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

How can I Qualify for the Canadian Experience Class

How can I Qualify for the Canadian Experience Class

Want to become Permanent Resident of Canada?

Are you looking to gain a Permanent Residence status in Canada? Are you someone with skilled work experience in Canada? You may be eligible to apply for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). This is one of the pathways created by Canadian Immigration for an individual to become a Canadian Permanent Resident.

What is the Canadian Experience Class?

Canadian Experience Class is a program that facilitates those with skilled work experience to become a permanent resident of Canada. Though it used to be a separate program, the Canadian Experience Class is now integrated with Express Entry, as of 2015. Thus, in order to apply for this program, the applicant must do so through the Express Entry program. Canadian Experience Class is a good way to hire foreign workers or support employees in your business to gain permanent residence.

What do I need to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class?

In order to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class, you will need to fulfill certain requirements. Amongst them, one of the most important requirements is work experience. You must have skilled work experience in Canada. This experience must come from the three years time period immediately preceding the date you apply for Canadian Experience Class. However, there are certain time requirements for this work experience. Your work experience must have been either one year of full-time work, or an equivalent amount in part time work. This could mean juggling two part-time jobs, or having two years of part-time work experience. Regardless of how the time is allocated, the required work experience must total 1560 hours. Note that this will not include self-employment or part-time experience from when you were a full-time student. Co-op or other school-related positions will also not count toward your total hours.

In addition to the time requirements, your work experience must also be obtained from a legitimate and officially recognized institution. This means you must have the appropriate legal documents proving your work experience.

Canadian Experience Class Language and Education Requirements

Other requirements include meeting certain language levels. This is based on speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The requirements are based on the type of profession you are in. The profession is based on NOC codes. If you are in a job with a NOC of O or A, you must achieve a minimum level of CLB 7 (or the equivalent in French). If you are in a job with a NOC of B, you must achieve a minimum level of CLB 5 (or the equivalent in French). Other than language, there are no specific education requirements in order to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class. However, since you can apply for the Canadian Experience Class through the Express Entry Program, you may still want to consider education as a factor. This is because education is one of the ways of gaining more points for your Express Entry application.

There are no other minimum requirements to meet for the Canadian Experience Class. However, you would want to ensure that you have no inadmissibility issues to Canada. If you do, you would likely need to apply for another application (eg. Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation) to resolve the issue that is stopping you from being able to enter Canada. Furthermore, you may want to note that there are different procedures for those wishing to live in Quebec. Quebec Immigration may have a separate process, so you would likely need to visit their website to confirm you meet their expectations and requirements.

What counts as Skilled Work Experience for the Canadian Experience Class?

The work experience that you must have had in order to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class has certain requirements. In order to be considered “skilled work”, it must fall under three specific categories. In Canada, occupations are categorized by what is known as the Canadian National Occupational Classification (more commonly referred to as NOC). This organizes jobs based on the type of work involved as well as the job duties involved. The NOC is broken down into different groups, either by skill type or skill level. Each specific job has a unique NOC code, which ultimately identifies your job (including the typical duties involved, average salary you should receive, typical education required, etc).

In order to be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class, your work experience must be either of NOC skill level 0, skill type A, or skill type B. NOC 0 includes managerial jobs, such as restaurant managers or shore captains. NOC A includes professional jobs, such as doctors or lawyers. Such professions generally require a university degree. NOC B includes technical jobs and skilled trades. Though these jobs may not require a university degree, they likely involve a college diploma or apprenticeship. It includes occupations such as chefs or plumbers.

How does the Express Entry System work for Canadian Experience Class?

Express Entry is a host for a variety of immigration programs. Through Express Entry, the applicant is judged based on a ranking system. This ranking is derived from the points you gain. The more points you have, the stronger your application will be. For more information regarding the point system used in Express Entry, refer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website, cic.gc.ca.

After going through the application process, you will be placed in a pool of other candidates. The strongest candidates, who must meet the minimum requirements for their specific class/program as well as have more points in comparison to other applicants, will be invited to apply for permanent residence. This invitation to apply will be a document sent to you by Canadian immigration into your Express Entry profile. After receiving the invitation, you will have another 60 days to apply for permanent residence. This application would be under the Canadian Experience Class. After applying, you would likely receive permanent residence status (if your application is approved), within another six months.

Why might my application for Canadian Experience Class be refused?

One of the main reasons why your application may be refused would be because you did not meet the requirements for the program. This could be because you were working illegally or in an unauthorized institution. Other reasons could be because your work experience did not total the required hours, your NOC code does not fall under any of the three required skill level/types, or you included work experience from a school-related position or from when you were self-employed. Essentially, it is crucial that you properly read through the requirements for Canadian Experience Class and ensure that you meet all of the requirements.

There are also other factors that you slow down the processing of your application. This could be because you did not include the necessary documents, missed some forms, left some responses unanswered, or provided illegible responses. Ensure that you are reading through the application guide available on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website and properly completing the application.

Contact Akrami and Associates

Though all forms are made publicly available on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website, it will be more convenient for you to hire a representative to assist you with your application. Both the Express Entry system and Canadian Experience Class can involve confusing applications to those with no previous experience in immigration matters. If you are looking to apply or have any questions, feel free to call Akrami and Associates. Our team of dedicated and reliable immigration professionals will be able to assist you with any questions you may have and help you move forward with your application.

With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way!

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