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Here is How the NOC 2021 Affects International Students in 2022

The Canadian immigration system will redesign its classification of occupations in fall 2022. While the federal government has yet to clarify which kinds of applicants will be affected by the changes, they will affect some economic class and foreign worker applicants.

Below is a list we cover in this article.

What is NOC?

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s system for categorizing occupations. Every five years, the NOC is reviewed to ensure that it reflects changes in the Canadian labour market. It undergoes a major overhaul about every decade, so the new edition is the most significant update since 2011. Last month, Statistics Canada released the NOC 2021 publication.

As an indicator of skill level, the NOC considers types and amounts of training or education typically required for an occupation. It is divided into four skill levels, A through D, which are identified by the second digit of the NOC code. Two digits are assigned to each skill level ranging from 0 to 7. In skill level A, the second digit of the NOC code is either a 0 or a 1. 

The skill level of an individual is primarily determined by the type of education and training required to become employed in that occupation. Furthermore, this factor reflects the experience required for entry into the profession and the complexity of the occupation. Work responsibilities compared to other occupations. The progression from skill level B to skill level A usually requires additional formal education, but the transition from skill level D to skill level C is usually achieved through on-the-job training and experience.

The skill levels represent commonly accepted paths to employment within an occupation. When determining skill levels, employers consider the context of the occupation and the trends in hiring requirements, depending on the number of paths to employment.

All occupations have a second digit that represents their skill level, except for management occupations for which, as discussed on the previous page, the second digit reflects the broad occupational group or indicates that the occupation is considered senior management.

Here is a table that illustrates the relationship between the alphabetical indicator and its numerical digits.

Screenshot from ESDCS website about NOC 2016 List
Source: ESDC Skill Level

Canadian provinces and territories, as well as the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) assess eligibility for skilled worker immigration programs using NOC 2016. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has also been using NOC 2016 to evaluate Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs).

NOC Skill Levels are Replaced by the New TEER system

The Canadian government is moving away from categorizing jobs based on skill type to a new system called Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER). The new TEER system offers six categories: TEER category 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Screenshot of new TEER system from Statistics Canada
Source: Statistics Canada’s new TEER system

Statistics Canada explains the need for this change.

What does the changes mean for international students?

By the time NOC 2021 is implemented by IRCC and ESDC, International Students will need to ensure that their TEER category matches the eligibility criteria of the jobs they are applying for. As of NOC 2016, there are 516 occupations in the new TEER system, up from 500 in NOC 2016. Emerging fields such as data science and cyber security gave rise to new occupations.

NOC 2021 is expected to be introduced in “Fall 2022”

According to the IRCC, the federal government anticipates having the new method of categorizing occupations in place by “fall 2022”. Using Statistics Canada’s following tool, you can compare your current NOC with the NOC 2021.

Disclaimer: The information is obtained directly from the IRCC and the Government of Canada websites. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The information has been gathered as accurately as possible at the time of writing, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please check Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Government of Canada’s official website and digital channels.

Source: Statistics Canada’s Teer System ESDC NOC 2021 Statistics Canada Classification Structure ESDC Skill Level Temporary Foreign Worker Program Comparison NOC 2016 with NOC 2021 Tool

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