Blog Articles //

Work Experience for Canadian Immigration

November 2, 2023 by Katie Enman, Immigration Consultant
Work Experience for Canadian Immigration

VWork Experience for Canadian Immigration

In the context of Canadian immigration, work experience refers to the time you have spent working in a paid, full-time, or part-time job, and it is typically assessed and considered when applying for various Canadian economic immigration pathways, such as the Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs, and the Atlantic Immigration Program. Work experience is one of the factors contributing to your eligibility and/or points in these programs.

Here are some key points regarding work experience:

  • Types of Work Experience: Work experience is categorized into different National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels, with Skill Type or TEER levels 0, Skill Level A, Skill Level B, Skill Level C, and Skill Level D. Skill Type 0, Skill Level A, and Skill Level B are considered high-skilled occupations, while Skill Level C and Skill Level D are lower-skilled occupations. The specific NOC code for your occupation will determine how your work experience is assessed.
  • Full-Time and Part-Time Work: Canadian immigration programs often require you to have a specific amount of full-time (usually 30 hours per week or 1,560 hours per year) or part-time work experience, which is usually calculated on a pro-rata basis. Part-time work is usually counted as half the duration of full-time work and there is typically a time frame for which the work must have been completed. For example, 1 year of work experience in the last 5 years is common within provincial nominee programs.
  • Continuous and Non-Continuous Work: Some programs may require continuous work experience, meaning you have worked in the same job or occupation without significant breaks. Others may accept non-continuous or combined work experience, where your experience comes from multiple jobs or periods of employment. Note vacation is often not considered a ‘continuous break’ since that time was accrued while being employed and
  • Relevant Work Experience: To maximize your points and eligibility, it's beneficial to have work experience that matches the occupation you intend to pursue in Canada. It’s helpful to think of relevant work experience in terms of logical career progression. If your work experience is in cooking and you’re offered a job as a truck driver, you cannot use the time working as cook towards the required trucking experience.
  • Minimum Work Experience Requirements: The specific immigration program you're applying for will have minimum work experience requirements. For example, the Federal Skilled Worker Program under Express Entry typically requires at least one year of continuous, full-time (or equivalent part-time) skilled work experience in the past ten years.
  • Work as a student: Whether or not work experience while studying counts towards a specific program depends entirely on the program. For example, in Express Entry (Canadian Experience Class), work done while on a study permit does not count towards work experience.
  • Proof of Work Experience: You will generally need to provide evidence of your work experience, which may include reference letters from employers, pay stubs, tax documents, and other documentation that verifies your employment history. If your work was done inside Canada, this is often a T4 statement and Record of Employment.

It's important to note that different immigration programs may have different requirements and criteria for assessing work experience. The eligibility criteria can change over time, so it's essential to check the most up-to-date information on the official Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website and consult with an immigration professional if you have specific questions or concerns about your work experience and its relevance to your immigration application.

Note a visa and a permit are not the same thing. A visa refers to your ability to enter the country. A permit is what gives you status in Canada.

Related Articles:

The article above is intended to provide general and non-case specific information on immigration related matters. It should not be used or relied on as formal legal advice.