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Student work experience is essential in meeting the requirements for Express Entry work experience.

Student Work Experience

Navigating the immigration process to Canada through the Express Entry system can be complex, especially when it comes to understanding how student work experience fits into the requirements. This guide provides expert advice on applying Student Work Experience towards meeting the Express Entry criteria for different Canadian immigration programs.

Eligibility of Student Work Experience in FSWP

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is one of the three immigration programs managed by Express Entry. Candidates must meet certain minimum requirements, which include relevant work experience. Under FSWP, student work experience can count towards these requirements if the following conditions are met:

  1. The position must have been a paid employment, whether through wages or commission.
  2. Employment must be continuous without breaks.
  3. The job must conform to all other program criteria.

Co-op placements and apprenticeships that fall under these guidelines are also considered valid forms of student work experience for FSWP candidates.

Restrictions on Work Experience in CEC and FSTP

It’s important to note that not all programs under Express Entry permit the inclusion of student work experience. For instance:

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC) does not allow candidates to use any work experience gained while studying, regardless of whether this occurred in Canada or internationally.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) similarly excludes student work experience from meeting its eligibility criteria.

Impact of Student Work Experience on CRS Score

When aiming for permanent residence (PR) in Canada, your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score plays a pivotal role in your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

The nuances around how student work experience affects your CRS score are crucial:

  1. Canadian student work experience gained as a full-time student doesn’t bolster your CRS score.
  2. Conversely, international student work experience accumulated during full-time studies can indeed elevate your CRS score.

Minimum Requirements for Express Entry Programs: FSWP, CEC, and FSTP

Navigating the Express Entry programs for Canadian immigration can feel complicated, but understanding the minimum requirements for each program is crucial for success. Below, we’ve outlined the fundamental criteria for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), categorized to illuminate your pathway to Canadian residency.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) – The Gateway to Canada for Skilled Workers

Skilled Work Experience:

For FSWP candidates, a critical requirement is at least one full year of continuous, paid work experience in a skilled occupation classified under NOC TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3. This tenure can be accumulated through consistent full-time employment or an equivalent in part-time roles.

Language Proficiency:

Language capability is a cornerstone of the FSWP; candidates must achieve a minimum score of CLB 7 or NCLC 7 across all four linguistics abilities—reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Language evaluation is an essential step in meeting the FSWP criteria and candidates should refer to the designated language testing centers for assessment.


Educational qualifications also play an integral role in the FSWP application. Aspiring immigrants must hold either:

  • A diploma or degree from an accredited Canadian educational institution if studies were completed within Canada.
  • A foreign educational credential supplemented by a validated Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) if attained outside Canada.

For comprehensive details about the Federal Skilled Worker Program and its six selection factors’ points grid, [click here](#).

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – Leveraging Canadian Work Experience

Skilled Work Experience:

The CEC values in-Canada work experience within three years leading up to the application submission date. To qualify, individuals need at least one full year of skilled work experience in Canada within NOC TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3—attained through full-time employment or equivalent hours part-time.

Language Proficiency:

Language thresholds hinge upon the candidate’s professional level:

  • Those falling into NOC TEER categories 0 and 1 are required to meet CLB/NCLC 7.
  • Those under TEER categories 2 and 3 must attain more modest CLB/NCLC 5 scores.

Education isn’t compulsory for CEC applicants but documents attesting to a completed education—either within Canada or with an ECA abroad—can enhance Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores.

Eligibility Criteria for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

Applicants eyeing the Federal Skilled Trades Program must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify. Specifically, candidates are required to have either:

  1. A Valid Full-Time Job Offer – A job offer must be:
  • For full-time employment,
  • For a minimum duration of one year,
  • From a Canadian employer.
  1. A Certificate of Qualification – Applicants must provide:
  • A certificate demonstrating their qualification in a skilled trade,
  • Issued by an authorized Canadian provincial, territorial, or federal body.

Please note that it is imperative for candidates to possess at least one of these credentials in order to meet the FSTP entry requirements.

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