Forward Regulatory Plan: 2022-2024
Implementation of the National Occupation Classification – 2021 (NOC 2021)

Enabling Act: Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.14(2)


A series of amendments are proposed to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to allow for the continued processing of applications for permanent residency under the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades (FST), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) following the implementation of National Occupational Classification – 2021 (NOC 2021).

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to determine eligibility in several temporary and permanent residency programs. The NOC is revised by Employment and Social Development Canada and Statistics Canada every five years, with major revisions occurring every ten years to ensure the classification is reflective of the occupations in the Canadian labour market. The next revision – NOC 2021 – involves extensive structural changes that cannot be implemented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada without regulatory amendments. Section 2 of the Regulations require the Department to use the latest version of the NOC, which in fall 2022, will be NOC 2021.

In addition to adhering to requirements outlined in section 2, these amendments are imperative to the continued fulfillment of IRCC’s mandate to support the selection of immigrants, as outlined in the Departmental Plan.

The amendments would:

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

Impacts on Canadians are not expected, as the amendments are targeted towards foreign nationals.

The proposed regulatory amendments apply to foreign nationals both inside and outside of Canada who wish to pursue permanent residency in Canada via the Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, or the Atlantic Immigration Program.

The implementation of NOC 2021 within FSW, FST, CEC, and AIP is expected to impact eligibility for foreign nationals in a small number of occupations, the vast majority of whom are expected to benefit. These changes are not the purpose of the amendments, but are incidental, stemming from the movement of occupations within the NOC to align with the new TEER structure. In other words, there is no way for the Department to implement NOC 2021 without making changes to program criteria. 

There are no expected impacts on businesses.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

The initiative is not part of agreement regulatory cooperation effort. This amendment does not impact any international or domestic regulatory agreements. 


Consultations are not required.

IRCC has no plan to consult stakeholders regarding the implementation of NOC 2021 for the FSW, FST, CEC, and AIP, since there is no viable and justifiable alternative.

The target date for publication of the final amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part II, is October 12, 2022.

Further information

Related information:

The cost-benefit analysis related to this regulatory initiative can be requested from the departmental contact.

Departmental Contact Information

James McNamee
Director, Federal Economic Immigration, Immigration Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Telephone: 343-571-1744
Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the plan: April 1, 2022

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