Canada is revamping its National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. Immigrants to Canada must identify their individual NOC code correctly for a successful move. The country is introducing new 2021 NOC codes that will be implemented later, in 2022. It is expected that these new codes will probably affect Express Entry and PNP candidates – in particular candidates whose occupations fall at BOC Skill Level B.

The current NOC code is a four-digit structure based on the 2016 version of the classification. The new NOC 2021 codes will have a five-digit structure.

A new categorization for each occupation’s TEER category has been added in the new NOC codes. TEER refers to the degree of Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) required by the occupation. This new addition of the ‘TEER Category’ replaces the ‘Skill Level’ classification of the 2016 NOC. Occupations will be classified under TEER Category 0-5 instead of being classified under Skill Level A, B, C, or D.

2016 NOC Codes — Skill Levels 2021 NOC Codes — TEER Categories
TEER Category 0
Skill Level “A” TEER Category 1
Skill Level “B” TEER Category 2
Skill Level “C” TEER Category 3
Skill Level “D” TEER Category 4
TEER Category 5

Instead of 4 Skill Levels, there will now be 6 Teer Categories. This implies that occupations previously under NOC Skill Level “B” will be redistributed into TEER Categories 2 and 3. The same will happen for the occupations listed under Skill Level C. This can affect Express Entry candidates with occupations at Skill Levels “B” and “C”.

This redistribution can be better explained through an example. The occupation of administrative assistants is classified as NOC 1241 at Skill Level B as per the 2016 NOC codes. This will change to NOC 13110 into the TEER Category 3 as per the 2021 NOC codes.

To see your 2021 NOC code, please click here.

TEER Category and Express Entry

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not yet released any news regarding how Express Entry will accommodate the new 2021 NOC codes and it can take them months to release the information.

It is being speculated that there is a chance that Express Entry will restrict eligibility to those occupations under TEER Category 0, 1, and 2.

In that case, candidates with Skill Level B occupations, who get redistributed to the lower TEER Category, will no longer be eligible for Express Entry.

Express Entry can also expand its eligibility criteria to include more TEER Categories. It can even adopt an entirely new method for assessing the eligibility of work experience.

Other changes in 2021 NOC codes

The names of several occupations have been changed in the new 2021 NOC codes along with the introduction of new occupations.

NOC code 2173 is the current code used by software engineers and designers. Under the new codes, they can apply under the NOC code 21231 named similarly – “software engineers and designers”.

They can also apply under the new NOC code 21211 which is being used for “data scientists” – a new occupation type.

Your individual NOC code will depend on your work duties up to the date.

The new occupations under the 2021 NOC codes have been termed as “emerging items” and includes occupations like – Cybersecurity Specialists, Business Systems Specialists, Web Designers (now distinct from developers), Occupational Health and Safety Specialists, Financial Advisors, Production Logistics Workers, Public and Environmental Health and Safety Professionals, Nurse Practitioners (distinct from allied primary health practitioners), General Building Maintenance Workers and Building Superintendents.

There are several instances where other 2016 NOC codes have been merged, split off or transferred to create the new 2021 NOC codes.

Your NOC code is important

Amongst various other factors, successful immigration to Canada is dependent on choosing the correct NOC. Whether you select to immigrate to Canada through an economic immigration pathway like the Federal Skilled Worker Program of Express Entry or you are applying through a temporary program like the Temporary Foreign Worker Program – you will need a correct NOC code.

In case you are confused regarding which code to choose or are wary that you might choose the wrong code, do not hesitate to approach us.

Let us help you successfully choose the correct code and start your immigration process to Canada.

Planning to immigrate to Canada? Contact us at for more details!