The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is the best Canadian permanent residency program for people who have done their time in Canada and spent a minimum of one year in their field of work or study as of January 2013.
CEC is a program that allows immigrant hopefuls to get a Canadian permanent resident visa after working in Canada within the minimum required period. To apply, the individual himself and not his employer (as in the case with a work visa application) will be submitting the application and paying for processing, landing and medical fees totalling to around $1000 – 2000.
• Provides applicants freedom to work anywhere in Canada, except Quebec, and switch jobs just like a citizen
• Brings applicants a step closer to gaining Canadian citizenship
• Good for five years, giving applicants enough time to decide whether or not permanent residency is really what they want (though they have to be in Canada for a specific length of time within their first five years to qualify for a renewal thereafter)
• Is accessible even for those who have left Canada or those who intend to leave Canada during processing (applicants become eligible after completing two years of work or study in Canada)
• Costly as applicants will likely have to cover all expenses without help from their employers
• Demands a lot of paperwork
• Process is slow and waiting time is unpredictable (being a new program designed to manage overwhelming Federal Skilled Worker applications)
• Accepts only Skill Types O, A and B as per NOC list, excluding Irish workers who are more likely to be successful applying through the Federal Skilled Worker program
Essential InformationProcessing CEC applications can be done with the help of Canada immigration lawyers or consultants for a fee, but this might be unnecessary. What’s great about the CEC is the way it has been designed for an applicant to assess their eligibility in a straightforward manner. It’s either a person is eligible or ineligible – no in-betweens.
As long as requirements are met, the permanent residency visa application will be successful. Paperwork is very simple, but diligence will be necessary and all information must be written as clearly as possible on the application form.
Some paperwork will be required as well – college or university transcripts, copies of birth certificate, a police certificate and the like. The application must be sent to Buffalo, although it could be forwarded to another consulate such as in Seattle or LA, which can be good or bad. If New York is dealing with tons of applications and needs help from another consulate, then that could mean the process will be made faster or slower.
There is a requirement to prove English proficiency or French proficiency and to get a medical tests such as a blood tests, urinalysis and xrays, all of which must be done with a doctor approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) (a list of doctors is provided on CIC’s website). Some people take the required medical tests very early, say, right after they get their Acknowledgement of Receipt or AOR, if only to save time. It takes around two to four weeks for medical test results to be released before being forwarded to Ottawa and added into the general system there. As soon as the consulate process sends a request for medical exams, the applicant must respond by showing proof that such tests have been taken. The consulate then contacts Ottawa to get a copy of the results. If the medicals are done early on, the results would be waiting for the consulate way ahead of time.
To know the status of an application or make other inquiries, a person can call CIC or check their website using their Bxxxxxx number. Consulates themselves do not normally accept CEC inquiries over the phone, especially in Buffalo, but they may reply to emails and can give very specific information. They cannot directly influence results of a CEC application, but they will have more access to more information online than an outsider. Of course, inquiries must be made as politely as possible as these people are not actually obliged to respond. They’re actually doing applicants a favor if they do.
Waiting times for CEC applications can be very unpredictable, so it’s good to be prepared for long processing, even when it’s possible to get results right on the date of application. To date, the CIC website is still in the process of quoting application time for the CEC, but usually, it will take around twelve months for results to be known.