Nova Scotia has recently announced a new three-year Occupations in Demand pilot project for permanent residence applicants, targeting specific intermediate-skilled occupations that are in high labour market demand. The Province's move to expand the permanent resident provincial nominee program aims to help more businesses prosper and fill the current shortfall of workers for high labour market demand occupations in Nova Scotia. The targeted professions will change as labour market needs in the Province evolve, but information on this stream and other updates, including to the list of prioritized in demand occupations, is available.

Nova Scotia Nominee Program

Occupations in Demand is the newly introduced economic stream under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program ("NSNP"). Through the NSNP, the Province is able to target prospective immigrants who possess certain desired skills and experience, and provide them with opportunities, through issuance of a "nomination", to help them immigrate to Canada. The NSNP aims to attract prospective immigrants who have a genuine intent to settle in Nova Scotia and become permanent residents of Canada.

The processing time for eligible applications at the nomination stage can be three months or more. Immigrants then have a six month period in which they must submit an application for permanent residency to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada using their provincial Nomination Certificate.

Who is eligible?

The Occupations in Demand stream is currently open to eligible candidates with a full-time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer in one of the currently open occupations categorized as Skill Level C under Canada's National Occupational Classification ("NOC").

Applicants must

  • have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer in either NOC 3413 (nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates) or NOC 7511 (transport truck drivers);
  • have 1 year (12 full calendar months with at least 1,560 hours) of paid work experience within the last 5 years that is related to the job (verified by letters of reference from employers and other supporting employment documents);
  • be 21 to 55 years old;
  • have a high school diploma;
  • have the appropriate training, skills and/or accreditation for the job;
  • prove language ability equal to a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4 across all four categories (listening, reading, writing and speaking) even if their first language is English or French;
  • show genuine intention to successfully settle in Nova Scotia; and
  • demonstrate adequate financial resources to settle in the Province. Criteria and requirements for the employer

The employer of an applicant applying under the Occupations in Demand stream must have a permanent establishment in Nova Scotia that has been in active operation for at least two years. The employer must be registered with Nova Scotia's Registry of Joint Stock Companies, must be in good standing with provincial occupational health and safety and labour authorities, and must not be in violation of Canadian immigration legislation and requirements. Additionally, the employer is required to provide certain support to the applicant under the Occupation in Demand stream. Specifically, the employer is required to complete the NSNP 200 form to confirm details of the company and the job offered to the applicant. The job offer supporting an application under this stream must:

  • be in either NOC 3413 (nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates) or NOC 7511 (transport truck drivers);
  • be located in Nova Scotia with a Nova Scotian employer;
  • be full-time employment where the employee is expected to work year-round and at least 30 hours a week on average;
  • be a permanent job (i.e. a long-term job offer without a pre-determined end date)
  • provide compensation in the form of salary that meets applicable provincial employment standards and that falls within the provincial wage range;
  • be a position that has a shortage of qualified permanent residents or Canadian citizens to fill the position; and
  • not contravene any existing bargaining unit agreements, labour agreements/standards or be involved in any employment disputes.

Additionally, the employer must provide evidence of recruitment for the position, and the recruitment efforts must comply with the Province's specifications and predate the applicant's current offer of employment. Recruitment efforts are mandatory unless the applicant is in possession of a valid Labour Market Impact Assessment ("LMIA") or is in a position that was determined to be LMIA-exempt.

Application process

Candidates approved through the Occupations in Demand stream will receive a provincial Nomination Certificate and can then apply for Permanent Residence. Additionally, if successfully nominated by the Province, the applicant can also request a Letter of Support, which will support the individual's application for a temporary work permit so they can work in Nova Scotia while waiting for their permanent residency application to be processed.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.