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Category-Based Selection by IRCC: A Focus on STEM NOCs

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has continually modified its policies and systems to meet the evolving labor market needs. A major shift was introduced in 2023 – a category-based selection system focused on STEM professions aimed at expanding Canada’s STEM workforce by attracting top talent from around the globe.

Understanding Categorically Based Selection:

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s 2023 implementation of Category-Based Selection is a targeted approach to immigration selection where candidates from specific professions or sectors are given priority for consideration for selection. This strategy aligns with Canada’s goal of increasing economic standing by recruiting professionals with in-demand skills into its workforce.

The previous system, while comprehensive, often disregarded occupations that were emerging as crucial contributors to Canada’s growth trajectory. To address this shortcoming, category-based selection aims to give priority to those sectors and professionals that will make significant contributions toward Canada’s continued development.

Why STEM Professions?

STEM professions have always been at the core of innovation and research and development, helping propel economies forward while driving technological progress as well as providing solutions to address global issues like health crises or environmental concerns.

Canada recognizes the significance of STEM education and has made an effort to promote it. With advancements such as digital transformation, AI, biotech, green energy and other emerging sectors creating demand for qualified STEM professionals in Canada’s market.

Through the category-based selection system, IRCC is helping Canada remain internationally competitive by recruiting the finest STEM talent – ultimately benefitting our nation both economically and socially.

The 24 STEM NOCs (National Occupational Classifications): The National Occupational Classification (NOC) system classifies jobs based on job duties and tasks performed. For 2023’s category-based selection system, IRCC has prioritized 24 STEM NOCs that span diverse professions within STEM fields to meet Canada’s demand in various sectors.


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