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Canada transitions to NOC 2021 System

Background on the NOC System

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) system is the national reference for occupations in Canada. IRCC uses the National Occupational Classification to determine the eligibility of occupations under several temporary and permanent residency programs.

The NOC Version 2021 has been introduced as of November 16, 2022, and reflects changes in the current Canadian economy as well as in the nature of work.

NOC Version 2021 changes

The NOC Version 2021 includes new Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) categories, which replace the previous NOC “Skill level” structure of 0, A, B, C and D.

The Skill Levels equate to the new TEER categories as follows:

Skill type or levelTEER category
Skill type 0TEER 0
Skill level ATEER 1
Skill level BTEER 2 and TEER 3
Skill level CTEER 4
Skill level DTEER 5

Additionally, NOC codes now have a new five-digit codification system which replaces the previous four-digit system. For example, bakers will move from the NOC 2016 code of 6332 to the new NOC 2021 code of 63202.

You can search for your most updated NOC code here.

Skill and TEER changes for certain jobs

At present, the programs managed under Express Entry are open to occupations that are categorized as Skill Level B or above. With the implementation of NOC 2021, the programs’ eligibility cut-off becomes TEER 3. What this means is that some jobs that were semiskilled are now skilled, and some jobs that were skilled are now being downgraded to semiskilled.

The following jobs have become eligible under Express Entry based on their updated educational and experience requirements:

  • 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
  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors

Conversely, three occupations that are now ineligible under Express Entry are:

  • Other performers (such as circus performers, magicians, models, and puppeteers)
  • Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness
  • Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners

How does this impact your immigration application?

The new NOC and TEER changes open up a range of possibilities for those whose NOCs have been upgraded. If you were previously ineligible for Express Entry, you may now have enough skilled work to apply for Express Entry or receive a higher score. If you are unsure if you qualify for Express Entry or if you are already in Canada on a temporary work permit, make sure to reach out to us through our assessment to see if new pathways for immigration and permanent residency have opened up for you.

If you already have an Express Entry profile, you will NOT be eligible to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) until your profile is updated with your NOC 2021 code. As ITA rounds will resume as early as November 23, 2022, you are encouraged to do this as soon as possible. Also, make sure you also check your emails if you are waiting for an ITA from a province or territory. Provincial and territorial nomination programs have also been affected by the NOC change. It may be likely that you will need to update or even resubmit your profile.

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