Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: June 24, 2023

Category-based selection for Express Entry

IRCC announced they launched a new process for Express Entry. The highly anticipated announcement follows the changes made to the authorities of the Minister last year. As a result, IRCC can now pick and choose candidates on a category-based selection for Express Entry. Therefore, a high CRS score is not the only factor for an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

How does category-based selection work?

IRCC identifies specific categories every year. They do so by receiving input from their partners and looking at the labour market projections and information. Of course, they may continue regular rounds of invitations or provincial or territorial nomination invitations. However, when it comes to a category-based invitation, IRCC invites candidates from the pool of Express Entry according to the following criteria:

  • The candidate meets all the requirements for that specific round of invitations.
  • They are among the top-ranking candidates under the selected category.

The 2023 chosen categories

IRCC has decided on six categories for 2023:

  1. French-language proficiency
  2. Healthcare occupations
  3. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
  4. Trade occupations
  5. Transport occupations
  6. Agriculture and agri-food occupations

To meet the French-language proficiency category requirements, you must present a valid test result with NCLC 7 or hire under every language skill. Please read my articles on TEF Canada and TCF Canada for more information.

For other categories, you must show at least six months of continuous work experience in the past three years. Of course, they only accept specific NOC codes. However, you must meet all the requirements in the instructions for the round of invitations.

Healthcare occupations NOC codes

IRCC accepts work experience under the following NOC codes to qualify for healthcare occupations.

  • Audiologists and speech-language pathologists, 31112
  • Chiropractor, 31201
  • Dentists, 31110
  • Dieticians and nutritionists, 31121
  • Education counsellors, 41320
  • General Practitioners and family physicians, 31102
  • Instructors of persons with disabilities, 42203
  • Kinesiologists and other professional occupations in therapy and assessment, 31204
  • Licensed practical nurses, 32101
  • Massage therapists, 32201
  • Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations, 33101
  • Medical laboratory technologists, 32120
  • Medical radiation technologists, 32121
  • Medical Sonographers, 32122
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates, 33102
  • Nurse practitioners, 31302
  • Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors, 31300
  • Occupational therapists, 31203
  • Optometrists, 31111
  • Other assisting occupations in support of health services, 33109
  • Other practitioners of natural healing, 32209
  • Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating, 31209
  • Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment, 32109
  • Paramedical occupations, 32102
  • Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants, 33103
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals, 31303
  • Physiotherapists, 31202
  • Psychologists, 31200
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, 31301
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists, 32103
  • Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine, 31100
  • Specialists in surgery, 31101
  • Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies, 41301
  • Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists, 32200
  • Veterinarians, 31103

Of course, they may change this or the following lists anytime. Consider the lists in this article unofficial.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations NOC codes

The following NOC codes cover the STEM jobs for category-based Express Entry invitations.

  • Architects, 21200
  • Architecture and science managers, 20011
  • Business systems specialists, 21221
  • Civil Engineers, 21300
  • Computer and information systems managers, 20012
  • Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers), 21311
  • Computer systems developers and programmers, 21230
  • Cybersecurity specialists, 21220
  • Data scientists, 21211
  • Database analysts and data administrators, 21223
  • Electrical and electronics engineers, 21310
  • Engineering managers, 20010
  • Industrial and manufacturing engineers, 21321
  • Information systems specialists, 21222
  • Land surveyors, 21203
  • Landscape Architects, 21201
  • Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries, 21210
  • Metallurgical and materials engineers, 21322
  • Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers, 41400
  • Software developers and programmers, 21232
  • Software engineers and designers, 21231
  • Urban and land use planners, 21202
  • Web designers, 21233
  • Web developers and programmers, 21234

Trade occupations NOC codes

There are not many trades NOC codes, but here are the ones on the 2023 category-based Express Entry list.

  • Residential and commercial installers and servicers, 73200
  • Elevator constructors and mechanics, 72406
  • Machine fitters, 72405
  • Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, 72402
  • Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics, 72400
  • Carpenters, 72310
  • Plumbers, 72300
  • Electricians (except industrial and power systems), 72200
  • Welders and related machine operators, 72106
  • Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers, 72014

Transport occupations NOC codes

These are the codes for transport occupations.

  • Aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors, 93200
  • Transport truck drivers, 73300
  • Railway traffic controllers and marine traffic regulators, 72604
  • Engineer officers, water transport, 72603
  • Deck officers, water transport, 72602
  • Air traffic controllers and related occupations, 72601
  • Air pilots, flight engineers and flying instructors, 72600
  • Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors, 72404
  • Railway carmen/women, 72403
  • Managers in transportation, 70020

Agriculture and agri-food occupations NOC codes

The last category-based Express Entry group covers the following occupations:

  • Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services, 82031
  • Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors, 82030
  • Butchers- retail and wholesale, 63201

Let us help!

If you intend to immigrate under the category-based Express Entry or other options, please fill out our assessment form. Of course, you may book a consultation session with me to offer you immigration advice.

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Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
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Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

Al Parsai is a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.