How to choose relevant NOC Codes for Immigration to Canada
For every single occupation in the Canadian labor market, there is a four-digit code assigned by the National Occupational Classification (NOC). When you apply for an immigration program, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) use NOC Codes or this standardized system in order to assess your work experience.
NOC Codes definition
NOC codes are four-digit codes that represent every occupation in the Canadian labor market
Who needs NOC codes?
If you are planning to submit an application for any of available economic immigration programs, you will need to
determine your NOC code.
How can I choose a NOC code?
Please keep in mind that when you prepare your immigration application, (NOC) Code National Occupational Classification is an important factor to choose correctly. Since it is a very important component of your immigration application, regardless of your choice is the federal Express Entry system or one of the other Provincial Nominee Programs, your NOC code choice can support or severely affect your application.
Therefore, it is important to choose a NOC Code that is appropriate to your occupation; or your application will be refused and you will need to start all over again. In fact, the visa officers will inspect your application to check for any mistakes or try to choose the right NOC Code for you. This is why you must carefully review your application before the submission and see that the selected NOC Code matches your work experience.
All NOC codes are assigned an associated job title, lead statement and list of major duty and as well as responsibilities. Your current job title and education will not carry a lot of weight with a NOC Code you choose for immigration to Canada. What is important is that your work experience must be suitable for the lead statement along with duties and responsibilities which you should have performed. Therefore your work experience might match more than one NOC Code. Similarly, in some cases, you may have work experience that might not match a NOC Code which is associated with your official job title.
You may have worked more than one industries or positions. In this case, each of the position or field will have its own NOC Code. In general, you must choose the main NOC Code as well as NOC Codes for every position that you worked in the past for your immigration to Canada. Please note that not all the immigration programs require the same NOC Code thus, these codes might change depending on the program you apply through.
This is why selecting the correct NOC Code might be not an easy task. Our experts in Canadapt will help you to choose the right NOC Code which will perfectly match your work experience and at the same time will improve your chances for successful immigration to Canada.
How to prove your NOC Codes?
Once made a choice, you will need to provide some additional supporting documents along with your application in order to prove that you have chosen the right NOC Code. As proof of your NOC Code, your employment letter is a very important document. Please note that there is a lot of difference between an employment letter, which you will use for immigration, and a reference letter, which you may be looking for a job. Therefore, you may think of the employment letter as an employment verification letter provided by your employer. In general, such a letter must (ideally) include the following information about your occupation:
• Your job title
• Average, weekly working hours
• Your employment period
• And all duties and responsibilities about your job
In the letter, the most important part of the information is the detailed list of your employment duties. After reviewing the NOC Code you claimed in your application, the visa officer will decide whether the code matches your actual work experience or not. Please note that you should start the process as soon as possible since you are required to get a letter from your employer and that may take some time before you receive it.
In addition, you can include in your application additional supporting documentation which will help you to prove your NOC Code. These may include any other documents such as any certificates (if your position requires one) or maybe tax returns to prove your employment date in the company.
In some cases, if you can’t get a reference letter from your employer for some certain reasons, you may still have a chance to prove that you have claimed the right NOC Code. If such situation occurs, you will need to provide as much as supporting documents possible and as well as a letter that explains the issue and covers the details that why you are not able to provide a reference letter. Therefore, since the reference letter plays a very important role in your application you need to take every possible step in order to get it.
Of course, the visa officer is the one who gives a decision on your application. That said, it may be that you have provided every single document in an ideal condition along with all the supporting evidence. Still, there is no guarantee that the visa officer will be convinced about your NOC Code regarding your work experience. Therefore, as previously mentioned, you need to gather all the possible documents and take all the necessary steps.
Detailed explanation about NOC Codes
In some cases, depending on immigration program you are applying to, you are required work experience that falls under “high-skilled” occupation. These occupations are also designated as NOC 0, A or B. You can easily check your code to see if your occupation is classified as NOC 0, A, or B by looking at the NOC Matrix provided by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) website
How to read NOC codes?
Skill Type of your occupation is the first digit of NOC code. Skill Types range from 0 to 9 which covers broad areas of work.
The second digit of the NOC Code determines the Skill Level. You will need to choose the Skill Level among four categories that are associated with two digits: A (0 and 1), B (2 and3), C (4 and 5), D (6 and 7). Skill Level determines the type of education and training that is necessary for the position you hold.
However, there is an exception in Skill Type codes. Because in every area of work or occupation there are management occupations which are determined by Skill Type 0. The first digit in every management occupation is 0 and the second digit means the Skill Type. As an example, if there is a code starts with 03, it means the occupation is the management position in health.
If you are applying to an immigration program which requires you to have work experience in an occupation classified as Skill Level 0, A, or C, it means that either:
The first digit must be 0, or
The second digit must be between 0 and 5.
NOC skill types list:
The Skill Type of the occupation is determined by the first digit in a NOC code:
0 – Management occupations
1 – Business, finance, and administration occupations
2 – Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
3 – Health occupations
4 – Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services
5 – Occupations in art, culture, recreation, and sport
6 – Sales and service occupations
7 – Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations
8 – Natural resources, agriculture, and related production occupations
9 – Occupations in manufacturing and utilities
NOC Skill Levels list:
The Skill Level of the position is determined by the second digit, as long as the NOC code does not begin with 0.
A – 0 and 1 – Occupations usually require a university education
B – 2 and 3 – Occupations usually require college education or apprenticeship training
C – 4 and 5 – Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training
D – 6 and 7 – On-the-job training is usually provided for occupations