April 16, 2012 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced a proposed change to the Canadian Experience Class program reducing the requirement for temporary foreign workers to have full-time work experience from 24 to 12 months within the 36 month period preceding an application. The proposal is part of a CIC initiative to retain workers with valuable skill sets needed in the Canadian labour market.
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program is open to students and Temporary Foreign Workers who meet the requirements. It is one avenue a foreign national may use to transition from a temporary visitor to a permanent resident.
Applicants must reside outside Quebec, be either a temporary foreign worker or graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution, have worked under the proper authorization, apply while working in Canada (or within one year of a former job) and meet language requirements in either English or French. Currently, temporary foreign workers need the equivalent of 24 months of full-time skilled work and graduates need only 12. Applicants may apply with their spouse or common-law partner, and dependant children. More details on the proposed changes to this requirement will be available later in the year.
The ‘skilled work’ experience requirement to apply under the CEC refers to jobs that fall within the National Occupation Classification Skill Level O, A or B. These refer to managerial, professional and technical occupations, respectively.
Applicants do not need to apply from within Canada but, if outside the country, should apply within one year of leaving their former job as described above. It is possible for a foreign national to submit an application under two different streams in the Economic Class, such as the CEC program and the Federal Skilled Worker program.