Understanding the Express Entry Visa System and National Occupation Classifications

Posted on Categories Express Entry

Determining your eligibility to immigrate to Canada through the express entry visa system can be a difficult task. There is no list of eligible occupations for the program, but rather applicants must have employment that has a National Occupation Classification (NOC) code of skill type 0, A or B. This is a much broader classification than the previous lists. Understanding where your employment history fits in with this classification is vital in securing a successful Canadian Immigration application.

The NOC breaks job down into the following categories


This skill type is comprised primarily of management positions. These jobs are characterized by a high level of responsibility, accountability and expertise and will usually involve decision making that will affect businesses as a whole. Extensive occupational experience is required to meet this skill type criterion. Examples of job titles that are eligible for this skill type are CEOs, Executive Directors, Restaurant and Food Service Managers, Senior Managers, Human Resource Managers, Financial Managers, Fire Chiefs and Sales Managers.


Occupations that necessitate a university degree are usually classified as skill type A. These are generally highly skilled jobs, which means that Skill Type 0 are also classified as type A. These jobs can include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, university professors, web designers, musicians, scientists and accountants.


Type B occupations generally require two to five years of post secondary education and two years specific on the job training. This could include, but is not limited to, college education, apprenticeship training and work training courses. Examples of jobs under this category include those with those with significant health and safety responsibilities such as fire fighters and police offers. It also includes chefs, electricians, plumbers, court officers, event planners and some athletes.


Jobs under the Type C classification are generally classed as intermediate jobs and usually require high school level of education and some on the job training. This can range from anything from long haul truck drivers, retail sales persons, payroll clerks, administrators, security personnel.


Type D jobs are normally labour jobs, and don’t require any formal education apart from sufficient on the job experience. This includes cleaners, farm workers and warehouse staff.

Qualifying Work Experience for the Express Entry Visa System

To qualify for the Express Entry visa system, you must have at least 1-year of full-time work experience in an occupation which falls within skill type 0, A or B. However, having this employment history does not guarantee you permanent residency in Canada. Whilst work experience is still key, you need a high enough point scores on the 5 other selection factors to rank well within the express entry pool and receive a invitation to apply for permanent residence. The selection factors are:

  • Language Skills
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Age
  • A Valid Job Offer
  • Adaptability to Canadian Life

Also, remember that this is by no means an exhaustive list of job types, and that the classification types can be very loose and broad, so knowing where your employment places you can be difficult as your foreign work experience may not have an easily identifiable Canadian equivalent. This is why it is extremely advisable to consult an ICCRC Canadian immigration lawyer, such as Sterling Immigration LTD, well before you begin your application. This will mean you are supported throughout the process and will know exactly where you stand before you take the leap of applying to immigrate.


About the Author

Harjit Grewal was born and educated in the United Kingdom where he obtained his LLB (Bachelor of Law) and LLM (Master of Law). He practiced British immigration law for seven years with the respected Immigration Advisory Service as a member of the Law Society of England & Wales and the Office for the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). After moving to Canada he secured the prestigious ICCRC designation to provide authorized Canadian visa and immigration services.

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