Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Applying for Permanent Residence through the CEC

One of the best ways to apply for permanent residence, if you are eligible, is through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), through Express Entry. As the name suggests, this is a favorable way to apply for permanent residence because individuals could become permanent residents fairly quickly, assuming they are a top applicant. The Express Entry program in general pools applicants together, and compares them based on their qualifications to join the labor force in Canada. Individuals are ranked on the government’s comprehensive ranking system, also known as CRS, and every so often a certain number of top applicants are given an invitation to apply. The Canadian Experience Class is not the only stream in express entry; there are also the Federal Skill Trades Program, and the Federal Skilled Worker Program. So, this semi-regular selection process we speak of occurs separately for each of the Express Entry programs. Depending on which of the programs you qualify for, you could be invited to apply through the CEC stream, or the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), or even the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). Throughout this article, we will discuss who is eligible for the Canadian Experience Class, and how to apply for permanent residence through the CEC as well.

Eligibility Requirements of the Canadian Experience Class

The purpose of express entry is to invite skilled foreign nationals who wish to come to Canada, to Canada, in the hopes that at the same time, the Canadian government can work to strengthen the Canadian labor market. Therefore, there are some somewhat specific eligibility requirements. They are as follows:

  • You must have a minimum of 12 months full-time work experience or equivalent skilled work experience in Canada in the three years preceding your application,
    • Please note - any work experience you gained while you were self-employed or a full-time student does not count.
  • You must have gained experience in Canada with proper authorization
    • This means any work experience gained unlawfully cannot be counted
  • You must meet the minimum language requirement for your job
  • You must plan to live outside of Quebec

In addition to these requirements, you must specifically have work experience within certain National Occupation Classifications, otherwise known as NOC’s. The NOC’s which are recognized as skilled work experience are Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0), Professional jobs (NOC skill type A), Skilled trades and Technical jobs (NOC skill type B). Furthermore, it is essential you understand you cannot have simply worked a position which claims to be one of these NOC’s, you must have actually performed all of the essential duties and most of the main duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC.

What is the Language Ability Requirement?

To work in the Canadian Labor force, it is important you can communicate with your fellow workers. Therefore, there is a minimum level to which you must be able to communicate in English or French. At the same time, language ability will go towards your score on your Express Entry profile, so, the better you do on your language test, the better your chances of receiving an invitation to apply. Specifically, you must take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and score a minimum level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for NOC B jobs or the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark 7 for NOC 0.

Is there an Education Requirement?

There is no required education to apply for the Canadian experience class. Though , similar to the language ability assessment, your foreign education credentials can go towards your express entry profile, to help earn you more points and have a better chance of receiving an invitation to apply. In order to earn points for your education under Express Entry you need a Canadian High school or post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, OR a completed foreign credential, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC, to make this completed foreign credential valid in terms of Canadian education.

What Happens if I Receive an Invitation to Apply?

Congratulations! If this is the case for you, you have successfully completed stage 1 of your express entry application. You now have 60 days to complete your application for stage 2 of express entry, and submit the application along with paid processing fees. At this point, you may also be requested to pass a medical exam and pass criminal and security checks. Please note, there are country specific requirements. It is important to do research or contact an immigration expert, to ensure you have not overlooked any requirements. Please understand, receiving an invitation to apply does not necessarily mean you will be permitted to immigrate to Canada, this is still part of the application process. 

Contact Akrami and Associates

It is essential that you put together an express entry profile and an application for permanent residency with complete accuracy and honesty, as this opportunity is very unique, and due to the fact that you will immediately enter the Canadian working economy after receiving your permanent residency, immigration officers review these applications with a high degree of scrutiny. Express Entry applications are not an easy process to understand and complete and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit an application. Here at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients gain economic experience and gain permanent residency in Canada through the Express Entry application management system. If you believe that you might be eligible and the correct candidate for the federal, provincial or territorial economic immigration programs in Canada, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation for more advice.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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