December 2, 2013

Changes to the Canadian Experience Class

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

The Canadian Experience Class is an option available for foreign temporary workers or international students graduating from Canadian colleges and universities, to use work experience in Canada toward an application for permanent residence.

This month the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, announced some changes to the Canadian Experience Class.  These changes were brought into effect on November 9, 2013, and are part of a series of Ministerial Instructions issued to streamline the processing of Permanent Residency applications.

The Minister plans to introduce a new annual cap of 12,000 CEC applications to be considered each year.  However, for the period of Nov 9, 2013 to October 13, 2013, Canada will receive 15, 000 applications in order to address the existing backlog awaiting decision.

Language requirements of CEC applicants will stay the same. However, the results of language skills testing in either English or French will now be reviewed prior to commencing the processing of an application.  This is intended to prevent future backlogs in the system; to reduce wait times for all applicants; and also to provide timely feedback to those who do not qualify based on the language criteria.

For certain occupation types, the Minister has introduced a new sub-cap of 200 applications per year.  This primarily affects technical and skilled trades classed as Skill Level B by the National Occupation Classification (NOC).  A further six occupations have now been deemed ineligible for consideration.  These include the following:

  • Cooks (NOC 6322)
  • Food service supervisors (NOC 6311)
  • Administrative officers (NOC1221)
  • Administrative assistants (NOC 1241)
  • Accounting technicians and bookkeepers (NOC1311)
  • Retail sales supervisors (NOC6211)


Managerial and professional occupations classed as NOC Skill Level A will not be subject to a sub-cap, but only to the total cap of 12,000 applications considered each year.  Applicants who are graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions, will have their education taken into consideration along with the work experience required for a CEC permanent resident application.

Any applications that were received prior to November 9, 2013 will continue to be considered based on the previous criteria for eligibility.

To learn more about the Canadian Experience Class itself, please see our summary of the CEC and eligibility criteria.