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Canada: British Columbia’s skills immigration registration program to pause


Starting in mid-October, British Columbia will temporarily shut down online registration for its Skills Immigration (SI) category as it is switching to use the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system, reported immigration.ca on 28 September.

The NOC 2021 is being rolled out by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on 16 November. This moves the NOC from a four-digit number to categorise each occupation – skilled worker, health authority, international graduates, international post graduates, and entry and semi-skilled workers – to a five-digit code.

The Canadian government is breaking down the level of skill of each occupation within the new five-digit code into six categories from the current four to better reflect the level of Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) of each job, said the report.

In the re-jigged NOC, these TEER categories will replace the current skill levels.

Apart from this, the new NOC will also rank occupational groups based on five hierarchal levels consisting of the broad occupation category, major groups, sub-major groups, minor groups, and unit groups.

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As per details, the shutdown of the online registration for Skills Immigration in British Columbia will run from 12 October to 16 November. “The last Invitation to Apply (ITA) under the current NOC system, NOC 2016, will be issued on Oct. 12,” notes the West Coast province’s immigration department.

“Invitees will have up to 30 calendar days to submit their application. Applications will be processed using the program criteria in place at the time of application. Application processing times are anticipated to remain within the service standard of three months for 80 per cent of applications.”

Resubmission on application:

According to the new process, all the remaining skilled immigration rule, the applicants – remaining in the registration pool after 12 October – will have to submit new registrations once the system re-opens.

Also, those not receiving an ITA before the temporary pause is being encouraged to visit the NOC 2021 website to find the new NOC for their occupations. This new move will help them in preparing to submit a new registration using NOC 2021 when the registration system reopens.

New NOC 2021 codes for Express Entry applications:

Among other things, the British Columbia administration clearly mentioned that those willing to submit an Express Entry profile on or after 16 November, must search for their occupation under the NOC 2021 list on the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) website (and) submit their Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category and five-digit occupation code when filling out profile.

However, those already submitted a profile but have not been sent an ITA must search for their occupation under the NOC 2021 list on the ESDC website and update their profile with their TEER Category and five-digit occupational code.

All these profiles must be updated on or after 16 November for the applicants to remain eligible for any of the Express Entry programs, Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker program and Federal Skilled Trades program.

Those foreign nationals looking for their NOC code for a job only need to go to the search page of the NOC website and search using their job title. Following this, the will have to select the closest match on the list that is generated. In case those duties don’t match up, users are advised to a different job title with duties that more closely match theirs.

“The new NOC is being phased in gradually to provide organizations and programs with enough time to make a proper transition from NOC 2016 to NOC 2021,” the official document said.

One of the most important parts of an application for immigration is the choice of the right NOC code which applies for a nationally-recognized and standardized system used by the IRCC to evaluate the work experience of applicants for immigration. Every province and territory in Canada use the NOC to identify jobs that need to be filled by immigration programs.

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