The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program permits foreign nationals who have attained one year of Canadian high-skilled work experience to apply for permanent residence. International students on a Post-graduate Work Permit and Temporary Foreign Workers who have attained one year of Canadian work experience are ideal candidates for the program. In addition to work experience, applicants must meet certain language requirements and intend to settle outside Quebec.

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Canadian Experience Class CEC

Canadian Experience Class Requirements

Work Experience:

  • Have at least 12 months of Canadian work experience in a NOC 0, A or B profession within the last three years.
  • This experience must have been obtained while on a valid work permit.


  • A minimum of a Canadian high school diploma or the equivalent in foreign education.

Language Proficiency:

  • Reach a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 on an approved English or French language test.

Financial Support:

  • Applicants under the Canadian Experience Class are not required to show proof of settlement funds, as FSW and FST candidates.

Bridging Open Work Permit

CEC applicants, who have submitted an application after receiving an invitation to apply (ITA), are eligible to apply for a “bridging open work permit.” This permit allows applicants to continue working while they await a final decision on their permanent resident application.

Express Entry Tips


Draft Letters

Ensure your employment verification letter meets all the requirements by  drafting the letter based on relevant skills and responsibilities.


Less is More

Only include the experience or documentation required by rules while ensuring to disclose all required information.


Obtain Docs

Ensure to obtain supporting documentation well before receiving an invitation to apply to allow for delays.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Canadian Experience Class mean?

Canadian Experience Class or CEC is a permanent residence category for people with skilled work experience in Canada. It was developed for temporary foreign workers and graduates with qualifying Canadian work experience to apply for permanent residency.

What is a good Canadian experience class score?

A good score is one that is close to the CRS cutoff draw. Based on recent draws, a good CRS score is in the high 400’s.

Is Canadian Experience Class different from Express Entry?

The Canadian Experience Class or CEC is managed under the Express Entry system and uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank interested candidates. Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a specific immigration program while Express Entry is the system for processing PR applications. Applicants who have competitive CRS scores will receive invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

How many hours do I need for Canadian Experience Class?

You require one year or experience to qualify for the Canadian Experience Class program. This equates to twelve (12) months of full-time work based on a 30 hours per week or 1,560 hours.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is the electronic management system for applying for permanent residency. It is not an immigration category but a system to facilitate the selection and processing of Canada’s economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nomination Programs.

Applicants first make an ‘expression of interest’ in immigrating to Canada by registering a profile and, if they are eligible for at least one of the aforementioned programs, they then enter the Express Entry pool. Candidates from this pool will then receive an ‘invitation to apply’ under one of the programs when they meet or exceed the points threshold.

The points of each applicant, under the express entry system, is determined by: English proficiency scores, level of education, age, and other selection factors. The points threshold changes according to the latest draw held approximately every two weeks.

How does Canadian Experience Class and Category based rounds of invitations work together

In category-based rounds of invitations, candidates are invited in the Express Entry pool who are eligible for a specific categories established by Immigration Canada to meet an identified economic goal. Category based rounds limits candidates and can allow selection for an ITA with lower points than general draws. Once selected the candidate would still have to meet CEC, FSW, or FST criteria. The categories include:

French-language proficiency
Healthcare occupations
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
Trade occupations
Transport occupations
Agriculture and agri-food occupations

What is the minimum CLB for Canadian experience class?

One of the main eligibility criteria for the CEC program is meeting the language requirements. You must prove your proficiency in either English or French by taking a language test approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The minimum language test score you need depends on the type of job you had in Canada. Here are the minimum levels for each job category:

TEER 0 or 1 jobs: These are managerial or professional jobs, such as managers, engineers, or doctors. You must have a minimum level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or Niveau de compétence linguistique canadien (NCLC) 7 in French.

TEER B jobs: These are technical or skilled trades jobs, such as electricians, chefs, or nurses. You must have a minimum level of CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5 in French.

You can find your TEER code and job category by using the NOC tool on the official immigration website.

Is there a salary requirement for CEC?

There is no minimum salary requirement. You must have been paid a wage (or earned a commission) but there is no minimum wage requirement for your qualifying work experience. Full-time work experience means working at least 30 paid hours per week.

Do you need proof of funds for CEC?

There is no requirement to provide proof of funds for the Canadian Experience Class or CEC. However, the system requires the applicant to upload a letter. A letter stating that this is not required for CEC class is sufficient.