What’s an NOC and why do I need to know it?
NOC stands for National Occupation Classification. This is a system classifying various jobs and positions depending on their respective fields, duties, and degree of education required.
For immigration purposes, they can be categorized as skill type 0 (zero), and levels A, B, C, and D. The skill type/level your work experience falls under will determine what immigration programs you’re eligible to apply for.
People with experience in positions classified in NOC 0, A, and B, are notably eligible for Express Entry (among other programs), meaning they can immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. On the other hand, positions in NOC C and D may still immigrate under certain Provincial Nominee Programs. Otherwise, they may work in Canada as temporary workers.
Because of how the NOC is applied, it is important to know your NOC based on the positions you’ve held and their respective duties. Not only will likely you be asked to state the NOC of your past work positions, but giving an accurate matching NOC will ensure a smoother and likely more successful processing.
A Special Note on NOC 0
Whereas NOC A and B are considered high skill level jobs requiring university and college level training respectively, NOC 0 is considered a special skill “type” independent of skill level.
Skill “type” 0 refers to management positions. What makes this skill type special is that it permeates through all other skill levels, A through D. This means you could be a high ranking executive managing a hundred NOC A employees, or you could be a restaurant manager managing ten NOC D employees, and both would still fall under NOC 0.
As such, having experience in management positions is an excellent way for people with an otherwise lower skill level NOC to become eligible for Express Entry.
How do I find my NOC?
It’s best to check the government website for a complete and up to date list.