The Canadian Experience Class was introduced by Canada government on September 17, 2008. It was developed for temporary foreign workers or foreign graduates with Canadian work experience.

Under this class, you must have acquired, in Canada, within the 36 months before the date the application is made, at least 12 months of full-time work experience, or the equivalent in part-time work experience in one of the following occupational levels:

  • NOC skill type 0; this is for managerial positions who make decisions for an organization or a department within that organization. It might include jobs like mine managers, restaurant managers, or shore captains in the fishing industry. The expertise possessed by NOC 0 workers is due to educational training and/or extensive on-the-job experience. OR
  • NOC skill level A; these jobs require a university-level education – either a bachelor’s degree or a post-graduate degree like a master’s or a PhD. In other words, these jobs are also commonly known as professions – doctors, lawyers, accountants, graphic designers, coders etc. OR
  • NOC skill level B; These are jobs that normally require some form of post-secondary education like a certificate or diploma from a technical school or community college, for example. They also include jobs with secondary education and 2 to 5 years of apprenticeship training (like plumbers and electricians); as well as jobs with supervisory responsibilities or health and security responsibilities (like police officers and licensed practical nurses)
  • Full-time work means:
    • at least 30 hours of paid work per week for 12 months for a total of 1,560 hours.
    • In addition, you can also fulfill the work requirements through working sufficient hours in a part-time job: for example; 15 hours per week for 24 months = 1560 hours; or combining 2 part-time jobs that give a total of 30 hours per week for 12 months.

You must demonstrate that they have met the minimum language requirements by providing the results of their English or French language test from a designated language testing agency, such as IELTS, CELPIP and TEF.

The following minimum standards must be achieved as shown in the tables below. Needless to say, the higher your language test scores, the better your chances of getting an ITA. Remember that under the CEC stream, you apply through the Express Entry portal and that means the more points you can accumulate, whether through education, qualified work experience, or language ability, the more likely it is that you’ll be successful.

First, you will need the following table to ensure that you meet the specific CLB requirements for the NOC skill level or type (0, A, and B) that your job falls under.

NOC levelMinimum level for all 4 language abilities in English
NOC 0 or ACLB 7

Next, you will need the following tables to translate those CLB scores into approved test scores like IELTS or CELPIP:

CLB LevelIELTS ReadingIELTS WritingIELTS ListeningIELTS Speaking
108.0-9.07.5 - 9.08.5 - 9.07.5 - 9.0

It is important to remember (as we mentioned above) that you can also add points to your profile by means of your education. There are no specific requirements for education under CEC – aside from the requirements listed under your job’s NOC skill or level – but you may be awarded extra points if:

  • You have a degree, diploma, or certificate from a Canadian secondary school OR post-secondary school
  • You have a foreign education AND you have completed an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an agency approved by Canadian immigration authorities. An ECA is a report that provides an evaluation of your foreign educational credentials. The approved agencies include:
    • Comparative Education Services (University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies)
    • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
    • World Education Services
    • International Qualifications Assessment Services
    • International Credential Evaluation Service

Remember that as an applicant you must have maintained your temporary foreign worker or temporary foreign student status during your qualifying period of work or study in Canada. You must not have an expired work permit, at least until you have submitted your application, as we explain just below.

The distinctive advantage of this category versus the Federal Skilled Worker category is that you can submit your application once you meet the requirements and you do not have to maintain your worker status in Canada after your application is submitted and before a decision is made by a visa officer.

If your existing work permit is about to expire you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit. Bridging open work permits allow qualified applicants to keep working while they await a final decision on their permanent residence application.

Under the Express Entry system, in order to obtain a higher points and better chance to get an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will also need to obtain a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a Provincial Nominee Certificate.


Mary Zhang, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, can help you answer any questions you have. Contact her at Maxcan’s offices in Markham. Maxcan is easily accessible from anywhere in the Greater Toronto Area.