On November 16, 2022, IRCC shifted its immigration system to the 2021 version of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system, a shift planned since its announcement on July 27. This change will affect eligibility for 100s of Canada immigration programs, including Express Entry. Here’s what you should know about the recent changes.

This is how the NOC 2016 system’s skill type categories correspond to the TEER categories of the 2021 NOC system.

Skill Type OR Level TEER Category ( Canada NOC 2021 )

NOC 2016 NOC 2021
Skill Type 0 TEER 0
Skill Level A TEER 2 and TEER 3
Skill Level B TEER 2
Skill Level B TEER 3
Skill Level C TEER 4
Skill Level D TEER 5


How would these changes impact Express Entry applicants?

The Canadian government has modified the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system, which affects the presentation of your job experience in your Express Entry profile and the eligibility of some permanent residence (PR) candidates. These changes can make the Canadian immigration application process more complex and unpleasant.

This article discusses how the NOC changes affect Express Entry candidates awaiting an Invitation to Apply for Canada PR and immigrants preparing to apply to Canadian immigration programs.

What exactly is NOC? How does the Canada NOC 2021 system function?

NOC is an abbreviation for National Occupational Classification. The NOC system is used in Canada to categorise professions based on job tasks, the type of labour performed, and the skill level necessary.

ESDC and Statistics Canada operate the National Occupational Classification system. The NOC system categorises over 30,000 occupational titles, and the categorization is updated every ten years based on a review of existing jobs in the Canadian employment market. The NOC system is used by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) to identify which occupations are eligible for different immigration programs, including Express Entry.

The first digit of the NOC code denotes the major occupational category, and the second digit indicates the job’s skill level.

What changes are introduced under NOC 2021?

NOC 2021 will offer a new language and a reworked occupational categorization framework. Here are the three significant modifications brought about by NOC 2021:

  • Unlike NOC 2016, NOC 2021 introduced changes in educational requirements and formal training, and as a result, the new categorization represents knowledge and abilities gained through on-the-job professional experience.


  • NOC 2016 positions were grouped into four “Skill Level” categories, NOC A, B, C, and D, which are now replaced with six TEER levels, ranging from TEER 0 to TEER 5.


  • TEER levels signify the Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities for each vocation, with TEER 0 requiring the most and TEER 5 requiring the least. The table below shows the difference between TEER levels and the NOC 2016 Skill Levels:
TEER  Requirements How NOC 2016 Skill Levels was different from NOC 2021 (TEER) System?
TEER 0 Management Management was classified as Skill Type 0.
TEER 1 University degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate); OR

Previous experience and subject matter expertise in a related TEER 2 occupation.

Skill Level A required a university degree but did not account for prior experience or expertise in related occupations.
TEER 2 Completion of a two- to three-year post-secondary program (diploma or certificate) at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; OR

Completion of a two- to five-year apprenticeship training program; OR

Occupations with supervisory or safety responsibilities (e.g. police officers and firefighters); OR

Several years of experience in a related TEER 3 occupation.

The requirements under Skill Level B have been split into TEER 2 and 3.

The TEER levels also account for prior experience in related occupations, which was not considered eligible under Skill Level B.

TEER 3 Completion of a post-secondary college program shorter than two years (diploma or certificate); OR

Completion of an apprenticeship training program of under two years; OR

Over six months of on-the-job training, training courses or specific experience in addition to some secondary (school) education; OR

Several years of experience in a related TEER 4 occupation.

The requirements under Skill Level B have been split into TEER 2 and 3.

The TEER levels also account for prior experience in related occupations, which was not considered eligible under Skill Level B.

TEER 4 Completion of secondary school; OR

Several weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary education; OR

Experience in a related TEER 5 occupation.

Skill Level C included up to two years of on-the-job training with some secondary education, whereas under TEER 4, several weeks of on-the-job training is accepted.

TEER 4 also accounts for prior experience in related occupations.

TEER 5 Short work demonstration and no formal educational requirements. Similar to Skill Level D.


  • NOC 2016 classified occupations using a four-digit code, which will be replaced by a five-digit coding scheme in NOC 2021. To understand the NOC categorization, let us consider advertising, marketing, and public relations managers. Its NOC 2016 code was 0124, and its NOC 2021 code is 10022. Here are the key distinctions between the two codes for advertising, marketing, and public relations professionals:
Level  Details Under NOC 2021 (10022) Under NOC 2016 (0124)
Broad occupational category (first digit of code) Business, finance and administration occupations (1) 1 (Management occupations)
Major group (TEER or Skill Level) (second digit of code) TEER 0 – Management (0) 10 0(Skill level A)
Sub-major group Specialized middle management occupations in administrative services, financial and business services and communication except broadcasting (0) 100 N/A
Minor group Managers in financial and business services (2) 1002 01(Managers in financial and business services)
Unit group (or occupation) Advertising, marketing and public relations managers (2) 10022 0124


How will the changes to the NOC affect Express Entry candidates?

