Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class allows candidates who have skilled work experience in Canada to be selected for immigration to Canada under the Express Entry selection system.

Minimum requirements for Skilled Work Experience

Candidates must as a minimum:

  • have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada in the three years before they apply;
  • have gained this experience in Canada legally;
  • meet the required minimum language levels needed for this job for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing and listening);
  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec (The province of Quebec does not use Express Entry. Quebec selects its own skilled workers. See the  Quebec Skilled Worker Program  to find out more).

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

Definition of skilled work experience

Candidates must have Canadian skilled work experience within three years of applying.  According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), Skilled work experience means experience in:

  • Managerial jobs (NOC skill level 0)
  • Professional jobs (NOC skill type A)
  • Technical jobs and skilled trades (NOC skill type B)

This experience must be at least 12 months of full-time or an equal amount in part time experience. Full time means at least 30 hours of paid work per week .

Candidates whose existing work permit is about to expire, may be eligible for a bridging open work permit. If this is the case, this permit can let them remain working in Canada while awaiting a final decision on their permanent residence application.

River kayaking in the Jacque-Cartier park

Minimum Requirements for Language ability

Candidates must:

  • meet the minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs OR Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for NOC B jobs; and
  • take a language test approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that shows they meet the level for speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Candidates must show that they meet the requirements in English or Frenchby including the test results when they complete the Express Entry profile. These test results must not be more than two years old on the day candidates apply for permanent residence. Otherwise they will need to retake the test.


There is no education requirement for Canadian Experience Class. But, in order to earn points for education under Express Entry, candidates need a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree; OR both a completed foreign credential, and an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an agency approved by CIC. The report must show that the foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree.

Express Entry points for Education are given ONLY  if a candidate’s foreign education is equal to a completed Canadian high school diploma or more.

Principal applicant

Candidates who are married or live with a common-law  partner in Canada who is not a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen and who also meets the requirements, may also fill out an Express Entry profile. The one who is invited to apply and submits an application is the “principal applicant” for the couple’s application.

common-law partner is a person who has lived with another person in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.

Other requirements

Candidates  must not be inadmissible to Canada. Find out more about inadmissibility.

If you have skilled work experience in Canada and want to live in Canada permanently, use our Canadian Experience Class Free Assessment  to see if you are eligible to apply .