Canada reduces entry through Experience Class

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander recently introduced limitations to the Canadian Experience Class. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) was introduced in 2008 to permit persons working or studying in Canada to apply for permanent residence from within Canada.
This category of immigration has grown in popularity in recent years and the Minister targets that a total of 15,000 people will be processed for permanent residence under the CEC category in 2014.
However, in his recent announcement, the Minister has instructed that a total of 12,000 new applications will be accepted in 2014 with six occupations being deemed ineligible to apply. As a result of a high level of applications in these particular occupations, the Minister has instructed that six occupations under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) are no longer eligible to apply under the CEC category as of November 9, 2013:
Cooks NOC 6322
Food service supervisors NOC 6311
Administrative officers NOC 1221
Administrative assistants NOC 1241
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers NOC 1311
Retail sales supervisors NOC 6211
Individuals who have already applied under one of those occupational categories prior to November 9, 2013, will continue to have their permanent resident applications processed.
The CEC class is open to individuals applying for permanent residence in occupations listed under the National Occupational Classification system at levels O, A or B. Level O are managerial occupations, Level A are professional occupations and level B occupations are primarily technical or administrative occupations as well as skilled trades.
Applicants for permanent residence in the CEC class in NOC level B occupations will now be subject to a sub-cap of 200 applications per occupation per year.
NOC O and A occupations will not face any sub-caps but they remain subject to the overall cap of 12,000 permanent residence applications for 2014.
Furthermore, all CEC applicants will now need to provide proof of language ability at the time of initial application. CIC will maintain the same language criteria for CEC applicants but will verify language results at the time of intake to ensure that the processing of applications will be for those persons who meet the eligibility requirements.
The current language requirements for CEC applicants are Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC O and A occupations and CLB5 for NOC B occupations. This provision will ensure that applicants who do not meet the minimum language requirements will be screened out of the application process earlier and allow for speedier processing of those applicants who meet the basic minimum eligibility threshold. Applicants who do not have the required language proficiency will have their applications returned to them, along with the application processing fee.
Catherine Sas ( is a practicing Vancouver immigration lawyer. For more information go to

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