Immigrating to Canada is a dream for many who want to live in a land of equality, opportunity, and safety. Hundreds of possible routes and programs can get you here, and given their sheer number, it is no wonder that prospective immigrants are often overwhelmed and sometimes discouraged.
However, there is hope. This blog post explains how knowing about Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) system is one way to make your dream of immigrating to Canada possible.
The first thing that aspiring immigrants to Canada need to do is find their NOC code, a four-digit number. This code is part of the system that the Canadian federal and provincial governments use to classify jobs and to collect, analyze, and publish statistics relating to the country’s labour market.
How Do You Find Your NOC?
The easiest way to find your NOC is to visit Job Bank, an online database of job openings that is operated by the federal government. Once there, search for a job opening, but do not try to find an exact job title match. Instead, look for job descriptions that match your experience. When you find one, look for the NOC code listed in the job market information section on the particular job posting page.
The Government of Canada provides a website listing all the NOC codes and includes their title, lead statement, main duties, and employment requirements. On this website, look for your NOC code and check that the lead statement (the first paragraph) and the main duties match your experience. Those two sections are the most important because immigration agents will compare your proof of experience with the descriptions on the NOC page.
Is My NOC Eligible?
For immigration purposes only, NOC codes are further classified into job types or levels:
- Skill Type 0: management jobs
- Skill Level A: professional jobs that typically require a four-year degree from a university
- Skill Level B: technical jobs and skilled trades that generally require a college diploma or apprentice training
- Skill Level C: intermediate jobs that usually require a high school diploma, job-specific training, or both
- Skill Level D: labour jobs that often provide on-the-job training
Using this link, type in your NOC code at the bottom of the webpage. Doing so will generate your NOC Skill Level or Type.
Depending on the federal immigration program, your NOC Skill Level or Type may or may not be eligible:
- Skill Level D is not eligible for any permanent residence program.
- Skill Level C is eligible only for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program.
- Skill Type 0 and Level A or B are all eligible for the federal Express Entry program.
Regarding the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), each province has its own eligibility criteria concerning NOC Skill Level or Type. For example, Skill Level D is targeted for the Critical Impact Worker Program, a PNP in Yukon. You can find information relating to PNPs in the Just For Canada PNP Live Monitor.
Finding your NOC code is only the first of many steps in this journey, but with perseverance and hard work, your Canadian dream can come true.