NOC 2021 Computer Issue Delays Canada Express Entry Draws

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NOC 2021 Computer Issue Delays Canada Express Entry Draws
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s ability to conduct Express Entry draws has been impacted by a computer glitch of unknown origin.

All the IRCC is divulging so far is the IT problem seems connected to the department’s decision to implement the new National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021 system.


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“We are aware of the ongoing IT issues impacting new and existing Express Entry clients, including those in the Provincial Nominee Program, following the implementation of NOC 2021,” Jeffrey MacDonald, a communications advisor at the IRCC, wrote in an email to Immigration.ca.

IRCC Says It Is ‘Closely Monitoring’ The Computer Glitch That Has Delayed The Express Entry Draw

“We are closely examining this issue and are working as quickly as we can to resolve it. We will advise clients as soon as we have more information.”

Ottawa’s new NOC 2021 system was implemented at the IRCC on Nov. 16, changing the way foreign nationals filled out their applications when applying under the Express Entry Canadian Experience ClassFederal Skilled Worker and Federal Skilled Trades programs.

The NOC 2021 was phased in gradually specifically “to provide organizations and programs with enough time to make a proper transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021.”

Under the new NOC 2021, Express Entry applicants now need to search for their occupations under the NOC 2021 list on the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) website and submit their Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category and five-digit occupational code when filling out a profile for the Express Entry pool.

Those who submitted a profile before Nov. 16 but had not yet been sent an Invitation to Apply (ITA) by that date were to:

  • search for their occupation under the NOC 2021 list on the ESDC website, and;
  • update their profile with their TEER Category and five-digit occupational code.

Those profiles were to be updated on or after Nov. 16 for the applicants to remain eligible for any of the Express Entry programs, including the CEC, FST, and FSW.

Foreign nationals, though, who had already received an ITA before Nov. 16, were to submit their applications for permanent residence using the NOC 2016, the version of the NOC in effect that date.


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With the NOC 2021, the IRCC moved away from its use of a four-digit number to categorize each occupation with a five-digit code.

Within the new five-digit code, the NOC 2021 breaks down the level of skill of each occupation, until Nov. 16 still called a Skill Level, into six categories from the current four to better reflect the level of Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities, or TEER, of each job.

These TEER categories in the re-jigged NOC replace the previous Skill Levels.

Foreign Nationals Applying For Express Entry Immigration To Canada Need To Use NOC 2021 Codes

The new NOC also ranks occupational groups based on five hierarchical levels consisting of the broad occupation category; major groups; sub-major groups, minor groups; and unit groups.

Foreign nationals looking for their NOC code for a job only need to go to the search page of the NOC website and search using their job title. After selecting the closest match on the list that is generated, it is important to make sure the main duties listed match those of the job.

When those duties don’t match up, users are advised to use a different job title with duties that more closely match theirs.

Applicants under the Express Entry system should then write down the new numeric code and job title – for example, 72302 Gas fitters – and note the TEER category.

A nationally-recognized and standardized system used by IRCC to evaluate the work experience of applicants for immigration, the choice of the right NOC code is one of the most important parts of an application for immigration.

“Every 10 years, the (NOC) undergoes a major structural revision whereby the existing occupational groups are reviewed alongside input collected from many relevant stakeholders through a consultation process,” stated Statistics Canada on its website.

“The release of the NOC 2021 will be the product of this 10-year cycle and will reflect changes in the economy and the nature of work. Input from the public, and particularly stakeholders, has been a key part of the revision process.”

Every province and territory in Canada use the NOC to identify in-demand jobs that need to be filled by immigration programs.

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