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

Canadian Experience Class CEC

Canadian Experience Class CEC

How to obtain permanent residency:

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is one of the three methods through which foreign workers can seek permanent residence in Canada under the Express Entry program. The other two are the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Federal Skilled Workers Program.

Express Entry is a program instituted by the Government of Canada, which began in January 2015, and can be utilized by foreign workers looking to become permanent residents of Canada. Interested parties fill out an online profile that determines if they are eligible, based on criteria such as what skills they possess, their work experience, language ability, etc. Eligible applicants are then added to a pool of other eligible candidates for permanent residence and ranked against each other using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS assigns points based on the criteria that candidates are initially assessed on, as well as if they have a valid job offer, Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or a nomination for permanent residence by one of the provinces or territories of Canada.

What makes you eligible under the Canadian Experience Class?

You must demonstrate the following:

  • That you do not intend to live in the province of Quebec. If you do, you will have to follow Quebec’s own procedures for making such an application

  • That you have at least twelve (12) months of full time skilled work experience in Canada, or an equivalent amount of time in part time hours, with valid authorization (i.e. work permits, etc.) in the three (3) years prior to making your application

  • That you can demonstrate satisfactory language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in at least one of Canada’s official languages

Note that neither experience gained through self-employment nor while you were a student (such as participating in a co-op work placement) will count towards determining if you have the relevant work experience to be admitted under the Canadian Experience Class.

Skilled Work Experience

Jobs that are regarded as skilled work are those that fall under skill levels 0, and types A & B of Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC). These include managerial positions (level 0), professional jobs such accounting, law, engineering (skill type A), and technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B).

As mentioned above, these positions should have been occupied in a full time capacity or an equivalent in part time hours. What counts as full time work is at least thirty (30) hours per work week at one job, and fifteen (15) hours per week at one job or thirty (30) hours per week at more than one job for part time.


For NOC 0 or A jobs, you must meet the minimum language ability level of 7 according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), and for NOC B jobs, CLB 5.

You must also take a language test to demonstrate your proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening at least one of Canada’s official languages. This test must be taken with a test administrator that is approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada for such purposes.


While there is no educational requirement for admissions to Canada under the Canada Experience Class, you may earn points for education on provision of either of the following:

  • A Canadian secondary or post-secondary credential

  • A completed foreign educational credential, as well as an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada-approved assessment agency. This report should prove that the foreign credential is equivalent to a Canadian credential at that same level).

Once all eligibility criteria have been met, and you have ensured you are in the best position to have your application approved, you may submit it. It is best to consult with an immigration expert before filing your application. This allows you to receive professional help and advice on the best courses of action for you take, and increase your chances of success.

If you are interested in seeking more information on how to obtain Permanent Residency, do contact us and one of our representatives will happy to answer your questions.

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