New NOC: What Changes For Immigration Candidates?

The National Occupational Classification, known by the acronym NOC, concerns the vast majority of candidates for immigration to Canada.

Under this classification, the jobs are grouped according to the type of job, and the related functions performed. For immigration purposes, the NOC is used to determine whether the job held by the candidate meets the criteria of the targeted immigration program.

As of November 16, 2022, a new version of the National Occupational Classification will come into force, bringing with it its share of changes in terms of immigration. Explanations.

About the National Classification of Professions

The purpose of this Canadian national (federal) system is to describe the professions. The LWOP of a position describes in particular:

  • The main work tasks of the position in question
  • The level of education usually required to practice the profession
  • Examples of names for the intended position
  • Any other useful information, related to the profession


The current version of the NOC the 2016 version – is based on ten main categories of professions, namely:

  1. Management
  2. Business, finance, and administration
  3. Natural and applied sciences and related fields
  4. Health sector
  5. Education, law and social, community, and government services
  6. Arts, culture, sports, and leisure
  7. Sales and services
  8. Trades, transport, machinery, and related fields
  9. Natural resources, agriculture, and related production
  10. Manufacturing and public utility services

These ten main categories are then divided into 40 subcategories, themselves subdivided, to reach large groups, framing a profession.

The Use of NOC For Immigration Purposes

For the purposes of immigration, the NOC defines five main levels of professions:

  • Category 0 professions, which cover management positions.
  • Category A professions, which cover positions usually requiring a university degree, are qualified as “professional” positions.
  • Category B professions, which cover technical or specialized positions, generally require a technical education or a college diploma (either a French baccalaureate or an apprenticeship training).
  • Category C occupations, which include intermediate positions, usually require a high school diploma or vocational training.
  • Category D occupations, which cover all manual positions, often not requiring special training.

In this regard, we speak of a “qualified position with regard to immigration” for any job of category A, B, or 0 of the NOC.

Certain immigration programs, such as the Quebec Experience Program, or the Francophone Mobility program are only accessible to candidates occupying a qualified position.

The Changes to Come

As of November 16, 2022, a new National Classification of Professions will enter into force: the 2021 version.

The current structure, and its five main levels of professions (A, B, C, D, or 0) will be replaced by a new system with six categories. The latter aims to better represent the Training, Studies, Experience, and Responsibilities necessary to exercise a certain profession. The new categories will be called FAIRY categories.

The occupation codes, currently composed of four digits, will thus become five-digit codes. In addition, all the eligibility criteria for the various immigration programs using the NOC should be updated to reflect the new category.

Notably, among others, the Express Entry program, as well as the International Mobility program.

Equivalences between the current NOC and the new version

The immigration authorities have already made available a table of equivalence between categories A, B, C, D 0, and categories. It can be consulted below.

NOC Categories Division:

Gender or Level of CompetenceCategory
Gender of Competence 00
Level of Competence A1
Level of competence B2 and 3
Level of Competence C4
Level of Competence D5

The main requirements of the professions under the categories are defined as follows:

  1. Professions and management positions.
  2. Professions usually require a university degree.
  3. Professions generally require a College degree, an apprenticeship of at least two years, or supervisory tasks.
  4. Professions usually require a College degree, an apprenticeship of less than two years, or professional training of more than six months.
  5. Professions generally require a High school diploma or professional training of several weeks.
  6. Professions that usually do not require any particular training or level of education.

Although they will not come into force until November 16, 2022, these changes are important and should be known to any immigration candidate, to best prepare their Canadian project.

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