Ontario immigration is preparing to switch to new NOC 2021

Shelby Thevenot, Vimal Sivakumar
Published: September 13, 2022

Ontario is preparing to align the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) with the new National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2021 system, according to a September 6 media release.

The new NOC system is already in use by Employment Development Canada (EDSC) and Statistics Canada (StatsCan), while Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be implementing the system in November.

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This move will impact the OINP by altering what occupations are eligible for each stream. For example, Ontario's Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) which previously required a job offer or work experience in NOC skill types 0, A, or B will instead fall within TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3.

"For the OINP's Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills stream which previously required a job offer in select NOC Skill Level C or D occupations, the stream will now require job offers in select TEER 4 or 5 occupations under NOC 2021," the amendments say. "Under NOC 2021 some occupations will be changing NOC label and this will have an impact on which streams they are eligible for."

Full details of the NOC 2021 system are available on the Statistics Canada website and on IRCC’s website. The OINP says it will also be posting updates on its website.

Ontario is also proposing to require Employer Job Offer Foreign Worker stream applicants to have a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 Level or above. The province says adding the new language criteria would align with "the program's interest in promoting employees' successful integration and is expected to better protect applicants and the OINP against misrepresentation and other program integrity concerns."

Education criteria for the Employer Job Offer International Student stream, is also up for discussion. Ontario wants to require people who are applying with a certificate of at least one year to meet the criteria of the Ontario College Graduate Certificate as defined under the Ontario Qualifications Framework. The OINP says, "This amendment is expected to offer clarity and reduce burdens for International Student stream applicants applying with one year certificates."

Finally, Ontario wants to make changes to the minimum amount for the OINP's administrative monetary penalties.

The public can view the amendments on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry. Ontario is accepting feedback on the proposed changes until October 21, 2022.

NOC 2021 to affect Express Entry eligibility

IRCC is expected to implement NOC 2021 on November 16. The change in Express Entry-eligible occupations will consequently impact eligibility to Ontario’s Express Entry-aligned PNPs.

The following 16 occupations will become eligible for Express Entry through the proposed regulatory alterations:

  • Payroll administrators
  • Dental assistants and dental laboratory assistants
  • Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates
  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
  • Elementary and secondary school teacher assistants
  • Sheriffs and bailiffs
  • Correctional service officers
  • By-law enforcement and other regulatory officers
  • Estheticians, electrologists and related occupations
  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers
  • Pest controllers and fumigators
  • Other repairers and servicers
  • Transport truck drivers
  • Bus drivers, subway operators and other transit operators
  • Heavy equipment operators
  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors

Conversely, these three occupations will hereby become ineligible specifically through Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program:

  • Other performers
  • Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport, and fitness
  • Tailors, dressmakers, furriers, and milliners

The above occupations will remain eligible in other programs with broader job eligibility requirements, such as certain PNP streams.

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