Before You Apply
Immigration Classes and Categories
Immigration to Canada can be easily classified under four classes:
- Economic Class
- Family Class
- Protected Persons Class
- Other (Humanitarian & Compassionate)
There are eight main categories of Canadian immigration that fall under these 4 classes:
- Express Entry
- Provincial nominees
- Atlantic Immigration Program
- Start-Up Visa
- Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
- Family Sponsorship
- Quebec-selected Skilled Workers
Additional alternative categories include:
Each stream has different criteria, so interested individuals should review the requirements for each stream carefully.
- You may qualify for the Provincial Nominee Program or Skilled Worker if you have a post-secondary education and/or at least one year of skilled work experience outside Canada. Some streams under the Provincial Nominee Program do not require post-secondary education.
- You may qualify for the Provincial Nominee Program or the Atlantic Immigration Program (in Atlantic Canada) if you have a valid Canadian job offer that meets certain conditions, depending on the immigration program.
- You may qualify under the Family Class Program if you have close relatives in Canada.
- You may quality under the Canadian Experience Class or Quebec Experience Class if you have already studied and/or worked in Canada.
- You may qualify under the Business Investor/Entrepreneur immigration programs or the Provincial Nominee Program if you have a high net worth or significant financial resources.
The economic class generally refers to a direct economic contribution by the person immigrating to Canada, with the following as the most common pathways:
- Provincial Nominee Program
- The Atlantic Immigration Program
- High Skilled Economic (Skilled Trades & Workers, Canadian Experience)
- Business Immigrants (Start-up Visa & Caregivers)
Before sending an application, make sure you carefully review the application guide on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
There are different offices you may need to send your application to, if you’re not applying online, each responsible for different types of applications.
Ensure you’re applying to a program you’re eligible for, with all supporting documents included in your application guide, and send it to the right office. This will help avoid delays in your application.
National Occupational Classification (NOC) Codes
NOC Codes are codes assigned to all positions you have worked.
The duties performed must match a substantial number of duties in the NOC. You must also meet the lead statement and the educational requirements.
There are five levels of NOC Codes.
- NOC 0 – management positions
- NOC A – professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university
- NOC B – technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college degree or training as an apprentice
- NOC C – intermediate jobs that usually call for high school and/or job-specific training
- NOC D – labour jobs that give on the job training
You can learn more from the Government of Canada website:
- About the National Occupational Classification
- Find your job in the National Occupational Classification
Last Modified: May 18, 2022