As of September 17, 2008, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is accepting applications for the newest category of Canadian immigration, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). This fast-track immigration category was designed specifically for Canada’s temporary foreign workers and international graduates with work experience, as a means to more easily transition them into Permanent Residents, and eventually Canadian citizens.
The details of the Canadian Experience Class were released earlier in August and have been amended slightly since then.
The initial criteria required that applicants have temporary resident status and be in Canada at the time of their application. Now, those who have left Canada, but otherwise meet the requirements as temporary foreign workers or international graduates, will be eligible to apply provided they do so within one year of leaving their job in Canada.
For temporary foreign workers, applicants must have obtained at least two years of skilled, professional or technical work experience within 36 months of the application date and they must have moderate or basic language abilities, depending on the skill level of their occupation.
For international graduates with Canadian work experience, applicants must have successfully completed a program of study of at least two academic years at a Canadian post-secondary educational institution and obtained at least one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience within the past 24 months. They also must have moderate or basic language abilities, depending on the skill level of their occupation.
“These applicants are integral to the Canadian economy and work force. They’ve been educated and trained here, have valuable work experience; Canada wants to keep them. The immigration process shouldn’t interrupt their lives and their work – the Canadian Experience Class is a welcomed solution,” says Canadian immigration attorney David Cohen.
Now that Canadian Experience Class applications are being accepted, potential applicants can verify their eligibility and learn about the process for the Canadian Experience Class category.
At this time, CIC plans to welcome between 12,000 and 18,000 applicants annually under the CEC.