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  • Suzette Tiempo

Canada has Introduced NOC 2021. What Will It Mean for Immigrants in 2022?

Canada has long been a haven for immigrants globally. The country's immigration system has been generous in accepting foreign individuals looking to enter and find work opportunities. Through the years, Canada has introduced many different ways foreign workers and skilled individuals can enter the country for occupational needs. The system categorizes and deals with occupations is called National Occupational Classification (NOC). Understanding the NOC code skill type is extremely important for immigrants looking to move to Canada. Choosing the right NOC can be the difference between an individual's application getting accepted or rejected.

The NOC is reviewed every year, making updates every five years. These updates are made to adapt to Canada's changing labour market needs, ensuring the country's economic safety and well-being. In addition to that, the NOC is also revised every ten years with some significant changes. As of recent, the country's immigration system will undergo an overhaul in terms of job classification in fall 2022. These new adjustments are expected to affect certain economic classes and foreign worker candidates.

The NOC is a crucial aspect of the Canadian immigration system. It is utilized by both the federal and provincial governments to oversee and handle the skilled worker programs, and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Any foreign worker with hopes to settle in Canada must meet the NOC eligibility requirements of their particular program. Presently, NOC 2016 is used both by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Canada's provinces and territories to assess for eligibility of a foreign worker under the skilled worker immigration programs. Moreover, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) also relies on NOC 2016 to assess Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications.

The New TEER System and What It Will Mean for Immigrants

Contrary to the primary NOC method that was divided into four categories: A, B, C, and D, the Canadian government will employ a new system to categorize occupations.

The new eligibility criteria would include Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER). The TEER system is distributed into six categories, from TEER 0 to TEER 5. According to Statistics Canada, the new system focuses on education and the experience required to work in a particular job field. Moreover, the previous NOC system unnecessarily created a low-skilled versus high-skilled categorization. The new system moves away from this dichotomy and accurately represents the abilities required in each vocation.

After implementing the new NOC 2021 by IRCC and ESDC, foreign workers and immigrants looking to apply to Canada would have to ensure that their NOC corresponds to the new program's eligibility criteria to which they are using. The skill level is defined as "B," and IRCC and ESDC determine it is an important area of interest. This category has become increasingly prominent over time since it encapsulates jobs that require varying degrees of experience and education. Additionally, the way these categories will be divided for Express Entry programs and other federal and provincial programs is unknown.

In any case, the new system was created to consider emerging fields of science and technology, hopefully providing new horizons for immigration applicants. For now, aspiring immigration candidates would have to wait patiently for IRCC and ESDC to give an update.

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