Low Salaries and the Canadian Experience Class

25th Feb 2013 Comments Off on Low Salaries and the Canadian Experience Class

Last updated on April 27th, 2020

Many applicants often ask whether low salaries can result in Canadian Experience Class refusals.

Qin v. Canada

The leading case on the issue of whether low salaries can result in Canadian Experience Class (“CEC“) refusals is Qin v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), 2013 FCA 263.  There, the Federal Court certified a question regarding whether immigration officers can consider a position’s prevailing wage rate when determining whether an applicant meets the requirements of the CEC.

Neither the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations“) nor the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Processing Manuals state that officers should consider salary when assessing whether an applicant has the requisite experience in a skilled position for the CEC.  Section 87.1 of the Regulations simply require an officer to evaluate whether a candidate has experience in an eligible occupation.  On this point, Madam Justice Gleason wrote that:

In evaluating whether or not an applicant’s experience falls within a permissible [occupation], an officer is required to understand the nature of the work performed and the degree of complexity of the tasks undertaken, to determine whether or not they fall within the duties listed in the relevant [occupation]. The requisite analysis necessitates much more than a rote comparison of the duties listed in the [occupation] with those described in a letter of reference or job description. Rather, what is required is a qualitative assessment of the nature of the work done and comparison of it with the [National Occupational Classification Code  (“NOC“)] descriptor. Indeed, there is a line of authority which indicates that, in the context of Federal Skilled Workers (where an officer is similarly required to assess duties performed against the NOC Code descriptors),

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