Visa Crunch

Canada Introduces National Occupational Classification; Classification Will Affect Immigrants Application

In the fall of 2022, Canada’s immigration system will alter the way it defines employment. The reforms will affect some applicants from certain economic classes and foreign workers, however, the federal government is yet to define which applications will get affected.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s system for classifying occupations. Every year, the NOC is reviewed and revised to ensure that it continues to reflect Canada’s dynamic labor market. It is upgraded every ten years, with the latest edition being the most significant upgrade since 2011.

Last month, Statistics Canada released its updated NOC 2021 report as both, the federal and provincial governments use the NOC to oversee Skilled Worker Immigration Programs (SWIP) and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), it’s critical for Canadian immigration.

The NOC eligibility criteria of the program to which an Immigrant or Temporary Foreign Worker applying must remember. which an Immigrant or Temporary Foreign Worker will apply must know. For example, skilled worker immigration applicants must demonstrate job experience in a NOC that falls under one of the following codes under Express Entry:

  • NOC 0: Skill type 0 jobs are usually managerial in nature
  • NOC A: Skill type A jobs are professional in nature and usually require a university degree or
  • NOC B: Skill type B jobs are skilled trades occupations that usually require a college diploma or training as an apprentice.

NOC 2016 is now being used by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as well as Canada’s provinces and territories to determine eligibility for skilled worker immigration programs. NOC 2016 has also been used by the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to assess Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) submissions.

The LMIA is a labor market assessment conducted by the Canadian government and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) requires it. The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) must establish whether the recruitment of a foreign citizen will have a positive or neutral impact on Canadian workers when evaluating an LMIA application.

The foreign worker can then submit their LMIA and job offer letters to IRCC in support of their work visa applications. In a new report, the IRCC claimed that the federal government intends to be able to implement the new classification system sometime in “fall 2022.”

This, it claimed, will give IRCC time to notify stakeholders of the changes and roll out the new system across all of its programs. In order to guarantee consistency throughout the work permit application process, IRCC is harmonizing the rollout with ESDC.

The Canadian government will now categorize employment based on a new Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) system, rather than the present practice of categorizing jobs based on skill type. NOC skill levels are currently divided into four categories: A, B, C, and D. This adjustment is necessary, according to Statistics Canada, for various reasons.

To begin with, classifying professions based on “skill levels” is perplexing, because the NOC focuses on occupations rather than skills. The TEER system will be introduced with an emphasis on the knowledge and training required to work in a specific profession in Canada.

Secondly, Statistics Canada claims that the former NOC categorization method created an artificial divide between low- and high-skilled workers. This redesign abandons the high/low categorization in favor of a more accurate representation of the abilities necessary in each occupation.

Once IRCC and ESDC have adopted NOC 2021, immigration and foreign worker applicants must confirm that their NOC matches the eligibility criteria of the program to which they are applying. One key area of concern, for example, is how IRCC and ESDC classify professions that are now classified as skill level “B.” This group has grown disproportionately larger over the period, as per Statistics Canada, since it encompasses professions that necessitate varied levels of education and experience.

However, it is still unclear which TEER categories will be qualified for Express Entry-managed programs as well as other federal and provincial programs that now require a “high skilled” NOC at present. There are 516 vocations in the new TEER system, up from 500 in NOC 2016. To represent expanding industries such as data science, cyber security, and others, new jobs have been established.

For the time being, immigration applicants will have to wait for more information from IRCC and ESDC.

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