As of November 16, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada ("IRCC") changed the National Occupational Classification ("NOC") 2016 code system to a training, formal education and experience required ("TEER") system, or NOC 2021, amending the entry requirements and responsibilities related to certain occupations.

Immigration programs that previously used NOC skill type or level groupings will now use TEER categories. Most jobs will stay in the TEER category that is equal to the skill level in the table below, however, some jobs may change to a different TEER category altogether. The equivalent TEER categories are:

  • Skill Type 0 will be equivalent to TEER 0;
  • Skill Level A will be equivalent to TEER 1;
  • Skill Level B will be equivalent to TEERs 2 and 3;
  • Skill Level C will be equivalent to TEER 4; and
  • Skill Level D will be equivalent to TEER 5.

The following are examples of occupation types and occupations under each TEER category:

  • TEER 0 are management-level occupations such as financial managers, HR managers or advertising and public relations managers;
  • TEER 1 are occupations that usually require a university degree such as financial advisors or software engineers;
  • TEER 2 are occupations that usually require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of 2 or more years or supervisory occupations such as computer network technicians, medical laboratory technologists or carpentry contractors;
  • TEER 3 are occupations that usually require a college diploma, apprenticeship training of 2 or more years, or more than 6 months of on-the-job training such as bakers, dental assistants or property administrators;
  • TEER 4 are occupations that usually require a high-school diploma or several weeks of on-the-job training such as retail workers, home support workers or home childcare providers; and
  • TEER 5 are occupations that usually need short-term work demonstration and no formal education such as landscaping and grounds maintenance, delivery service drivers or door-to-door distributors.

Certain occupations have benefitted from this change and moved up a skill level from NOC 2016 Skill Level C to NOC 2021 TEER 3, such as nurse aides, payroll administrators, estheticians, bus drivers or heavy equipment operators. Other occupations have been negatively impacted and moved down from NOC 2016 Skill Level C to NOC 2021 TEER 5, such as food and beverage servers, pet groomers, trappers and hunters or longshore workers.

Economic Class Programs, such as the Atlantic Immigration Program ("AIP"), will have updated eligibility requirements because of this change. As an example, to qualify under the AIP, you need a job offer that is full-time, non-seasonal and at least 1 year in duration for a TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 category job. If the job offer is in the TEER 4 category, it must be a permanent position.

Under the AIP, the principal applicant must also have the same skill level as, or higher than, the work experience that qualifies them for the position, unless they are an international student who has recently graduated from a recognized post-secondary institution in Atlantic Canada.

The education requirements under AIP have also been amended to reflect the recategorization of occupations. For example, if the job offer is TEER 0 or 1 level, the principal applicant must have a Canadian one-year post-secondary educational credential or higher, or the equivalent from outside Canada. If the job offer is a TEER 2, 3 or 4 level, the principal applicant must have a Canadian high school diploma, or the equivalent from outside Canada.

Additionally, under the AIP, a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmarks ("CLB") 5 is required for TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3 level occupations. For TEER 4 level occupations, CLB 4 is the minimum requirement.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.