The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada regarding the Canadian Experience Class. The Canadian Experience Class allows individuals with one-year skilled work experience in Canada to apply to immigrate. As with any program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements, including whether work in Canada for a foreign employer count towards the one-year requirement.
Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice. The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.
Question – May 28, 2013
Dear Sir / Madam,
I was wondering if you might be able to provide some guidance regarding a CEC application. I have a client (foreign worker) who has a valid work permit (initially under C10 and then with supporting LMO) where the employer is a foreign company but does not have any operations in Canada. The foreign employer is hoping to open up an office in ____ but in the meantime, has the foreign worker attending various client business meetings pitching for potential engagements of the foreign company and providing some consulting services. The foreign worker is working full time hours in Canada and holds a functional manager position (NOC 0) and would (in my opinion) otherwise qualify for CEC but it is not clear whether his Canadian work experience over the past year would qualify as he has been working for a foreign company.
I cannot find anything in the guide, operational manual, website or checklist that would exclude him, however, the situation did strike me as unusual and I wanted to confirm this issue before preparing the CEC application.
Thank you for your guidance.
Answer – May 29, 2013
As long as the foreign national demonstrates that they acquired their qualifying period of skilled work experience in Canada with the proper authorization, they are eligible to apply under the Canadian Experience Class. There is no regulatory requirement that remuneration be provided from within Canada or that work experience be obtained with a Canadian employer.
You note that the foreign worker has been providing “some consulting services.” Note that pursuant to R87.2(3)(b), any period of self-employment will not be included in calculating a period of work experience. All applicants are required to provide satisfactory evidence of their work experience in Canada, including the fact that they were in an employer-employee relationship during their period of qualifying work experience.
From a policy standpoint it makes complete sense that skilled work in Canada for a foreign employer should count towards meeting the work experience criteria of the Canadian Experience Class. From a practicality and program integrity standpoint, issues do arise where the employer is not a well known company, and applicants should take this into consideration when preparing their applications.