What does this mean for immigrants in 2022?
The new way Canada classifies occupations may affect economic class and temporary foreign worker applicants. Canada’s immigration system overhaul is set for fall 2022. Changes that may affect economic class and foreign worker applicants are to be determined as we patiently wait for the federal government to release more information.
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is reviewed every year, updated every five, and fully overhauled about every ten to keep up with Canada’s ever-changing labour market. Changes to 2022’s edition will be the most significant since 2011.
Federal and provincial governments use the NOC to manage skilled occupation categories for skilled worker immigration programs and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). An immigrant or temporary foreign worker must meet NOC eligibility criteria for the program they are applying to. Find or learn more about your NOC here.
What we know thus far about new and upcoming changes:
New TEER system to replace NOC skill levels
The Canadian government will now categorize jobs based on a new Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) system. Currently, NOC skill levels fall under four categories: A, B, C, and D. NOC 2021 has moved away from this approach. The TEER system has six categories: TEER category 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The Canadian government feels that the TEER system focuses more on the education and experience required to work in a given occupation and not skill levels. Statistic Canada has explained this here.
At this point, it is unknown which TEER categories will be eligible for federal and provincial programs that currently require a “high skilled” NOC. Immigration applicants will need to wait patiently for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to provide more information.
Utilizing the following Statistics Canada tool, you may view how your current NOC compares to the NOC 2021.