Immigration Minister Announces Plan to Reduce the Work Experience Requirement for Skilled Workers under the Canadian Experience Class
On April 16, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) intended to reduce the work experience requirement for eligible temporary foreign workers seeking permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”). According to CIC, this will make it easier for skilled tradespersons working in Canada to transition to permanent residence as their work is often project-based and can be seasonal.
The CEC was established on September 17, 2008. It allows temporary foreign workers and international graduates to apply for permanent residence without a job offer, if certain conditions are met. The above announcement applies to the temporary foreign worker subcategory of the CEC.
To qualify as a temporary foreign worker under the current CEC, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:
- They must plan to live outside the Province of Quebec;
- They must be a temporary foreign worker with at least two years of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada;
- They must have gained experience in Canada with the proper work authorization;
- They must have sufficient English or French language ability; and
- They must apply under the CEC while working in Canada or within one year of leaving their job in Canada.
Under the proposed regulatory changes, the requirement of two years of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada would be reduced to one year; full-time work experience means working at least 37.5 paid hours per week. However, all other requirements of the CEC would continue to apply.
Further details about the proposed changes to the Canadian Experience Class will be announced later in 2012.