NOC 2021: Changes to Canadian Immigration and Foreign Worker Eligibility

Last updated: 8 November 2022


Noc2021

As of November 16, 2022, IRCC is transitioning to NOC 2021.

This CanadaVisa page explains the impact of NOC 2021 on the eleven economic class immigration and work permit programs affected by this change.

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Table of Contents


What is NOC 2021?

IRCC has been using different versions of the NOC system since 1992 to categorize and classify occupations for purposes of immigration.

As of November 16, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) are using the 2021 version of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system to assess the occupations of skilled worker permanent residence and work permit applicants.

This change impacts Express Entry and a variety of other major Canadian immigration and work permit pathways. 


Programs Affected by NOC 2021

NOC 2021 impacts eligibility criteria for the following 11 programs:

  • Express Entry: Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • Caregivers Programs
  • Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
  • Agri-Food Pilot
  • Out-of-Status Construction Workers
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
  • International Mobility Program (IMP)

Matching NOC 2016 to NOC 2021 and understanding the new TEER system

One example of a change occurring with NOC 2021 is that the outgoing NOC system (NOC 2016) required that an Express Entry candidate had work experience classified under NOC skill types 0, A, B, C or D. The new NOC 2021 uses a six-category Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) system.

The table below will match NOC 2016 skill types/levels with NOC 2021 TEER categories and provide occupation types and examples that align with each TEER category.

NOC 2016NOC 2021Occupation TypesExamples
Skill Level 0TEER 0Management occupationsAdvertising, marketing and public relations managers;
Financial managers
Skill Level ATEER 1Occupations that usually require a university degreeFinancial advisors;
Software engineers
Skill Level BTEER 2

Occupations that usually require

  • a college diploma
  • apprenticeship training of 2 or more years, or
  • supervisory occupations
Computer network and web technicians;
Medical laboratory technologists
Skill Level BTEER 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
Skill Level CTEER 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
Skill Level DTEER 5Occupations that usually need short-term work demonstration and no formal educationLandscaping and grounds maintenance labourers;
Delivery service drivers and door-to-door distributors

Find your NOC

NOC 2021 is changing all occupation codes from four to five digits.

If you are wondering what your new NOC is, use this Government of Canada tool to find your NOC 2021 code and TEER category today, according to your job title.


Express Entry eligibility criteria changes

Express Entry is one of Canada's main methods for bringing skilled immigrants to Canada. All three programs under Express Entry will see shifts in eligibility criteria with NOC 2021.

Note: CLB refers to Canadian Language Benchmark

Eligibility CriteriaCanadian Experience Class
(CEC)
Federal Skilled Worker Program
(FSWP)
Federal Skilled Trades Program
(FSTP)
English or French skillsCLB 7 for TEER 0 or TEER 1 occupations; CLB 5 for TEER 2 or TEER 3 occupations.CLB 7CLB 5 for speaking and listening; CLB 4 for reading and writing.
Type/Level of work experienceCanadian work experience in an occupation listed in one or more of these NOC TEER Categories: TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, or TEER 3.Work experience in an occupation listed in one of these NOC TEER Categories: TEER 0, TEER 1, TEER 2, or TEER 3.Work experience in a skilled trade under key groups of TEER 2 or TEER 3.*
Amount of work experienceOne year in Canada in the last three years (either combination of full-time or part-time work).One year continuous within the last 10 years (combination of part-time, full-time or more than one job in your primary occupation).Two years within last five years (either combination of full-time or part-time work).
Job offerNot required.Not required but you can get selection criteria (FSW) points for having a valid job offer.A valid job offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority.
EducationNot required.Secondary education required. You can get more selection criteria (FSW) points for your post-secondary education.Not required.

New jobs eligible for Express Entry

NOC 2021 has made the following 16 occupations now eligible through the Express Entry system.

  • 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

Jobs now ineligible for Express Entry

NOC 2021 has made the following three occupations ineligible through the Express Entry system.

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

The three newly ineligible occupations are still eligible for other immigration pathways with broader occupational eligibility criteria, such as some streams of the 11 PNPs across Canada.


Will NOC 2021 impact CRS scores?

Through NOC 2021, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points given for ‘arranged employment’ will now follow an updated Skill Type/Level chart.

For example, a candidate who would have received 50 points for ‘arranged employment’ in Skill Type/Level 0, A or B (NOC 2016) will still get those points if their NOC is in TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 (NOC 2021).


Will NOC 2021 impact scoring for the FSWP?

Through NOC 2021, points given for ‘selection factors’ as part of the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) will now follow an updated Skill Type/Level chart.

For example, a candidate who would have received 10 points for ‘arranged employment’ in Skill Type/Level 0, A or B (NOC 2016) will still get those points for ‘arranged employment’ in TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 (NOC 2021).


Updating Express Entry profiles after switch to NOC 2021

Depending on where a candidate is in their Express Entry journey, IRCC will require different actions because of the switch to NOC 2021.

Candidates who have not yet submitted an Express Entry profile but plan to do so on or after the day Canada transitions from NOC 2016 (November 16, 2022) will be required to find and submit their occupation’s code in line with the NOC 2021 when filling out their Express Entry profile.

Candidates who have already submitted a profile but have not received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) will need to update their submitted Express Entry profile after the move away from NOC 2016 is official. Express Entry candidates will need to search the NOC 2021 list on the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) website and update their Express Entry profile using their new NOC 2021 TEER category and five-digit occupation code.

Candidates who received an ITA prior to November 16 must simply submit their Express Entry application using the NOC 2016 system (and the NOC code provided at the time of ITA receipt). In this case, the change to NOC 2021 can be ignored.


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