The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a framework of identifying jobs in the Canadian labour market with job descriptions and certain corresponding four-digit codes. For the purposes of immigration applications, the NOC is important because only certain jobs in the NOC list are applicable for certain immigration pathways.

The categories within the NOC framework are as follows:

  • Skill Type 0: Management Jobs;
  • Skill Level A: Professional jobs requiring specific academic backgrounds;
  • Skill Level B: Technical jobs and trades job;
  • Skill Level C: Jobs usually requiring only high school education;
  • Skill Level D: Labour jobs with no formal education requirement

NOC Requirements for Immigrating to Canada:

Typically, when applying to the federal Express Entry programs that require an applicant to be a “skilled” professional, they must have a job offer or significant work experience with a job that corresponds to Skill Type 0, A, or B. Occupations with a Skill Level of C or D are typically considered low-skilled work and will not qualify for Express Entry immigration programs.

It is important to make sure that your work experience accurately reflects the NOC code that you apply with. If the NOC code that you submit does not accurately reflect your work experience, your application is going to be refused. NOC codes are chosen by the applicant, and so the responsibility rests with the applicant.

NOC Skill types vs NOC Skill Levels:

It is important to understand that NOC Skill Types are difference from NOC skill levels. The NOC Skill Levels reflect the level of sophistication and education that the job required. However, NOC Skill Types merely reflect the industry itself. Nevertheless, NOC Skill Type 0 implies that the NOC Skill Level is equal to or higher than the NOC Skill Level A or B.

0 Management Occupations A Occupations that typically require advanced university education
1 Business, Finance, Administration Occupations B Occupations that typically require apprenticeship training or trade school education
2 Natural and Applied Sciences and related occupations C Occupations that typically only require secondary school education
3 Health Occupations D Occupations that typically require no formal education, often in the form general labour.
4 Occupations in Education, Law, Social, Community and Government Services
5 Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport
6 Sales and Service Occupations
7 Trades, Transport and Equipment Operators and Related Occupations
8 Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production Occupations
9 Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities

Determining the Correct NOC:

Applicants can find their applicable NOC by using the NOC search engine with the Canadian government: [insert government link]. Each NOC code and job title will correspond with something called a “Lead Statement”. Applicants must ensure that the lead statement most accurately captures your job description and that the obligations and responsibilities within the NOC code have been performed by the applicant.

When determining your applicable NOC, it is important to be aware of NOC exclusions. Some NOC’s have exclusive jobs listed in their code. If you feel like your occupation fits an NOC code but then it also fits the exclusion listed within the NOC code, then that occupation cannot use that NOC code and you have to find another, if possible. When submitting your applications and your NOC code, you may be requested to submit reference letters from former employers to verify the facts stated in your NOC submission.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information and facts referred to herein may be amended, removed or otherwise changed by the authors and the applicable government authority. As such, the information contained herein is provided with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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