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Difference Between Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Canada has quickly become a magnet for Indians seeking a better life. #1 immigration destination indeed. 

If you’re considering making the move to the Great White North and apply for Canada PR from India, you’ve likely come across terms like Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). 

Managed under the globally-renowned Express Entry system, FSW and CEC are two of the most popular pathways to achieve Canadian permanent residency. But the eligibility criteria and requirements might sometimes feel like a daunting task to deal with – especially for first-timers. 

Not that hard though. 

Let’s break down the differences between these two popular immigration pathways, making your journey to Canada a bit easier.

Federal Skilled Worker vs Canadian Experience Class

  • Eligibility Criteria

FSW: The Federal Skilled Worker program is designed for individuals who possess specific skills and work experience. To qualify, you must have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent part-time paid work experience in a profession mentioned on the Canada In-demand Occupation List. Additionally, you’ll need to meet the minimum language proficiency requirement and have your education credentials assessed.

CEC: On the other hand, the Canadian Experience Class is tailored for those who already have Canadian work experience. To be eligible, you must have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada within the three years before you apply. The key here is that this experience needs to be gained within the Canadian job market.

  • Canadian Work Experience

FSW: While the Federal Skilled Worker program emphasizes the importance of foreign work experience, it does not require that this experience be gained in Canada. This means that your work history can come from any part of the world, as long as it meets the criteria for a skilled occupation.

CEC: In contrast, the Canadian Experience Class explicitly demands that your work experience be obtained within Canada. This reflects the Canadian government’s aim to retain individuals who have already adapted to the Canadian work environment and have proven their ability to contribute to the economy.

  • Express Entry System

Both the FSW and CEC are managed through Canada’s Express Entry system. Express Entry uses an online points-based system called the Canada 67 points calculator – that assesses candidates based on factors like Age, education, language proficiency, and Work Experience. The highest-scoring candidates are then invited to apply for Canada PR.

Take Note: Canada 67 points calculator and CRS points calculator are both different. Canada’s points-based system usually gets applicants confused between the two types of points required to get a Canada Permanent Residency.

  • Language Proficiency

Both programs require language proficiency in English or French. For FSW, you will need to take a language test approved by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The minimum language requirement for FSW is CLB 7 for English and NCLC 7 for French. Similarly, CEC applicants must prove their language abilities, but there is a bit more flexibility, and language proficiency requirements may vary. The minimum language requirement for CEC is CLB 7 (TEER 0 or 1) / CLB 5 (TEER 2 or 3) for English and NCLC 7 (TEER 0 or 1) / NCLC 5 (TEER 2 or 3) for French. 

  • Adaptability Factors

FSW: The Federal Skilled Worker program considers factors such as spouse or common-law partner’s language proficiency, previous study in Canada, and family in Canada when assessing adaptability. You and your spouse or common-law partner who will immigrate with you to Canada can earn a maximum of 10 points for adaptability.

CEC: Canadian Experience Class applicants can also earn points for adaptability, including factors like previous study in Canada, previous work experience in Canada, and having a spouse or common-law partner with Canadian work experience.

That’s it!

Understanding these differences is crucial for selecting the right immigration pathway that aligns with your qualifications and experience. If you’re a first-timer, it is advisable to seek guidance from immigration consultants in Delhi while going through the process. BIG HELP. 

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) programs offer different pathways to apply for Canada PR from India. FSW is geared towards individuals with international work experience, while CEC is designed for those who have already contributed to the Canadian workforce. 

So, whether you’re an international professional or someone who has already gained valuable experience in the Canadian job market, Canada welcomes you with open arms and diverse opportunities! 

Good Luck!

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