The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) was introduced in September of 2008, and is an excellent way for people who have worked and studied in Canada to get Permanent Residence. Applicants under the CEC are not subject to points assessment. For this reason the CEC is especially attractive to recent graduates from a Canadian college or university who might not have enough work experience or points to qualify under the Skilled Worker class.
You must have had legal status while you worked in Canada. If you are a refugee claimant with a work permit or an undocumented worker you cannot apply for Permanent Residence through the CEC.
You do not have to be in Canada to file a CEC application. You can gain the necessary work experience, file your application and leave Canada. However, if you remain in Canada during processing of your CEC application, you must have valid temporary resident status throughout the process.
A person with 52 weeks of full-time or full-time equivalent work experience in Canada within the last 36 months may file a CEC application. “Full-time” experience is defined as 30 hours per week. The work experience must be at a job that is in NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B. You do not have to be employed, or in Canada while you apply. Self-employment does not count for the purposes of the necessary work experience in the CEC.
Here is the link to the NOC: http://noc.esdc.gc.ca/English/home.aspx
The CEC is an excellent immigration program for persons who have graduated from a post-secondary institution and worked at a skilled occupation with a Post Graduation Work Permit.
Is it enough to have a certificate or qualification alone? NO. You must also have one year of full-time work experience in Canada after graduating. Co-op work terms and work authorized by an Off Campus Work Permit Program do not qualify for the CEC. Self-employment does not count. However, work experience earned with the Post Graduate Work Permit and with “Working Holiday Visas” does count.
You must also prove you have some level of ability in either the English or the French language. The level of ability required depends on your work experience. In no case is it as strict as for applicants under the Skilled Worker Program. For the CEC you must demonstrate that you have moderate proficiency in either English or French. You must take a language exam (currently the IELTS, CELPIP or the TEF) to prove your language proficiency. No other forms of proof are accepted under current policy.
You should consider the CEC if you cannot score the minimum 67 points on the Skilled Worker program. Best of all, if you are in the middle of studies at a Canadian post-secondary institution and have a chance to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit, the CEC is tailor-made for you.
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