If you’re applying for Canadian immigration through Express Entry, it’s important to understand what affects your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.
The job code (NOC 2021) tied to your work experience won’t impact your score unless you have a job waiting for you in Canada. However, these codes are essential for specific Express Entry draws and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).
What Are NOC Codes?
NOC codes, or National Occupation Classification codes, are a system used by the Canadian government to categorize different job roles based on their duties, educational requirements, and other essential information.
Each occupation is assigned a unique five-digit NOC code. This classification system is the foundation of your Express Entry application.
Why NOC Codes Matter for Express Entry
Your NOC code is a crucial factor in determining your eligibility and success in the Express Entry program. Here’s how it matters:
- Express Entry has three main programs: Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).
- Your NOC code must match your job experience and qualifications with one of these programs for you to be eligible to apply.
CRS Points Calculation:
- CRS scores are used to rank candidates for Express Entry draws.
- Your NOC code plays a significant role in the CRS points calculation.
Read More: How to: Find your NOC code for Express Entry
Standard Express Entry Draws and NOC Codes
For standard Express Entry draws, understanding how your NOC code affects your CRS score is crucial.
Arranged Employment Points:
- Express Entry candidates with arranged employment (a job offer before arriving in Canada) may be eligible for extra CRS points.
- If your job offer falls under Major Group 00* of the NOC 2021, you can receive 200 additional CRS points.
- If your job offer is in any other occupation (NOC codes 0, 1, 2, or 3), you can still earn 50 extra CRS points.
*Major Group 00 includes “Senior Management” positions such as legislators, senior government managers, and senior managers in various industries.
Impact on ITA:
Category-Based Express Entry Draws
In addition to standard draws, there are category-based Express Entry draws, where specific NOC codes are prioritized. These draws aim to address Canada’s labor market needs efficiently.
Five In-Demand Categories:
For 2023, Canada has chosen to focus on five occupational categories with labor shortages:
- Healthcare occupations
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
- Trade occupations
- Transport occupations
- Agriculture and Agri-food occupations
NOC Codes in Category-Based Draws:
In category-based draws, having recent work experience in a specific NOC code related to these five categories can significantly boost your eligibility.
The following list provides examples of eligible occupations (along with their NOC codes) for each category:
- 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)
NOC Codes and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
Your NOC code can be a game-changer when it comes to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Each province in Canada has unique labor market gaps, and they use PNPs to address these gaps.
Different provinces have different labor market needs. If your work experience aligns with a specific NOC code that addresses a province’s requirements, you become a desirable candidate for that region.
PNPs operate in all Canadian provinces and territories, excluding Quebec and Nunavut. These programs aim to help specific regions across Canada address their local labor market and economic challenges.
Examples of provinces with streams catering to professionals in various occupations include:
- 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)
Why Understanding NOC Codes Matters
Understanding your NOC code is essential for a successful Express Entry application, and it offers several benefits:
- Eligibility Clarity: You’ll know which Express Entry program suits your qualifications, avoiding potential rejections.
- CRS Score Maximization: By selecting the right NOC code and understanding its impact, you can maximize your CRS score, increasing your chances of receiving an ITA.
- Provincial Desirability: Knowledge of your NOC code can make you an attractive candidate for specific provinces through PNPs, enhancing your chances of being selected.