Qualify as a graduate - Canadian Experience Class

There are two requirements specific to graduates:

Work experience

As a graduate of a Canadian post-secondary educational institution, you must have one year of full-time (or equivalent) work experience in Canada after graduation. Your work experience must be gained within two years of applying.

You may get work experience by applying for the Post-Graduation Work Permit after graduation. Work permits may be valid for up to three years with no restrictions on the type of work you can do or where. To ensure that you can apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class, at least one year of work experience under the permit must be at Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B under the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Your work experience must be gained within two years of the time you applied.

Full-time work experience means working at least 37.5 paid hours per week.

Note: Work experience gained during your studies does not count toward meeting the requirements for work experience. Only work experience gained after graduation can be counted.

Skill level — National Occupational Classification (NOC)

Your work experience must be Skill Type 0, or Skill Level A or B on the NOC.

The NOC is a classification system for jobs in the Canadian economy. It describes duties, skills, talents and work settings for occupations in Canada.

Find out your NOC category

To find out if your work experience qualifies you under the Canadian Experience Class, see Jobs and their NOC descriptions. Follow the instructions to find the NOC category that matches your work experience.

If the description and list of main duties for a job classified under 0, A or B match what you did while you worked in Canada, you probably meet the requirement for that type of experience.

If the description and list of main duties do not match your work experience in Canada, then you might not have the type of experience you need to apply. Look through the NOC list to see if another occupation matches your experience.

You do not meet the minimum work experience requirement if:

  • you gained your work experience without the proper authorization (for example, as an undocumented worker)
  • your work experience in Canada is not classified as 0, A or B under the NOC list
  • you do not have at least one year of work experience as a graduate of a post-secondary educational institution.

If you do not meet the minimum work experience requirements, your application for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class will be refused.

Education

Education is only assessed if you are applying as a graduate of a Canadian post-secondary educational institution.

If you want to apply based on your Canadian credentials, you must complete either:

  • a full-time Canadian post-secondary educational program of at least two years or
  • a one-year Master’s program (certificates and diplomas cannot be counted) and an additional year of education, obtained in Canada, before admission into the one-year program (for a total of two years).

Note: English- or French-as-a-second- language courses do not count toward education requirements under the Canadian Experience Class.

Applicants must complete a program of study and earn:

  • a diploma, degree, trade or apprenticeship credential from a public post-secondary educational institution such as a college or a university that is provincially recognized, or
  • a degree from a private post-secondary educational institution, that is provincially recognized, or
  • a diploma, trade or apprenticeship credential from a private CEGEP.

Note: You must have proper status during any period of full-time study or training.

If you do not meet the minimum education requirements when applying as a graduate, your application for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class will be refused.

Definitions

  • Full-time studies – To be eligible, you must have been considered “full-time” at your school.
  • Two years of study – At least 16 months—or four semesters—within the 24 months before completing a full-time post-secondary program of study in Canada.

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