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The Canada Experience Class

Individuals who have worked in Canada and who wish to settle permanently in Canada with their accompanying dependants may qualify to apply for Permanent Residence under the Canadian Experience Class.

This program recognizes the benefits to Canada by candidates who have spent significant amounts of time pursuing their studies and working careers in Canada. It recognizes their contributions to the Canadian economy and the creation of strong links to Canadian society. This strengthens the permanent residence programs to Canada.


Eligibility for permanent residence under this class is assessed on a pass-fail basis where the primary criteria are the following:

  • Candidate has acquired 12 months of full-time work experience in an occupation categorized as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupation Classification (NOC). Qualifying occupations are those of a managerial, professional, technical or skilled trade nature.
  • The qualifying Canadian work experience was acquired within the 36 months immediately preceding the date of application;
  • Candidate demonstrates sufficient proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages. The level of proficiency required is determined by the occupation in which the candidate gained qualifying Canadian work experience;
  • Not be inadmissible to Canada on medical, criminal or security grounds.

Qualifying work experience

Qualifying work experience must be full time and skilled. “Full-time” refers to 30 hours per week. Part time work will be considered, but only on a pro-rata basis. For example, 6 months in a part time skilled position at 15 hours per week will count as three months towards the required 12. Multiple concurrent part time jobs can also be used to meet the experience requirement.

Any work experience acquired in Canada without valid work authorization will not be considered. Nor will periods of self-employment or work experience gained while the candidate was enrolled in a program of full-time study.

Application Caps and Exclusions

Ministerial instructions have been issued limiting applications to the Canada Experience Class. A maximum of 12 000 new applications will be received for processing each year, and a sub cap of 200 applications will be applicable to any occupation classified under NOC skill level B. Furthermore, applicants with work experience in the following NOC occupations will not be considered:

  • 1221 Administrative officers
  • 1241 Administrative assistants
  • 1311 Accounting technicians and bookkeepers
  • 6211 Retail sales supervisors
  • 6311 Food service supervisors
  • 6322 Cooks

Other occupations classified as NOC Skill levels 0 and A are subject only to the general 12,000 cap.

Language proficiency

Minimum proficiency must be demonstrated in all four language abilities, namely: Reading; writing; speaking; listening. Applicants whose qualifying work experience is in an occupation categorized as NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A must meet Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7. Applicants whose qualifying work experience is in an occupation categorized as NOC Skill Level B must meet CLB level 5.

Equivalencies between the required level of proficiency in French or English and test results under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) are:

IELTS Test Results per Ability
     Speaking           Listening             Reading             Writing       
7 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0
5 5.0 4.0 5.0 5.0
Test d’évaluation de français test results
7 309
5 225



The Canadian Experience Class is an ideal program for individuals who have become familiar with life in Canada and who wish to resettle here. For qualifying candidates, it is an expedient and secure option for obtaining permanent residence, with objective criteria. Moreover, the application can be made from within Canada, while the candidate has appropriate temporary status. In short, it allows a seamless transition from temporary to permanent status in Canada.

*The Canadian experience class does not apply to foreigners wishing to establish themselves in the Province of Quebec; however education and work experience accumulated in that province are valid to meet Quebec program requirements.

Interested readers who wish to discuss the implications of these developments are invited to communicate with us at your convenience and/or to complete an assessment questionnaire. Upon receipt we will assess your options.

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