills and talents,” said Alexander. “The government is taking concrete action to reduce backlogs and processing times. By making these changes to the Canadian Experience Class, we are moving toward a more effective and efficient immigration system.”

In order to manage intake, maintain reasonable processing times and prevent a backlog from developing in the CEC, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is introducing an annual cap on the number of new CEC applications. CIC will accept a maximum of 12,000 CEC applications from November 9, 2013, to October 31, 2014.

Under the new policy, cooks, food service supervisors, administrative officers, administrative assistants, accounting technicians, bookkeepers, and retail sales supervisors, are eliminated as eligible occupations for the CEC applications. This is an attempt to decrease the over-representation of certain occupational categories.

Further, in an effort to increase fairness and efficiency, applications to the CEC will have their proof of language proficiency assessed upon receipt of their file. This means that if an application does not meet language requirements, it will be immediately returned to the sender with a refund in processing fees. This will help government officers quickly return files that are not eligible, therefore giving applicants ample time to consider other options for permanent residency.

The requirements for the program still essentially remain the same despite its growing list of restrictions. In order to qualify, you must meet certain requirements to be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class. For example, you must:

  • Have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before you apply and
  • Meet or exceed the required language levels needed for your job in each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening). You must meet or exceed the language threshold of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC 0 or A occupations and CLB 5 for NOC B occupations.

Further, your work experience must be relevant:

Your work experience in Canada must be in a job or an occupation that requires a specific level of skill, education or training. To qualify, your experience must be in one of the following categories of Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).

  • Skill Type 0
    • This includes senior management occupations and middle and other management positions.
  • Skill Level A
    • Occupations at this level usually require university education at the bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate level.
  • Skill Level B
    • Occupations at this level usually require education obtained at a college or vocational institute, apprenticeship training or three to four years of secondary school followed by more than two years of on-the-job training, specialized training courses or specific work experience.

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