What are the changes? Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is introducing a quota system for the Permanent Residency (PR) Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program and will accept a maximum of 12,000 applications between Nov. 9, 2013, to Oct. 31, 2014. In addition, CIC is introducing sub-caps of 200 applications for certain skilled occupations.

What does the change mean? Clients are urged to submit PR applications under the CEC category as soon as possible.

  • Implementation timeframe: Nov. 9, 2013 – Oct. 31, 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permit holders who qualify under the Canadian Experience Class.
  • Who is affected: All applicants for the Canadian Experience Class Program.
  • Impact on processing times: Intended to speed processing times for PR-CEC applications.
  • Business impact: The new cap could have a significant impact on hiring decisions and mobility options.
  • Next steps: Companies who intend to use the Canadian Experience Class Program are urged to file as early as possible before the cap and sub-caps are exhausted.

Background: The introduction of a cap of 12,000 for the CEC is intended to ease processing delays for work permits of all types. Today, on the CIC website, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander stated, “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 CIC is creating sub-caps for applications in the technical and administrative fields, as well as in skilled trades (NOC B). While managerial and professional occupations (NOC 0 and NOC A) will not be sub-capped, they will be subject to the overall cap of 12,000. The CIC is eliminating six CEC occupation categories including cooks, food service supervisors, administrative officers, administrative assistants, accounting technicians and bookkeepers, and retail sales supervisors—asserting that these occupations have been overrepresented in PR-CEC applications received to date.

Benchmarks for language requirements will remain unchanged. However, CIC states that it will verify minimum language requirements at the outset of the application process to focus its resources on qualified applicants.

BAL analysis: The new caps for the Canadian Experience Class will significantly affect clients’ mobility options for Canada. BAL advises companies to consider the impending cap maximums when making hiring decisions. BAL also urges that clients intending to take advantage of the CEC program should file as early as possible before the cap is reached.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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