A New NOC Takes Effect for Applications for a Work Permit or Immigration to Canada

On November 16, Canada transitioned to the new National Occupational Classification (NOC) system for immigration work permit programs. It concludes that all the applicants will be required to enter a different NOC code to classify their occupation. Applicants who applied before November 16 need not stress as their applications will be reviewed under the previous NOC 2016.

Candidates with their profile in the Express Entry pool will require to update it with the new NOC 2021, as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Express Entry –linked PNP programs will use the updated NOC.

The NOC 2021 also includes more occupations to the in-demand job list and is opening doors for more candidates under these programs. According to a ministerial memorandum published in late February, Express Entry will include truck and bus drivers, orderlies, teaching assistants, and dental assistants.

Under NOC 2021, 16 Jobs are Added to the In-Demand List, and Three Occupations are Removed

The occupations being added are:

  • 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.

Three occupations are being dropped under the NOC 2021 are:

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

On the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) website, applicants for immigration and work permits will need to search for their occupation under NOC 2021.

As of NOC 2021, the IRCC will use a five-digit code to categorize each occupation, instead of a four-digit number.

The new five-digit NOC 2021 divides each occupation into six categories instead of the current four to reflect the level of Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities, or TEER, of that occupation.

In the re-jigged NOC, TEER categories replace previous Skill Levels.

In addition, the new NOC will rank occupational groups based on five hierarchical levels: broad occupational categories, major occupational groups, sub-major occupational groups, minor occupational groups, and unit occupational groups.

Foreign nationals are required to look for their NOC code using their job title. It is important to verify that the main duties listed on the list match those of the job once the closest match has been selected. Whenever duties do not match, users are advised to use a different job title with more closely matching duties.

The new NOC was phased in steadily to offer organizations and programs enough time to make a seamless transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021.

Each Decade, NOC Undergoes Major Revisions After Consultation

The NOC code is one of the most important components of an immigration application since it is a nationally-recognized and standardized system used by IRCC to evaluate the work experience of applicants.

Once the new NOC system is in place, all applications will require the applicant to enter a proper – and new – five-digit NOC code.

“In every 10 years, the (NOC) undergoes a major structural revision where the existing occupational groups are reviewed along with input from many relevant stakeholders,” stated Statistics Canada.

“NOC 2021 will be released at the end of this 10-year cycle, reflecting changes in the economy and nature of work. Input from the public, particularly stakeholders, has been crucial to the revision process.”

Canada’s provinces and territories use the NOC to identify in-demand jobs that need to be filled by immigrants.

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