Identify Your NOC Code

Identify Your NOC Code

Immigrating to Canada? You’ll need to identify your NOC code


This article will help guide your decision of which one is right for you. The National Occupational Classification (NOC) system helps IRCC evaluate candidates’ eligibility and it’s essential if immigrating under an economic immigration program like the Express Entry System, where only certain occupations applicants from foreign countries or territories qualify. As much as these codes are crucial though; there can still sometimes be issues deciding on just what kind fits best with personal circumstances.


When you are immigrating to Canada through an economic immigration program, it’s important that your NOC code matches the occupation or job role. In order for this process go smoothly and quickly (and without any hiccups), make sure not only do know what kind of roles qualify as “essential” but also those where there might be some wiggle room when choosing one.

Identify Your NOC Code from the 5 Main NOC Code Categories

The NOC Code system divides occupations into 5 categories:



  • Skill level 0

This covers skilled work, particularly management positions across all sectors. Examples include shore captains, chief executive officers, and restaurant managers.



  • Skill level A

This covers skilled work in professional occupations. Usually, you need to have a university degree to pursue these occupations. Examples are doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, teachers, architects, and accountants.



  • Skill level B

This covers skilled work in technical occupations requiring technical training or a college diploma. Examples are plumbers, electricians, and chefs.



  • Skill level C

This covers intermediate-skilled work in occupations that usually require you to have a high school diploma and on-site training. Examples include truck drivers and restaurant servers.



  • Skill level D 

This covers low-skilled work in occupations that don’t require extra schooling – they rely wholly on on-the-job training.  Examples include oil field workers and fruit pickers.

How NOC skill levels affect your eligibility for different immigration pathways

If you are one of the selected applicants in a “Draw” from the Express Entry pool, you then receive what’s called an Invitation to Apply or (ITA).


An Invitation to Apply is an invitation by the Canadian Government inviting you to submit your full application to be assessed for Permanent Residency in Canada.


After you have received the invitation to apply, you can submit your application for permanent residency. Once you receive that invitation, you will be given 90 days to submit your full application to the Canadian Government, and if it is approved, you will then be eligible to enter Canada to activate your permanent residency. Using the Express Entry system it is possible to secure Canadian Permanent Residency in as little as 6 – 12 months.


Whilst making an Express Entry application can seem daunting, trust us, it’s not. We have broken down the process into very easy-to-follow steps.


We will cover each of these steps in great detail through this guide.


The very first step though is to consider which of the three major immigration programs you are eligible to apply for.

How NOC skill levels affect your eligibility for different immigration pathways

Here is a list of the different programs available for immigration to Canada and the NOC levels they require:



  • Express Entry

To qualify for Express Entry under the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Federal Skilled Worker Program, your previous jobs need to have a skill level of 0, A, or B.


  • Provincial Nominee Programs

Depending on the occupations they require, provinces will nominate immigration candidates with previous jobs in skill levels 0, A, B, C, or D. Ultimately, the qualified levels will depend on the roles needed.


  • Temporary work visa/permits

If you’re looking to live and work in Canada temporarily, your previous jobs can be at any skill level (0, A, B, C, or D).


  • Identify Your NOC Code for Atlantic Immigration Pilot 

To qualify to move to Canada through this pilot, your past work experience has to fall under skill levels 0, A, B, or C.

Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.