NOC code

How will the new NOC System Affect Canadian Immigration?

Published on: December 27th, 2021
Last updated: May 31st, 2022

Canada will be introducing a new way to evaluate a candidate’s work experience; once implemented, the new NOC system will likely shift who will be eligible for certain Canadian immigration programs in the second half of 2022.

Discover your options for Canadian immigration

The structure of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) has undergone a massive overhaul. These changes are expected to be implemented in the last half of 2022. NOC codes are integral to the Canadian immigration process. As a result, these changes are expected to have a significant impact on Canadian immigration eligibility.

What is a NOC code?

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) system is used to group jobs based on job duties and the type of work an individual does. There are currently about 35,000 job titles to choose from. When applying for most Canadian immigration programs, candidates must choose the NOC code that most closely matches their work experience.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) then uses NOC codes to evaluate an immigration applicant’s work experience and determine program eligibility. Most notably, the Express Entry system requires candidates to have at least one year of work experience in what is currently NOC Skill Level A, B, or 0.

How is the NOC system changing?

The new structure will scrap “Skill Levels” altogether and instead divide NOC codes into different categories based on Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER).

These TEER categories will distinguish more clearly between formal training and education, especially within what is currently classified as Skill Level B. Under the current NOC 2016 matrix, almost half of occupations are classified under Skill Level B.

A new level will be added to provide more clarification on the amount of education or training required for the role. Instead of using Skill Levels 0, A, B, C, and D, the TEER system will categorize occupations into numeric categories: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Another change will be the length of the code. While codes currently consist of four digits, the new NOC 2021 system will feature a five-digit code.

What is the significance of the NOC system changing?

IRCC has not confirmed how these changes will affect the Express Entry system or other immigration programs.

One possibility may be that Express Entry draws begin issuing invitations by targeting certain NOC codes that are in demand at the time.

Some candidates may find themselves to be no longer eligible for certain programs following the NOC changes. The changes may also positively impact certain candidates who may become eligible after being previously deemed ineligible due to their occupation.

How to find your NOC code

If you currently know your NOC code, you can use Statistics Canada’s Correspondence Table to find your new code and its corresponding TEER.

If you don’t know your occupation code, visit our guide on How to Find your NOC code.


Interested in learning more about how you can immigrate to Canada? Complete our free online assessment today!

Free assessment

Recent articles

Express Entry Draw

Express Entry Draw #225 | 636 PNP Candidates Invited

Canada held a new round of invitations for Express Entry provincial nominees as IRCC gears up for the next all-program draw. Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada […]

Jobs in Canada

High Levels of Immigration Critical to Canadian Labour Market, Research Shows

The Canadian labour market is critically dependent on high levels of immigration, according to a new study. The study, conducted by Statistics Canada, found modest, […]

Express Entry

New Express Entry Program Changes Coming This July

This July, many new changes to the Express Entry program are likely to come into effect. With faster processing times, more invitations to apply, and […]

Canada Permanent Residence | Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada to Reveal New TR to PR Immigration Program

According to Canada’s Immigration Minister, the Canadian Government is planning to provide a faster pathway to permanent residence for temporary workers. Like the TR to […]

Living in Canada

What Canada’s Record-Low Unemployment Means for Immigration

According to a recent Statistics Canada report, Canada’s unemployment rate hit a record low at 5.1%. As the Canadian economy exceeds pre-pandemic growth, employers look […]

International Students

Quebec Ends Work Permits for Some Private College Graduates

Quebec announced they will no longer be issuing post-graduate work permits to international graduates from unsubsidized private colleges as of September 1st, 2023. The Quebec […]

Free assessment

Discover your Canadian immigration options. Get your free assessment now!