What is Canadian Experience Class (CEC)?

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an independent Immigration program for those applicants who have at least 1560 hours of full-time working experience over 1 year or 1560 hours of part-time working experience over 2 years in Canada. To be considered for CEC; you must have at least 30 hours or more working hours per week, working for Canadian employers. Foreign workers who wished to become permanent residents of Canada can opt for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) besides Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), if they meet the CEC requirements. To be eligible for CEC immigration you must have worked for at least one year in Canada. The Canadian Experience class immigration program is processed under the Express Entry.

Applicants do not have to be employed at the time of application nor there needs to be continuous work experience, but you will be considered eligible for Canadian Experience Class only if your Canadian experience is not older than 03 years at the time of application.


Eligibility for Canadian Experience Class

To be eligible for the CEC the following must be considered:

  • 1560 hours of work experience must be within Canada; working for Canadian employers.
  • If applicants are currently residing in Canada, they must have a valid temporary status, even if they are currently unemployed.
  • Self-employment and unauthorized work do not count as work experience under Canadian Experience Class.
  • A person who had been working without permission is not eligible under CEC and can be found inadmissible.
  • The employment requirements listed in the NOC should be met under Canadian Experience Class.
  • • Work experience under implied status is applicable for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), provided that the applicant had worked under the same working conditions as his/her initial contract.
  • Work experience outside Canada during vacations is not applicable however a standard 2-week vacation time out of a 52 week-period of work will be considered applicable.
  • Final decisions will be made by the Immigration officer; whether an applicant met the Canadian Experience Class requirements or not?

Advantages of CEC over FSWP

Canadian Experience Class application has certain advantages:

  • Work experience does not have to be continuous in Canadian Experience Class.
  • Unlike FSWP, 1-year period of full time or equivalent amount of part-time experience, in multiple National Occupational Classification (NOC) is acceptable under CEC, but requirement of NOC level 0, A or B should be met.

For example; Ms. ABC, worked as a retail supervisor under NOC level B for 08 months with at least 30 hours or more working hours per week on her postgraduate status and later finds a NOC level A job in her field of study as an Information System Analyst and worked for her new employer full-time with at least 30 hours or more working hours on her valid status in Canada. She will be eligible to apply under Canadian Experience Class, based on her 1 years of full-time work experience, in NOC A and B, gained whilst on a valid working status in Canada.

  • For CEC applications proof of funds are not required, the requirements of proof of funds for applicants become optional as they are not mandatorily required to present proof of funds, whereas proof of funds are required for FSWP or FSTP applications.
  • CEC applications are considered faster and smoother as compared to FSWP applications as they are easier to verify and thus may take lesser processing time.

Canadian Experience Class | Employment vs Self Employment

Self employment experience is not acceptable under Canadian Experience class. An applicant is considered employed or self employed by CIC officer according to the factor of control under the following conditions:

  • To what degree does the worker have to work personally and whether he/she has an option to further hire people to assist his/her work.
  • To what degree does the worker have the independence to carry out the work including how it is carried out.
  • If the employers provide tools & equipment to complete the work.
  • To what degree there is financial risk involved and if the worker has the autonomy to make business decisions when required.
  • All other relevant factors.

There are few occupations in which individuals may be self-employed or in an employer-employee relationship depending upon circumstances of the employment. Some employment involving specialized training may be difficult to securitize due to the factor of control such as physicians, IT consultants, engineers etc. However, during scrutiny of factor of control the payer’s control and influence both are kept under consideration. Ownership or partial ownership of a business is considered as self-employment. All contractors and consultants in financial, real estate & business services industries are considered to be self-employed.


If an applicant is unsure of his employee/self-employment status he/she may request a ruling in the form of a letter or CPT1 form from the CRA to determine their status. The ruling will determine the nature of employment and whether it is insured or pensionable. The ruling can then be submitted to CIC for CEC application. The final decision rests with the CIC officer as a CRA ruling does not confirm evidence of employment.

Assessment of Work Experience applications before January 2, 2013
  • An applicant applying for Canadian Experience Class who had a Temporary Foreign Worker Status must have one year of full-time work experience or equivalent part time experience in any of the 0, A or B occupations listed under the NOC at least 36 months prior to the date of application.
  • An applicant applying for Canadian Experience Class who had a Post-Graduation Status, after completion of his/her program of study, must have one year of full time or equivalent part-time work experience in any of the 0, A or B occupations listed under the NOC at least 24 months prior to the date of application.
  • Volunteer work, off campus work or co-op work term does not count for CEC applications.
Assessment of Work Experience applications after January 2, 2013

Applicants must have one year or equivalent part-time Canadian skilled work experience in one or more occupations in categories 0, A or B listed under the NOC within 36 months prior to the receipt of the date of application. The applicant must also be able to provide evidence of:

  • Assigned and performed duties are, as per occupational descriptions listed under the NOC.
  • Lead statements of assigned and performed duties are, as per occupational descriptions listed under the NOC.

The following will NOT be counted as work experience:

  • Employment when an applicant was engaged in a full-time study.
  • Experience gained through co-op permits.
  • Off-campus/volunteer work during program of study.

Determination of Employment Status:

An applicant’s employment status will be considered if it satisfies the CIC officer along with the program requirements. All work experience must be through authorized employment in Canada. Additional documentation includes:

  • Letter of Employment.
  • Documentary evidence of work experience.
  • Recent work permits.
  • Copies of recent T4 tax information slips.
  • Notice of Assessment NOA issued by Canada Revenue Agency CRA.
  • Record of remuneration and deductions.
  • Letter of references of all qualifying work experience.
  • Other related documents.

T4 tax information slips are issued by employers as evidence of income tax remuneration and deductions. All Canadian employers are responsible for deducting and remitting Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, Income tax and Employment insurance (EI). Though the T4 document is a primitive evidence of an employer-employee relationship it is not mandatory and cannot be considered the sole evidence of work experience in Canada. This can be substituted by letter of employment, pay slips or work contracts. Regardless all applicants must meet the program requirements and provide supporting evidence.


Bridging Open Work Permits

Applicants whose current work permit is due to expire, and they have received the confirmation of submission of their permanent residence application after invitation to apply, under CEC; are eligible for bridging open work permit. This bridging open work permit may facilitate them to maintain their status until a final decision is rendered on their PR application under Canadian Experience Class.


Are you considering applying for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) application and are still confuse and want a detailed assessment or consultation regarding your case, then look no further; as The Visa Canada team has years of experience in dealing with such applications!