The 2021 National Occupational Classification has been adopted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. As a result, many aspects of immigration to Canada will be impacted, especially the Provincial Nominee Program and Express Entry. Because the 2021 National Occupational Classification has reclassified skill types from the 2016 National Occupational Classification into TEERS (“Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities”), some potential applicants will be better positioned to gain entry into Canada through Express Entry both on the federal and provincial levels.

Express Entry Options 

Express Entry allows foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence in Canada based on the contributions that they can make to the Canadian economy. A few different options are available for foreign nationals to apply for Express Entry to Canada. Some options are for federal express entry, whereas others allow foreign nationals to apply on a provincial level. Each stream has different requirements. 

Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class of Express Entry is for foreign nationals who are skilled workers with Canadian work experience. Applicants must have worked in Canada for at least one year out of the previous three years. This experience gained in Canada must have also been while the foreign national was legally allowed to work in Canada as a temporary resident.

Although no minimum education level is required for applicants under the Canadian Experience Class, education can help make an application more competitive. The applicant must have skills that qualify them for a managerial or professional role or a skilled trade. Finally, to be considered, applicants must be at the language level in writing, reading, listening, and speaking as required for their chosen job. The level of skills in language needed depends on the type of job that is being applied for, as certain occupations are deemed to require a higher level of language skills than others.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Unlike the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program does not require the applicant to have Canadian work experience to apply. To be granted Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the applicant must meet a minimum threshold of points. The points are calculated from six selection factors: age, education, language, skilled work experience, existing job offers, and adaptability.

Federal Skilled Trades Program

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for applicants who work in a select number of trades. Applicants must have at least two years of full-time work experience in their field within the last five years. This work experience can consist of full-time or part-time work, so long as the total hours worked amount to two years of experience. There is no education requirement for this program, but education can improve the applicant’s rank in the Express Entry pool. Applicants also need to have sufficient English or French language skills to apply.

Finally, applicants for the Federal Skilled Trades Program require a valid offer of full-time employment for at least a year or a certificate of qualification in their skilled trade issued by a Canadian provincial, territorial or federal authority to apply.

Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Program allows Canadian provinces to invite foreign nationals to apply to live within their borders. The provinces each have their own programs, and each sets its own requirements for applicants to meet to apply under their Provincial Nominee Program. The Provincial Nominee Programs allow the provinces to target foreign nationals with specific skills and experience that will benefit the province. If an applicant is selected under a Provincial Nominee Program, the applicant must then apply to the federal government for permanent residence status. 

Ontario has its own Provincial Nominee Program called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program offers a variety of different streams for potential applicants. Recently, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program implemented the 2021 National Occupational Classification. This means that the changes to the 2021 National Occupational Classification will now apply to applicants to Ontario. For example, the point allocations for employment/labour market factors for evaluating applicants have been changed to conform with the National Occupational Classification. 

2021 National Occupational Classification Changes 

The new National Occupational Classification has changed which foreign nationals are eligible for permanent residence. Included as part of the new classification are 16 occupations that are now eligible for Express Entry. This expansion will allow more foreign nationals to come to Canada, become permanent residents, and provide Canada with more diverse immigration applicants.

The new occupations eligible for Express Entry are as follows:

  • 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; and
  • aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors. 

Foreign nationals with these jobs who want to become Canadian permanent residents can now do so through Express Entry. Overall, this expansion of Express Entry should help Canada to address labour shortages and benefit the Canadian economy. 

Contact Garson Immigration Law in Toronto for Comprehensive Advice on Express Entry

Garson Immigration Law has a wealth of experience helping clients immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry programs. Our knowledgeable team of Toronto immigration lawyers keeps apprised of all provincial and federal immigration developments so we can provide clients with the most effective, robust legal solutions possible. In addition to advising clients on the Canadian immigration process (including inadmissibility issues, citizenship, and temporary and permanent residence matters), we also provide trusted guidance to Canadians looking to immigrate to the United States. To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or by phone at 416-321-2860.

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