Express Entry: 16 New Occupations To Become Eligible When Canada Overhauls NOC

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Express Entry: 16 New Occupations To Become Eligible When Canada Overhauls NOC
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Canada immigration news: Sixteen new occupations will become eligible for Express Entry with Canada’s overhaul of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.

A ministerial memorandum, dated February 21, 2022 and seen by immigration.ca, shows jobs including truck and bus drivers, orderlies, teaching assistants and dental assistants are to be included under the selection system. A full list is below.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will complete the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021 in November 2022, the memorandum confirms.

In doing so, the system will move from the current skill level-based classification to a new TEER classification, standing for Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities.

However, the current Skill Type 0 and Skill Levels A to D do not directly correspond to the TEER levels 0 to 5.

The rough equivalents are as follows:

NOC 2016

NOC 2021

Skill Type 0

TEER 0

Skill Level A

TEER 1

Skill Level B

TEER 2

TEER 3

Skill Level C

TEER 4

Skill Level D

TEER5

Using NOC 2016, occupations qualify for Express Entry from Skill Level B and above. Under NOC 2021, TEER 3 and above will qualify.

This means the following occupations will be added:

  • Payroll administrators
  • Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
  • Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants
  • Sheriffs and bailiffs 
  • Correctional service officers 
  • By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers 
  • Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations 
  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers 
  • Pest controllers and fumigators 
  • Other repairers and servicers 
  • Transport truck drivers 
  • Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators
  • Heavy equipment operators
  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors.

Meanwhile, three other occupations that are eligible for Express Entry under NOC 2016 will become ineligible under NOC 2021. Those occupations are:

  • Other performers
  • Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness
  • Tailors, dressmakers, furriers and milliners.

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Atlantic Immigration Program

As part of the transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021, the eligible occupations under the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) will also be affected.

The AIP is an employer-led program designed to bring new skilled immigrants to the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador.

It is currently open to occupations at Skill Level C or above within NOC 2016. Under NOC 2021, it will be open to occupations at TEER 4 or above.

As a result, the following occupations will become ineligible:

  • Other support occupations in personal services
  • Longshore workers
  • Material handlers
  • Taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs
  • Delivery service drivers and door-to-door distributors
  • Boat and cable ferry operators and related occupations
  • Livestock labourers
  • Nursery and greenhouse labourers
  • Trappers and hunters
  • Food and beverage servers
  • Labourers in textile processing and cutting.

Further Express Entry Changes Coming

Significant changes to Express Entry that will allow occupation-based invitations have been outlined in amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act proposed by IRCC.

The amendments, proposed under Bill C-19, flesh out some of the detail first reported by immigration.ca in November 2021, giving the immigration minister more flexibility on who can be invited from the Express Entry pool.

It gives the minister power to identify a specific economic goal and invite candidates who would help meet that goal, based on factors such as work experience, education or language skills.

This would make it possible to conduct draws targeting specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes.


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Philip Somogyvari, Director General, Strategic Policy and Planning at IRCC, recently attended a meeting of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to answer questions on the proposed changes.

“The proposed amendments being sought will build upon Express Entry’s existing flexibility and support Canada’s economic recovery and future growth by permitting the department to more easily select candidates that meet a range of economic needs and priorities,” Somogyvari told the Committee.

“More specifically, the amendments authorize the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to invite foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry on a new basis: the eligibility to be members of a category that would support an economic goal identified by the minister.”

Somogyvari used the example of using immigration to support the growth of Canada’s technology sector.

“A category of Express Entry candidates would be created based on criteria such as their possession of work experience and their sector occupation and/or their possession of a related educational credential,” he told the Committee.

“Invitations could then be issued to the top-ranked candidates in that category.”

The specific category would be established by the minister via ministerial instructions, in the same way, that regular draws currently take place through Express Entry.

However, current regulations only allow draws to take place targeting specific immigration programs, including Federal Skilled Work, Federal Skilled Trades, the Canadian Experience Class and the Provincial Nominee Program.

Each time a specific category is created, the minister will be required to identify the economic goal being targeted, Somogyvari said. The use of the new powers must also be included in the ‘Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration’.

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