Canadian Experience Class

As of January 1, 2015, the Federal Skilled Trades program is now managed under the new expedited electronic management system called Express Entry.  The key change from before January 1, 2015 you must create a profile in Step 1 of the Express Entry process, and be ranked according to your personal qualifications.  Based on this ranking (out of a maximum 1,200 points), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will make regular draws and send invitations to apply for permanent residence, to the highest ranked and most qualified candidates from the Express Entry profile pool.  Step 2 is to submit your application and supporting documentation to CIC for the permanent residence approval process, with the goal of approvals in less than 6 months, based on verifying your qualifications and meeting other security, medical and admissibility criteria.

In other words, the three federal immigration programs now under the Express Entry process, including the Canadian Experience Class have gotten more difficult and competitive; however, if you have the experience, skills, language proficiency and or/arranged employment to rank you amongst the top of the Express Entry pool, the approval process to gaining permanent residence can now be completed in 6 months or less.

Regarding the Canadian Express Class itself, the criteria are:

  • 12 months of Canadian full-time skilled (or an equal amount in part-time) work experience (NOC 0, A or B) under a valid work permit in the previous three years before you apply;
  • There is no education requirement for CEC – but to earn CRS points under Express Entry, you either need:
    • A Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, OR
    • A completed foreign credential AND an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a CIC-approved agency)
  • Meet the required language levels needed for your job in each language area (reading, writing, speaking, listening) – minimum CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A jobs and CLB 5 for NOC B jobs from a language test approved by CIC
  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

Important note: self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (for example, on a co-op work term) does not count under this program.

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