The Canada Experience Class Changes of November 8 2013

By Author: Admin | November 13, 2013

Canada’s immigration bureaucracy is emboldened by  Ministerial Instructions – which are basically the fiat of the immigration department, issuing orders without notice or discussion.  This will no doubt pose a significant challenge to those self-filers of immigration applications. At 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, on November 8 2013, (i.e. when most people kick back and relax for the weekend), new restrictions on the Canada Experience Class were imposed. My comments are in italics below, interspersed with the official announcement, also below:

Ottawa, November 8, 2013 — Today, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced changes to improve the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) so that the program continues to attract top quality candidates. (the phrase ‘continues to attract’ wrongfully implies a sense of continuity with the older, less restrictive CEC program).

“The Canadian Experience Class has allowed more than 25,000 people to stay in Canada permanently to contribute their skills and talents,” said Alexander (the amount of 25000 is a pittance given that the 25000 applicants were admitted over a period of five years). “The government is taking concrete action to reduce backlogs and processing times. By making these changes to the Canadian Experience Class, we are moving toward a more effective and efficient immigration system.” (the processing times were generally about four to 12 months under the previous iteration of the CEC – not at all lengthy by recent standards and as compared other categories such as parents).

In order to manage intake, maintain reasonable processing times and prevent a backlog from developing in the CEC, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is introducing an annual cap on the number of new CEC applications. CIC will accept a maximum of 12,000 CEC applications from November 9, 2013, to October 31, 2014. (the CEC is going to be supplemented by a “a new model to select immigrants, likely employer driven”).

Despite the annual cap on applications, the department will admit approximately 15,000 individuals under the CEC in 2014.

CIC is also seeing an overrepresentation of certain occupations in the program. In order to bring in as diverse a skill set as possible, the department will introduce limits on the number of applications under certain occupations. (It seems to the Immigration Minister, the labour market is wrong – Canada’s immigration bureaucrats know more about what jobs are good for Canada and is thus cutting off certain occupations).

Effective November 9, 2013, CIC will introduce sub-caps of 200 applications each in certain skilled occupations. Also, six particular occupations will no longer be eligible for the CEC.

Full details of the new CEC intake measures are available in the backgrounder and will be published in the Canada Gazette tomorrow.

Backgrounder — Improvements to the Canadian Experience Class

Between November 9, 2013 to October 31, 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept a maximum of 12,000 new applications under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Because of an overrepresentation in the CEC applications received to date, the following six occupations will no longer be eligible for the CEC starting November 9, 2013: (Canada’s immigration bureaucrats apparently have a better pulse on Canada’s labour market needs than employers who hired graduates in the following occupations):

       • cooks (NOC code 6322) (Canadian restaurants with foreign chefs will have to recruit foreign nationals on an ongoing basis);

       • food service supervisors (NOC 6311);

       • administrative officers (NOC 1221);

       • administrative assistants (NOC 1241);

       • accounting technicians and bookkeepers (NOC 1311); and

       • retail sales supervisors (NOC 6211).

CIC already has a large inventory of applications in these occupations and will continue processing them to a final decision. (Hey student visa holders- don’t get a study visa and enrol in education pertaining to the above jobs).

In addition, CIC will establish sub-caps of 200 applications each for National Occupational Classification (NOC) B occupations.(If you have a level “B” occupation, you may be out of luck if you file your CEC case after the cap has been filled).   These are mostly technical and administrative jobs or those in the skilled trades. NOC 0 and A (managerial and professional) occupations will not be sub-capped, but they will be subject to the overall cap of 12,000 applications Finally, CIC will maintain the same language criteria for applicants but will verify them upfront as of November 9, 2013. The current language requirements are Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 for NOC 0 and A occupations, and CLB 5 for NOC B occupations. This new measure will ensure that applicants who do not meet the minimum language requirements are screened out earlier and processing resources can be concentrated on those who are more likely to qualify.

At the same time, this is more client-friendly, as applicants who do not have the required language proficiency will have their applications returned to them along with the processing fee. (Canada’s immigration bureaucracy wants to impose more steps upon you, the applicant, earlier in the process, which will make the processing of cases easier for the immigration department, and more troublesome for you the applicant).

(Final note: if your’re a daredevil, you’ll be comfortable filing an immigration application in the face of sudden, and ongoing restrictions; if you’re cautious, you may wish to file an application after consulting M. Max Chaudhary.)


Call a Toronto Immigration Lawyer for any Canadian immigration issues or concerns you may have – Dial 416-447-6118 now!.

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I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I am an accomplished author and lecturer and am consulted by the media and other immigration lawyers and consultants on immigration matters and challenging immigration cases, appeals, and federal court matters.

Please call me for any Canadian immigration issues or concerns you may have: 416-447-6118

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