Changes to the NOC system will affect both immigrants in the Express Entry pool who have not yet received an ITA and those preparing to apply to Canadian immigration programs.

It is crucial to remember that if you have previously acquired an ITA before November 16, 2022, the NOC changes will not affect you, and you should continue your permanent residency (PR) application using NOC 2016 codes.

The changes to NOC categorization are essentially structural, and most of the immigration applications are not likely to be impacted. Nonetheless, it can have impacts on Express Entry applications in two ways:

  • In your Express Entry profile, use NOC 2021 codes

When you create an Express Entry profile, you must include the NOC codes from past employers. The categorization of occupations will change with the move to NOC 2021, and applicants will be required to produce their updated NOC 2021 codes in the future. If you are waiting for your ITA, you must update it to reflect the new NOC codes for your previous positions.

  •    What are the new eligibility requirements for Express Entry?

Some skill levels (now known as TEER levels) are required for certain immigration programs. Previously, Express Entry eligibility needed at least NOC Skill Level B or above. The Express Entry eligibility cut-off for NOC 2021 will be TEER 3. Consequently, 16 new jobs will become eligible, while three will become ineligible. 

These 16 newly eligible professions 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
  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors

Ineligible Occupations for Express Entry under NOC 2021:

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

However, some Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams will continue to accept these jobs, so if you work in one of these fields, you may still be eligible for immigration to Canada.

How to determine your new Occupational Classification Code and TEER Level?

The changes to the NOC codes may appear complicated, but determining which code applies to you is pretty simple. You can find your new NOC code on the Government website in the NOC 2021 list. 

Once you’ve received your new NOC, go to version 1.0 of NOC 2021 and search by job title. If you know your NOC 2016 number and already have an Express Entry profile, you can use the Statistics Canada Correspondence Table to find the correct NOC 2021 code. In the search area, enter your NOC 2016 code and check for your NOC 2021 code in Version 1.0. Once you have obtained your NOC 2021 code, the second digit will be the TEER level. You’ll get a breakdown summary for your unit group (or occupation) when you search for your NOC 2021 code, which contains your occupational category and TEER level.

The TEER level for your occupation may or may not correspond to your level of education and experience. 

Is it necessary to change the NOC codes in your current Express Entry profile?

Candidates who already have an Express Entry profile but still need an ITA must update their profiles now with new information. After November 16, 2022, you must utilise the new NOC 2021 categorization system when generating an Express Entry profile.

If you have previously obtained an ITA, you should proceed with your PR application using NOC 2016 codes. 

What is the process for updating your NOC codes on your Express Entry profile?

You must update your Express Entry profile and ensure that all the information given is correct while it is active. This applies to NOC codes and changes in your personal position, such as your money, work status, family additions, etc. Here’s a step-by-step approach to updating your Express Entry profile:

  • Access your IRCC account.
  • Go to the “View the applications you filed” section on the main page and select “Check full application status.”
  • Click “View your profile” on the Express Entry profile status page. This will bring you to your current profile.
  • Update your NOC codes by clicking “Update form” in front of the job experience area (or the one you wish to edit).

Please note that, If you’ve already been found ineligible, you can’t change your Express Entry profile. You may still browse the profile you uploaded, but instead of “Update form,” you’ll see “View form.”

How NOC changes affect candidates applying through the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)?

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is a government program that permits immigrants to obtain permanent residency in one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces—Nova Scotia, New Brunswick (NB), Prince Edward Island (PEI), or Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).

Previously, AIP was only accessible to individuals with experience in positions requiring Skill Level C or higher. The eligibility cut-off for NOC 2021 will be TEER 4. The following 12 vocations will no longer be eligible for AIP as a result of this change:

  • Pet groomers and animal care workers
  • Other support occupations in personal services
  • Longshore workers
  • Material handlers
  • Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs
  • Delivery service drivers and door-to-door distributors
  • Boat and cable ferry operators and related occupations
  • Livestock labourers 
  • Nursery and greenhouse labourers
  • Trappers and hunters 
  • Food and beverage servers 
  • Labourers in textile processing and cutting 

If you’re seeking permanent residency or currently in the Express Entry pool, you may be concerned about how changes to the NOC system may affect your eligibility. The modifications, however, are mostly restricted to language and categorization and will have little effect on your prospects of qualifying for PR for most of the applicants. 

Don’t be worried if your occupation has become ineligible for Express Entry or AIP. You can still immigrate to Canada via a different immigration scheme. To explore more about the changes and other immigration options, call WISA experts at 1800 123 9212 or drop your queries at contactus@wisaindia.com .