Upcoming changes to the NOC system

Updated: 6 days ago


For those who are new to the Canadian immigration journey, NOC i.e. the 'National Occupational Classification' is a standardized system that gives a specific code used for evaluating every immigration applicant’s occupation in Canadian labor market. NOC is an extremely important part of immigration, especially for those applicants who are planning to immigrate to Canada as a skilled or trade worker. All applicants under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Skilled Worker & Trade worker program must meet the NOC eligibility criteria.


At present, the NOC 2016 skill type and skill level structure (NOC 0, A, B, C and D) is used to assess the eligibility for skilled worker immigration programs by Canada’s provinces and territories, the IRCC i.e. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). In order to make sure that NOCs reflect the changing Canada’s labor market, the codes are reviewed every year and get updated every 5 years. The NOCs are overhauled in every ten years. The last time it was changed in 2011 and hence, this year, Canada has published the new edition of NOC making it the biggest upgrade since the last decade. The new immigration system of NOC 2021 will be implemented on November 16, 2022 and will completely change the way it classifies occupations. This new system of classifying occupations will have an impact on few economic class and temporary foreign worker applicants.


According to the latest update, the current NOC 2016 skill type & level structure will be replaced with a 6-category system representing the training, education, experience and responsibilities (TEER) and the 4-digit occupation codes will become 5-digit codes. At present, NOCs come under types O, A, B, C, and D. However, the former NOC skill levels will transfer to the new TEER system as under:

· Skill type 0 - TEER 0

· Skill level A - TEER 1

· Skill level B - TEER 2 and TEER 3

· Skill level C - TEER 4

· Skill level D- TEER 5


The TEER Categories will be divided in terms of occupations as follows:

· TEER 0: Management occupations - Advertising, marketing, public relations managers, financial managers, etc.

· TEER 1: Occupations that usually require a university degree - Financial advisors, Software engineers, etc.

· TEER 2: Occupations that usually require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of 2 or more years, OR supervisory occupations - Computer network, Web technicians, Medical laboratory technologists, etc.

· TEER 3: Occupations that usually require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of less than 2 years, OR more than 6 months of on-the-job training – Bakers, Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants, etc.

· TEER 4: Occupations that usually require a high school diploma, OR several weeks of on-the-job training - Home child care providers, Retail salespersons and visual merchandisers, etc.

· TEER 5: Occupations that usually need short-term work demonstration and no formal education - Landscaping and grounds maintenance laborers, Delivery service drivers etc.


The programs that will be affected with this new system and have updated eligibility requirements are as follows:

· Federal Skilled Worker Program

· Canadian Experience Class

· Federal Skilled Trades Program

· Atlantic Immigration Program

· Provincial Nominee Program

· Caregivers programs

· Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

· Agri-Food Pilot

· Out-of-status construction workers

· International Mobility Program

· Temporary Foreign Worker Program


Occupations that will become eligible under Express Entry from November include the following:

  • Payroll administrators;

  • Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants;

  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates;

  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants;

  • Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants;

  • Sheriffs and bailiffs;

  • Correctional service officers;

  • By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers;

  • Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations;

  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers;

  • Pest controllers and fumigators;

  • Other repairers and servicers;

  • Transport truck drivers;

  • Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators;

  • Heavy equipment operators; and

  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors.

On the other hand, there are certain occupations which will become ineligible for Express Entry in November but may still be eligible for other programs such as Provincial Nominee Programs. These are:

· Other performers;

· Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness; and

· Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners


For all Express Entry programs, requirements will be updated to align with the NOC 2021 structure. For instance, the points assigned on the selection factors for the Federal Skilled Worker Program will follow the Skill Type/Level update chart. Once the new system is enforced by the IRCC & ESDC, applicants will have to make sure that their NOC meets with the eligibility criteria of the program they are applying to. If the applicant finds their NOC code under the old system, they can determine their TEER level by looking at the second digit of the new five-digit NOC code. All applications from 16 November 2022 will be evaluated as per the new TEER system. Contact our RCIC for any questions that you may have regarding your NOC code and its transformation as per the new system.



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