CEC PR Struggle: No Draws Since 2021

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Date: July 20, 2023

As of July 20, 2023, Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates with Canadian education and work experience have been facing significant challenges in obtaining permanent residency in Canada. Since September 14, 2021, there have been no specific Express Entry draws for CEC candidates, leading to frustration and concerns about the imbalance in the job market and unfair competition.


The Express Entry system, designed to manage the selection of candidates for Canada’s economic immigration programs, was initially structured to focus on three categories of candidates: Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Workers (FSW), and Federal Skilled Trades (FST). CEC candidates, who had at least one year of Canadian experience, were eligible to participate in the draws. However, the absence of CEC-specific draws for nearly two years has resulted in the exclusion of many eligible permanent residency candidates from the opportunity to apply for Canadian immigration.

Concerns and Frustrations

The lack of CEC-specific draws has led to frustration among eligible candidates who possess Canadian education and work experience but are unable to secure permanent residency. This situation has sparked concerns about the imbalance in the job market and unfair competition for other economic immigration programs, as recent Express Entry draws have only targeted 82 specific occupations.

Government Response

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has acknowledged the concerns raised by CEC candidates and the need to address the situation. One potential solution mentioned is the possibility of awarding more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points to CEC candidates for their Canadian experience. However, as of the current date, no concrete plan has been announced or implemented.

Suggestions and Recommendations

To alleviate the struggles faced by CEC candidates and maintain a fair and efficient immigration system, several suggestions and recommendations have been put forth by experts and readers:

  1. Conduct Parallel CEC Draws: Many experts propose the resumption of CEC-specific draws alongside other program draws. This approach would provide CEC candidates with a fair chance to apply for permanent residency based on their Canadian education and work experience.
  2. Formulate a Long-Term Plan: It is crucial for the Canadian government to formulate a comprehensive long-term plan to address the permanent residency needs of international students and foreign workers. By doing so, the government can ensure that the country retains talented individuals who can contribute to its economic growth and prosperity.
  3. Combat Black Market for LMIAs: The current situation has led to the creation of a black market for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), where individuals purchase LMIAs to increase their CRS scores. The government must take strict measures to combat this black market and ensure fair and transparent immigration processes.


The absence of Canadian Experience Class (CEC) specific Express Entry draws since September 14, 2021, has caused frustration and concern among eligible permanent residency candidates with Canadian education and work experience. The government’s acknowledgment of the issue and the mention of possible solutions to award more CRS points for Canadian experience are steps in the right direction. However, it is essential to implement a concrete plan to conduct CEC draws in parallel with other program draws and create a long-term strategy to retain international talent in Canada. This approach will not only benefit CEC candidates but also contribute to Canada’s overall economic and social development.

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