express entryNational Occupational ClassificationNOC code

How the New NOC System Will Affect Express Entry Eligibility

Published on: May 30th, 2022
Last updated: August 24th, 2022

The Canadian government will begin using the 2021 National Occupational Classification (NOC) system this November 16, 2022. The new NOC system will change the way IRCC evaluates work experience; according to a recently revealed internal IRCC memo, 16 new occupations will become eligible to apply under the Express Entry system, and 3 will become ineligible.

Find out if you're eligible for Express Entry

Express Entry is Canada’s fastest and most popular immigration pathway. Since the NOC code is essential to one’s eligibility for Express Entry, the upcoming changes will have a direct impact on many candidates.

How the NOC system works

The NOC system is used to classify an applicant’s job to determine their eligibility for Canadian immigration programs. The system breaks down all occupations into codes. Codes are then grouped together based on the type of work, and the job duties that a person does.

When applying to Canadian economic immigration programs, candidates must select the NOC code that best matches their job. When choosing a NOC code, an individual should look at the main duties of the code, and how closely they correspond with the duties they perform in their job.

Changes coming on November 16, 2022

Currently, to submit a profile to the Express Entry system, candidates must have work experience in occupational skill levels A, B, or 0. At the moment, an occupation’s skill level is determined by National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 version 1.3. As of November 16, 2022, the Canadian government will employ a new system: National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 V1.0.

Instead of skill levels, the new NOC system will organize occupations based on Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER).

For the most part, the former NOC skill levels will transfer to the new system as follows:

NOC 2016 NOC 2021
Skill Type O ➔TEER 0
Skill Level A ➔TEER 1
TEER 2
Skill Level B ➔TEER 3
Skill Level C ➔TEER 4
Skill Level ➔TEER 5

Impact on applicants

Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses the NOC system to determine a candidate’s eligibility for Express Entry. Currently, only candidates with work experience in NOC skill types A, B, or 0 are eligible to submit an Express Entry profile. Under the new system, occupations in TEERs 0, 1, 2, and 3 will be eligible for Express Entry programs.

Which occupations will become eligible for Express Entry in November 2022?

Many occupations from the previous NOC system will carry over the same eligibility for Express Entry. However, 16 previously ineligible occupations will become eligible for Express Entry based on their updated educational and experience requirements.

IRCC will add the following occupations this coming November 16:

  • 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;
  • Bylaw 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.

In addition, three occupations will become ineligible for Express Entry in November based on the updated requirements:

  • Other performers;
  • Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness; and
  • Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners

Although the above three occupations will become ineligible for Express Entry as of November 16, they may still be eligible for other programs such as Provincial Nominee Programs.

Most significantly, candidates with experience in one of the above 16 occupations that were previously unable to submit an Express Entry profile may now become eligible to do so.

How to find your TEER level

To find your TEER level, you will first need to know your NOC code under the new 2021 system.

If you know your NOC code under the old system, you can use Statistics Canada’s Correspondence Table to find your new code. If you don’t know your occupation code, visit our guide on How to Find your NOC code.

Once you have found your code, you can determine your TEER level by looking at the second digit of your five-digit NOC code. For example, the 2021 code for Web Designer is 21233. The second digit is 1, therefore, this occupation falls under TEER 1.

It is important to note that, while your occupation may be eligible for Express Entry, there are additional minimum requirements that must be met in order to apply.

What Will Happen If I Already Submitted an Application?

Many may be wondering what will happen to their applications after the switch, especially for NOC codes that will be removed. As of November 16th, other performers; program leaders, and instructors in recreation, sport, and fitness; and tailors, dressmakers, furriers, and milliners will all become ineligible. 

In order to remain eligible, applicants must have qualifying work experience that is accepted for the program that they are applying for. If applicants have any eligible experience to add to their file, they should change their primary NOC code before November 16th. If an applicant does not have any other qualifying experience, they should verify whether they are eligible for any other immigration program. 

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