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Permanent Residence 

Do I Qualify for CEC Category?

Q. I am really impressed with your articles in 24H newspaper. I was wondering whether you could clarify for me if I qualify for the new Canadian Experience Class (CEC). I came to Canada from Mexico as an exchange student for my last year before obtaining my bachelor degree. After that, I decided to continue my MBA under a 12-month program. After receiving my MBA degree, I obtained an open work permit, found a job and am working for the past year. As I studied 2 years in Canada, do I qualify for the permanent residency application under the CEC category? Your response would be much appreciated. Thank you.

A. I selected your question for this week’s article because we receive many questions of this type. The CEC legislation requires that the applicant:

  • Must have completed a required program of study in Canada and obtained a Canadian educational credential (degree, diploma, certificate);
  • Must have been enrolled full-time in the program of study or training for two years and
  • Must have acquired one year of full-time equivalent, skilled-work experience at the NOC 0, A or B level in Canada, within the two years preceding the date the application is submitted.

In your case, it would appear you are not eligible for this particular program because, although you studied two years in Canada, in one of those years you were an exchange student and this did not lead to a Canadian educational credential – your Bachelor degree was obtained and granted outside Canada (Mexico). Secondly, the length of your MBA program in Canada is only twelve months and therefore, you do not meet the criteria of having graduated from a two year program in Canada. After all it is the Canada Experience Class so I would suggest that you acquire at least two years of work experience in Canada, and then submit an application in the first category of the CEC class – foreign workers stream. Good luck!


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