If you are an applicant for Canadian immigration through one of the three programs within the Express Entry system, it’s crucial to understand the factors that affect your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
The NOC 2021 code corresponding to a candidate’s work experience will only impact their CRS score if they have pre-arranged employment waiting for them upon arrival in Canada.
Nonetheless, NOC codes play a significant role in Express Entry, especially in category-based draws and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Continue reading to grasp how Express Entry operates and how your NOC code can enhance your prospects of successfully immigrating to Canada.
Canada’s federal government utilizes CRS scores to rank candidates applying for any of the three Express Entry-managed programs:
- The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
This ranking is conducted before issuing invitations (Express Entry draws).
CRS scores are pivotal in standard Express Entry draws, where candidates are ranked based on these scores. Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence (PR) in Canada are given to those with CRS scores above the draw’s cut-off score. However, this only applies to category-based Express Entry draws.
What are NOC Codes?
Canada’s NOC system is how the federal government classifies, describes, differentiates, and outlines jobs based on their “main duties, educational requirements, or other useful information.”
Each occupation categorized under this system is assigned a unique number for classification, known as the occupation’s NOC code. These codes consist of five digits.
NOC Codes and Standard Express Entry Draws
In the context of standard Express Entry draws, a candidate’s NOC may render them eligible for additional CRS points, thereby enhancing their chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian Permanent Residency (PR).
Specifically, under the CRS’ Additional Points section (Category D), the Government of Canada specifies that Express Entry candidates can earn 50 or 200 additional CRS points for “Arranged Employment.”
Within this category, candidates with arranged employment (a pre-existing job offer before arriving in Canada) in an occupation falling under Major Group 00* of the NOC 2021 will be granted 200 additional points toward their CRS score.
Meanwhile, candidates with a qualifying job offer in any other occupation — under NOC TEER 0 (other than Major Group 00), 1, 2, or 3 – will receive 50 additional CRS points.
In either scenario, the extra CRS points tied to a candidate’s NOC can significantly impact their success in the immigration process to Canada through standard Express Entry draws.
The NOC’s Major Group 00 is a specific occupational category designated for roles classified as “Senior Management” positions. This encompasses legislators, senior government managers, officials, and senior managers in various industries such as finance, communications, health, broadcasting, construction, and transportation.
NOC Codes and the Provincial Nominee Program
The significance of an immigration candidate’s NOC about their work experience is that different provinces have distinct labor market gaps. A candidate’s work experience in a specific NOC may make them more attractive to a province or territory seeking skilled workers with a particular employment history and skill set.
Overview of Canada’s PNPs
Operated in all Canadian provinces and territories except Quebec and Nunavut, PNPs are immigration programs designed to address local labor market and economic challenges. PNPs represent the largest immigration stream among all economic-class programs in Canada.
PNPs allow local governments to select immigration candidates and offer them permanent residence to address specific labor market gaps in their regions.
Each province and territory operates multiple streams catering to foreign nationals with various professional backgrounds.
As an example, the top destination provinces in 2022 (excluding Quebec) offer streams for professionals in diverse occupations:
- Ontario: Nurse Aides, Transport Truck Drivers, Construction Trades Helpers/Labourers (Ontario Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream)
- British Columbia: Nurses, Physicians, Psychiatric Nurses (Skills Immigration: Healthcare Professional Category)
- Alberta: Farm Workers (Alberta Farm Stream)
NOC Codes and Category-Based Express Entry Draws
Category-based draws enable the government to prioritize immigration candidates with recent work experience in specific in-demand industries and proficiency in French. This strategic focus on candidates with work experience in particular occupations helps address significant labor market gaps in Canada.
For 2023, Canada has identified five occupational categories for special attention: healthcare, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), transport, trades, and agriculture/agri-food.
NOC codes play a crucial role in category-based draws because each eligible occupation within the five in-demand categories has its distinct NOC.
Therefore, candidates with recent work experience in an occupation falling under a specific NOC code may qualify for immigration to Canada through category-based draws, in addition to meeting standard Express Entry eligibility.
The following examples, along with their corresponding NOC codes, represent occupations eligible under each of the Express Entry categories chosen for 2023:
- Healthcare: Dentists (NOC: 31110); Massage Therapists (NOC: 32201)
- STEM: Architects (NOC: 21200); Engineering Managers (NOC: 20010)
- Transport: Transport Truck Drivers (NOC: 73300)
- Trades: Residential and Commercial Installers and Servicers (NOC: 73200)
- Agriculture and Agri-Food: Butchers – Retail and Wholesale (NOC: 63201)
Get a Free Express Entry assessment today!