How To Know Your National Occupational Classification Code For Express Entry

by | Oct 24, 2021

One of the challenges that many persons encounter when applying for Canadian permanent residency under one of the Express Entry programs is in identifying and indicating their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code. This is a crucial part of any Express Entry application where an applicant indicates the occupation they have worked in while gaining their work experience. 

What is the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code?

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) code is Canada’s way of identifying the different types of jobs or occupations that exist. Every job that exists in Canada has a code assigned to it by the government known as a National Occupational Classification code. When submitting a Canadian permanent residency application under the Express Entry system, one of the requirements is that you must have worked in one of the prescribed NOC code categories. 

You must have worked in category zero, which is for managers or category A, which is for professionals or category B, which is also for some professionals, and primarily for high-skilled workers. Therefore, the job you would have done must fall into one of these three broad categories. Notably, each category contains many NOC codes. For instance, NOC A category may include all types of IT-related roles or healthcare worker jobs, each having an individual NOC code. Essentially, there would be hundreds of NOC codes.

Identifying the Correct NOC Code

Determining your right NOC code when setting up your Express Entry profile is important because indicating a wrong NOC code could ultimately lead to refusal of your application if your work experience does not qualify you to apply under the express entry programs. If you misunderstand your type of work experience, you may indicate the wrong NOC code. 

When assessing your NOC code, the crucial elements you ought to be considering are the duties you performed while you were in a particular role. Your focus should not only be on the job title but also on the actual duties that were performed in a particular job. This can be a fatal mistake in your permanent residency applications since it may lead you to indicate the wrong NOC code for your job.

Where to Find the NOC Codes

It is important to note that the Canadian government has a website that outlines all the different NOC codes and job duties that are to be performed, or at least that the government expects that you would have performed if you were in a particular occupation. The website has a lead statement that spells out some of the broad expectations of persons working in each of the different NOC codes. 

Additionally, the website has a bulleted list of duties that the Canadian government expects that you would have done at least the majority of the time. There is no expectation that you must have performed every single duty listed in a particular NOC code. However, you must have completed at least a majority of the essential duties in your role. 

Another challenge that you may encounter in this regard is that you may come across roles that are similar but not the same. Sometimes, there are very nuanced distinctions between the roles and this might not be very obvious to applicants. It is worth noting that you must have carried out the functions which would have been indicated in the lead statement for a particular role. 


Therefore, it is important that you pay close attention to the NOC codes and the roles indicated to make sure that you indicate the right NOC code. When making your permanent residency applications under the express entry programs, bear in mind that you need to evaluate NOC codes beyond the job title and confirm that the job duties are indicative of your work experience.

Let Us Help

We are available and happy to assist you to assess your correct NOC code if you wish to apply for Canadian permanent residency under the express entry programs.

Please feel free to contact us if you need any guidance evaluating NOC Codes for your Canadian immigration applications. Book a call with us today!


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