November 1, 2021
Canadian immigration is making major changes to NOC in 2022
Currently, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Statistics Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Canada’s provinces and territories use NOC 2016 to operate immigration and foreign worker programs.
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a major part of Canada’s immigration system. It helps Canada manage its immigration and foreign worker programs. Skilled worker candidates and temporary foreign workers need to demonstrate their work experience corresponds with NOC requirements of the program they are applying to.
Every 10 years, the Canadian government conducts a major revision of the NOC. Changes to the NOC reflect changes in the Canadian economy and labour market.
In September, Statistics Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) unveiled NOC 2021. IRCC will incorporate the changes in fall 2022.
Statistics Canada explains there are two major reasons why the skill type model is being replaced by the TEER system. First, the TEER system aims to provide more clarity on the level of education and work experience required to work in an occupation. Second, Statistics Canada believes the skill type model creates artificial categorizations between low- and high-skilled jobs. Implementing TEER will hopefully give stakeholders a better sense of the amount of skills required for each occupation.
Summary of changes
- The NOC’s current 4-category “skill level” structure has been overhauled and replaced by a new 6-category system that outlines the level of Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) to enter each occupation. Up until now, the NOC has featured 4 skill levels. NOC A represents jobs that tend to require university degrees, NOC B represents jobs that are in the skilled trades or require a college diploma, NOC C represents jobs that require intermediate skills or job-specific training, and NOC D are labour jobs that require on the job training.
- NOC 2021 will use a 5-tier hierarchical system to classify occupations. Occupations will now have a five-digit codification system instead of the current four-digit system.
NOC 2021 no longer uses the four skill type categories (i.e., NOC A, B, C, D), and now has a TEER system with six categories: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
For many immigration and foreign worker candidates, NOC 2021 will have little to no impact on them. This is because despite changes to the NOC, their work experience will continue to meet the eligibility criteria for their desired immigration or foreign worker program. On the other hand, the changes will help some applicants while hurt others. Some may now find themselves eligible for additional programs since their work experience has been reclassified. Others may find themselves no longer eligible for the same reason.
It remains unclear at this point how applicants will be affected. Stakeholders will need to continue to wait for IRCC and ESDC to provide further information.
The table below provides an indication of how the 4 NOC skill levels have been redistributed across the 6 new TEER groups.
|NOC 2016 V1.3 Distribution of Unit Groups by Skill Level||NOC 2021 V1.0 Distribution of Unit Groups by TEER|
|TEER Category 0||9%|
|Skill Level A||28%||TEER Category 1||19%|
|Skill Level B||42%||TEER Category 2||31%|
|Skill Level C||24%||TEER Category 3||13%|
|Skill Level D||6%||TEER Category 4||18%|
|TEER Category 5||9%|