The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) actively targets skilled workers who have what it takes to establish a successful career and life in Nova Scotia. For foreign workers and recent international graduates in Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Skilled Worker stream could provide a route to a new life in Canada.
As the Nova Scotia Skilled Worker stream is not aligned with the federal Express Entry system, you may still find you can apply for Canadian permanent resident status even if you are not eligible to create an Express Entry profile. The Nova Scotia Skilled Worker stream is open and generally remains so, allowing anyone to apply as soon as they are eligible.
Nova Scotia Skilled Worker eligibility
Potential candidates to the Nova Scotia Skilled Worker stream require a permanent, full-time job offer from a Nova Scotia employer. The job offered must be for a position that cannot be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This is usually shown with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), though Nova Scotia immigration authorities may accept applications from candidates without a LMIA – see below for more details.
Although the Nova Scotia Skilled Worker stream is named ‘Skilled Worker’, this is potentially misleading. Applicants in skilled occupations (at level 0, A, or B of the National Occupational Classification, or NOC) are prioritized, the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) states that applicants in level C (semi-skilled) or D (low-skilled) positions may be considered if they meet all the eligibility requirements, and if they can fill a labour shortage in the province. Candidates in C and D-level occupations must demonstrate a language ability of at least CLB 4 in all four categories.
Applicants with a C or D-level job offer must also have at least six months’ work experience with their employer before they can apply. Low-skilled applicants are also required to show they have strong employer support; for example, the employer may be supporting the application through payment of immigration or accommodation costs, or language and career support.
Candidates working on a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) can apply, but their job offer must be at least level C – applications from candidates with a PGWP who are working in level D occupations are not considered.
There are further eligibility requirements to meet beyond the job offer. Candidates must:
- have legal status in their country of residence,
- be aged between 21 and 55 at the time of application,
- have at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent, and have the required skills, training, and/or accreditation (if applicable) for the position,
- demonstrate language ability of at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 (for NOC level 0, A, and B positions) or CLB 4 (for NOC level C and D positions), if the first language is not English or French. Language ability may be shown by test results, or by educational transcripts or employment history and/or references showing English or French as the main language of communication,
- have at least 12 months of work experience related to the job offered in the five years preceding the application,
- prove a genuine intention to settle in Nova Scotia, through a settlement plan, and
- demonstrate sufficient financial resources to cover immigration, travel, and settlement costs.