Canadian immigration for NOC C and D occupations
There are many options to immigrate to Canada if you are working in an NOC C or D occupation. One of the functions of economic immigration is to fill gaps in the Canadian labour market. When industries and regions have difficulty finding workers, they turn to immigration.
Canada currently uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system to determine an occupation's skill level. In late 2022, it will switch to the Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) system.
For a while, Canada was focusing immigration efforts on NOC 0, A, and B occupations. NOC 0 includes management jobs, NOC A is for jobs that call for a university degree, and NOC B includes trades and occupations that usually require a college diploma or apprenticeship training.
The Express Entry system is the main way Canada welcomes economic-class immigrants. The programs managed by Express Entry are only for workers in NOC 0, A, and B occupations.
However, there are a number of immigration programs that are primarily concerned with filling labour shortages, which include occupations classified under NOC C and D. In recent years, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) have been focusing on NOC C and D immigration applicants. This was seen in the Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence (TR to PR) pathways, which the Canadian government created to help admit immigrants during the pandemic.
NOC C occupations may require a high school diploma, while NOC D occupations generally call for on-the-job training. Some examples of NOC C occupations include butchers, truck drivers, and servers, while NOC D occupations include fruit pickers, cleaning staff, and oil field workers.
Without further ado, here are some of the pathways to permanent residence for people with job offers and work experience in NOC C and D.
Provincial Nominee Program
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was created to allow Canadian provinces and territories make their own immigration programs tailored to their economic and population growth strategies. The PNP includes most of Canada's provinces and territories with the exceptions of Quebec and Nunavut.
The participating provinces have programs that offer pathways for applicants who work in NOC C and D occupations. Here is a list with links to descriptions on each of these programs.
- BC Skills Immigration Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Category
- Alberta Opportunity Stream
- Saskatchewan Experience Category
- Saskatchewan Hard-to-Fill Skills Pilot (coming soon)
- Manitoba Skilled Worker Stream
- Ontario Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills
- Nova Scotia Occupations in Demand
- New Brunswick Skilled Worker with Employer Support
- Prince Edward Island Labour Impact Category Critical Worker Stream
- Newfoundland and Labrador Skilled Worker Category
- Yukon Critical Impact Worker
- Northwest Territories Employer-Driven Entry Level/Semi-Skilled Occupations
Quebec's Permanent Immigration Pilot Program for Workers in Food Processing offers a pathway to permanent immigration for French-speaking workers who have jobs in the food processing sector.
Applications for this program are open until December 31, 2022, or until the maximum number of applications have been reached.
You need to be at least 18 years old, and be financially self-sufficient for at least the first three months in the province. Also, you need at least a high school diploma, or a Quebec vocational diploma in a full-time study program of at least one year.
For the work experience requirements, you need a full-time job in an eligible sector in Quebec, and to have worked full-time for at least 24 months during the 36 months preceding the application date.
Your job offer, or work experience, must be in one of the following occupations:
- NOC 6732 – Specialized cleaner
- NOC 8431 – General farm worker, but only in the position of chicken catcher
- NOC 9461 – Process control and machine operator, food and beverage processing
- NOC 9462 – Industrial butcher and meat cutter, poultry preparer and related worker
- NOC 9463 – Fish and seafood plant worker
- NOC 9617 – Labourer in food and beverage processing
- NOC 9618 – Labourer in fish and seafood
You also need an advanced intermediate French language proficiency, which corresponds to level 7 on the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is a federal immigration program that allows employers to hire foreign talent without needing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Employers can be from one of the four Atlantic Provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
There are three categories under the AIP umbrella. One of them, the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, is specifically for NOC C workers.
To go over the basic eligibility criteria, candidates need at least one year of work experience in an occupation that requires a high school education or job-specific training. You also need a high school diploma to meet the education criteria for the program, a language test to show that you can communicate in English or French, and proof that you can support yourself financially.
You also need an eligible job offer that is full-time, permanent, and non seasonal. The job offer can be in an NOC 0, A, B, or C occupation.
Successful applicants not only get Canadian permanent residence with a job offer, but also an individualized settlement plan. One study suggested that immigrants who used the settlement supports found them helpful.
Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot
These two federal immigration programs are for people who work as caregivers. The eligible NOC codes are 4411 and 4412, both are a skill level C.
For both of these programs, eligible candidates need at least two years of full-time work experience, language tests in English or French showing a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5, and at least one year of Canadian post-secondary education, or the foreign equivalent.
Caregivers with work experience in NOC 4411 may be eligible for permanent residence through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot, provided:
- you care for children below the age of 18 in your home or your employer's home; and
- you do not count being a foster parent as work experience.
Caregivers with work experience in NOC 4412 (excluding housekeepers) may be eligible for Canadian immigration through the Home Support Worker Pilot. For this program, you must have taken care of someone who needs help from a home support worker. This can have taken place in your home or in your employer's home.
Agri-food Immigration Pilot
The Agri-Food Immigration Pilot is a federal immigration program for people who have full-time jobs in the following eligible industries:
- meat processing; retail butcher; industrial butcher; food processing labourer
- harvesting labourer for year-round mushroom production and greenhouse crop production
- general farm worker for year-round mushroom production, greenhouse crop production, or livestock raising
- farm supervisor and specialized livestock worker for meat processing, year-round mushroom production, greenhouse crop production or livestock raising
Candidates need to have at least 12 months of full-time, non-seasonal Canadian work experience in an eligible occupation. Your work permit should have been issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Also, you need an English or French language proficiency of at least a CLB level 4, and a high school education. The job has to be in a Canadian province outside of Quebec.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
The federal government's Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot allows participating communities the ability to nominate newcomers for Canadian immigration.
The 11 participating communities include:
- North Bay, Ontario
- Sudbury, Ontario
- Timmins, Ontario
- Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
- Thunder Bay, Ontario
- Brandon, Manitoba
- Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba
- Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
- Claresholm, Alberta
- Vernon, British Columbia
- West Kootenay (Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Nelson), British Columbia
In order to be considered for the RNIP, candidates must meet the federal criteria as well as the community requirements.
On the federal level, candidates must have a recommendation from one of the designated communities. To get one, you need to see the individual criteria of the community where you wish to immigrate to.
Also, you need 1,560 hours of work experience, equivalent to one year of full-time work, within the past three years in order to be eligible. It is OK if this was done outside Canada, but it cannot be self-employed work.
Alternatively, you can have an education credential from a public post-secondary institution in the community coupled with a job offer. If you graduated from a post-secondary program in the community that is recommending you, then you may be exempt from the work experience requirement.
In order to qualify for the exemption, you need to have graduated with a credential from a post-secondary program of two years or more. You needed to have been a full-time student for the entirety of the program, received the credential within 18 months before applying for immigration, and were in the community for at least 16 months out of the last 24 months of study.
Federal eligibility criteria also call for you to meet the language threshold for the job being offered. For NOC C and D workers, this is a CLB level of 4.
Like many other immigration programs, you will also need to show you have sufficient funds to support you and your family in the community.
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