What does Canada’s Novel Introduction of NOC 2021 indicate?

In the fall of 2022, Canada’s immigration system will change the way it defines occupations.

The reforms will affect some applicants from certain economic classes and foreign workers, however, the federal administration has yet to specify which applications will be affected.

The National Occupational Classification is Canada’s system for classifying occupations (NOC). Every year, the NOC is reviewed and revised to ensure that it continues to reflect Canada’s dynamic labor market. It is upgraded every ten years or so, with the latest edition being the most significant upgrade since 2011. Last month, Statistics Canada released its updated NOC 2021 report.

Because the federal and provincial governments use the NOC to oversee skilled worker immigration programs and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, it is critical for Canadian immigration (TFWP). The NOC eligibility criteria of the program to which an immigrant or temporary foreign worker is applying must be met.

For example, skilled worker immigration candidates must demonstrate job experience in a NOC under Express Entry:

  • NOC 0: Skill type 0 jobs are typically management-oriented.
  • NOC A: Skill type A jobs are professional in nature and typically require a bachelor’s degree;
  • NOC B: Skill type B jobs are skilled trades occupations that require a college education or apprenticeship training.

NOC 2016 is now being used by IRCC and Canada’s provinces and territories to determine eligibility for skilled worker immigration programs.

NOC 2016 has also been used by the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to assess Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) submissions.

The LMIA is a labor market assessment conducted by the Canadian government. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program necessitates it (TFWP). ESDC must establish whether the hiring of a foreign national will have a positive or neutral impact on Canadian workers when evaluating an LMIA application. A foreign worker can then submit their LMIA and employment offer letters to IRCC together with their work visa applications.

Fall of 2022 will witness the initialization of NOC 2021

According to the IRCC, the federal government intends to be able to implement the new classification system for vocations in “fall 2022.” This, it claimed, will give IRCC time to notify stakeholders of the changes and roll out the new system across all of its programs. In order to guarantee consistency throughout the work permit application process, IRCC is harmonizing the rollout with ESDC.

NOC skill levels face replacement via the novel TEER system

The Canadian government will now categorize employment based on a new Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) system, rather than the present practice of categorizing jobs based on skill type.

NOC skill levels are currently divided into four categories: A, B, C, and D.

NOC 2021 departs from this approach by introducing the TEER system, which is divided into six categories: TEER 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

TEER 0 → Management level occupations/job profiles

TEER 1 → A university degree (bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D.) is required, or TEER type 2: Several years of experience in a given occupation (when applicable).

TEER 2 → Completion of a two- to the three-year post-secondary education program at a community college, institute of technology, or CÉGEP; or Completion of a two- to a five-year apprenticeship training program; or

Those having supervisory or significant safety responsibilities (police officers and firefighters); or Several years of experience in a specialized TEER category 3 occupation (when applicable).

TEER 3 → Completion of a two-year post-secondary education program at a community college, institute of technology, or CÉGEP; or two-year apprenticeship training; 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; or several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 4 (when applicable).

TEER 4 → Secondary school graduation; or several weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary school education; or several years of experience in a specific TEER category 5 occupations (when applicable).

TEER 5 → Demonstration of some short-term work without the requirement of completion of any sort of formal education.

Reasons for the conduction of this Replacement

To begin with, classifying professions based on “skill levels” is perplexing, given the NOC is concerned with occupations rather than skills. The TEER system will be introduced with an emphasis on the education and experience required to work in a specific occupation.

Second, Statistics Canada claims that the former NOC categorization method created an artificial divide between low- and high-skilled workers. This redesign abandons the high/low categorization in favor of a more accurate representation of the abilities necessary in each occupation.

Repercussions to be faced by Immigrants

Once IRCC and ESDC have adopted NOC 2021, immigration and foreign worker applicants must confirm that their NOC matches the eligibility criteria of the program to which they are applying.

One key area of concern, for example, is how IRCC and ESDC classify professions that are now classified as skill level “B.” This category comprises jobs that necessitate varied levels of education and experience. It is unclear which TEER categories will be eligible for Express Entry-managed programs as well as other federal and provincial programs that now require a “high skilled” NOC at this time.

For the time being, immigration applicants will have to wait for more information from IRCC and ESDC.

There are 516 vocations in the new TEER system, up from 500 in NOC 2016. To represent burgeoning disciplines in data science, cyber security, and other areas, new vocations have been developed.

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