Canadian Experience Class now open for business

Ottawa, September 5, 2008 — The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced that certain temporary foreign workers and students can start applying for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class starting September 17, 2008.

“With the Canadian Experience Class fully in place, Canada will be more competitive in attracting and retaining individuals with the skills we need,” said Minister Finley. “It, along with other recent improvements to modernize the immigration system, will go a long way in bringing Canada in line with its global competitors while further spreading the benefits of immigration into smaller centres across Canada.”

The Canadian Experience Class is a new avenue of immigration for certain temporary foreign workers and foreign student graduates with professional, managerial and skilled work experience. Unlike other programs, the Canadian Experience Class allows an applicant’s experience in Canada to be considered a key selection factor when immigrating to Canada.

The final implementation of the Canadian Experience Class reflects what was originally proposed on August 9, 2008. The main difference is that those who have left Canada, but otherwise meet the requirements as workers or graduates, will be eligible to apply provided they do so within one year of leaving their job in Canada. Under the proposal, CIC had suggested that applicants would be required to have temporary resident status and be present in Canada to be eligible to apply. The Government of Canada has since chosen to cast a wider net to avoid missing those with the Canadian experience we want, through residency restrictions.