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Changes to the National Occupational Classification – What You Need To Know

On the 16th of November 2022, the Canadian government will begin using a new classification system for immigration applications. The system is used to help guide immigration officials on a person’s eligibility for immigration programs, focusing on their job, work experience, and training. Under both the new and the old system, occupations are broken down into different categories based on the type of work, skill level, and demand for work in Canada. Immigration applicants for any economic immigration application are asked to declare the NOC code that best suits their occupation – choosing the code that has the most similar duties to their position.

What Are The Changes To The National Occupational Classification?

The old NOC scale, from 2016, has levels named after letters – Skill type O, skill levels A, B, C, and D. These levels will become redundant in November 2022, and instead be replaced with a scale that reflects Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER). An extra level will be added – splitting skill type B into two separate categories. The table below outlines the changes to the classification levels.

NOC 2016 skill levels

New NOC skill levels

Skill Type O


Skill Level A


Skill Level B

TEER 2 and 3

Skill Level C


Skill Level D


What Does Each Of The TEER Levels Mean?

Management occupations such as marketing managers make up TEER 0, while jobs that require a university degree such as software engineers generally fall under TEER 1.

TEER 2 and TEER 3 are pretty similar, with both requiring a college diploma. The difference between these two TEERS is the length of time that you have been working in this role.

A high school diploma or several weeks of training is required for TEER 4 roles such as home child care providers while TEER 5 is mainly for jobs that need little to no qualifications or short training such as laborers.

This is not an exhaustive list, for more details refer to the Government of Canada website here.

What Do These Changes Mean?

The changes to the levels affect a number of different immigration programs, including the provincial nominee program and the Atlantic immigration program. However, it is most likely to affect express entry into federal skilled worker and skilled trades programs, as well as the Canadian Experience class.

Under the old system, if you are looking to apply to an Express Entry immigration program, your occupation would need to fall into levels 0, A, or B. Under the new scheme, this is broadened to include 4 different levels – TEERS 0, 1, 2, and 3 meaning that this option is available to more occupations than before. Around 16 different occupations have now made it onto the eligible list, including dental assistants, pest controllers, pharmacy technical assistants, and transport truck drivers.

However, it is also important to recognize that there are some occupations that may change level with the new scheme, making them no longer eligible for Express Entry programs – tailors and dressmakers, sports instructors, and other performers. Depending on their circumstances, applicants in these professions could be eligible for other programs such as Provincial Nominee Programs.

As the changes have a significant impact on immigration applications, it is recommended that you speak to an immigration expert to ensure that you are filling out your application correctly and that you are still eligible for the immigration program that you are applying for.

If you are seeking more information we recommend you book a consultation so that we can discuss your specific situation.

Immigration Station Canada will work with you and guide you through the best process to achieve your goals, wherever they lead!


About Us

Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford, St. Catharines, and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the contact form.

How Can We Help? We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications. Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.

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