How Canada’s new NOC may impact eligibility for Express Entry?

In November 2022, 16 vocations will become eligible for Express Entry and three will no longer be.

Information regarding how Express Entry eligibility may change as a result of the new National Occupation Classification (NOC) system has been made public.

November 2022 will mark the start of NOC 2021. According to an internal briefing paper, three professions will no longer qualify for Express Entry and a total of 16 will.

Currently, NOC 2016 is used by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to decide which professions qualify for its temporary and permanent immigration programs. However, under Canadian law, IRCC must begin using NOC 2021 as of November.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Statistics Canada are in charge of running the NOC, and they update the system every ten years. New terminology and a revamped classification scheme will be introduced in NOC 2021, which will have an impact on IRCC programs.

These modifications will make the following 16 professions eligible for Express Entry:

Payroll administrators; nursing assistants, orderlies, and patient service representatives; pharmacy assistants and technical assistants; dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants;

teaching assistants in elementary and secondary schools;

Sheriffs and bailiffs; personnel from the correctional system; by-law enforcement and other regulatory personnel; estheticians, electrologists, and related professions; installers and service providers for residential and commercial properties; pest controllers and fumigators; and other repairers and service providers;

operators of heavy equipment, bus drivers, subway and other transit personnel, and transport truck drivers.

Other performers, program directors, and instructors in recreation, sports, and fitness, as well as tailors, dressmakers, furriers, and milliners, will also no longer be eligible for employment.

These three professions will still qualify for programs with more flexible occupational eligibility requirements, such as some streams of the Provincial Nominee Program.

The primary change to NOC 2021 is the revamp and replacement of the previous four-category “skill level” framework with a new six-category system. The new system specifies the amount of training, education, experience, and responsibilities (TEER) necessary to enter each occupation.

Four skill levels were present in the prior NOC. Positions in the skilled trades or that call for a college diploma were included in NOC B, while NOC C covered jobs that are more likely to require a high school diploma.

The new TEER structure will be implemented as follows, as determined by the IRCC’s Executive Committee in September 2020:

2016 through 2021

Ability Type TEER 0 0

TEER 1 Skill Level A

TEER 2 Skill Level B

TEER 3 Skill Level B

TEER 4 Skill Level C.

Level D TEER 5 of ability

A five-tier hierarchical scheme will be used by NOC in 2021 to categorize jobs. Additionally, instead of the current four-digit system, occupations will now have a five-digit coding scheme. There are six categories in the TEER system: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

TEER 0 includes Management Occupations


  • completion of a university degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or doctorate); or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 2 (when applicable).


  • completion of a post-secondary education program of two to three years at a community college, an institute of technology, or CÉGEP; or
  • Completion of an apprenticeship training program of two to five years; or
  • Occupations with supervisory or significant safety (police officers and firefighters) responsibilities; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 3 (when applicable).


  • Completion of a post-secondary education program of fewer than two years at community college, institute of technology, or CÉGEP; or
  • Apprenticeship training of fewer than 2 years; or
  • More than six months of on-the-job training, training courses, or specific work experience with some secondary school education; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 4 (when applicable).


  • Completion of secondary school; or
  • Several weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary school education; or
  • Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 5 (when applicable).


(We will update the modified information on Tier 5 according to the regulations issued by the CIC website.)

  • short work demonstration and no formal educational requirements.

According to Statistics Canada, the TEER system is replacing the skill type model for two key reasons. The TEER system’s first goal is to make it clearer what education and work experience are necessary for each occupation. Second, the skill type model artificially divides employment into low- and high-skilled categories. Stakeholders are expected to have a better understanding of the skills necessary for each occupation after TEER implementation.

You can compare your current NOC to the NOC for 2021 using this Statistics Canada tool.

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