Skilled Worker Category

The Skilled Worker Program of Nova Scotia is a component of the NSNP, a PNP administered by the province. The program is designed to help companies to hire international candidates to fill shortages in the labour force.

Through this program, companies who have been weak to fulfill positions with Canadian residents or permanent residents may provide business offers to interested international workers to promote their immigration. This program is an attractive option for foreign candidates and graduated international students with a business offer.

Skilled Worker Category

Understanding the Skilled Worker Stream in Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to group applicants into three main occupation types: Skilled Workers, Semi-Skilled Workers, and Low-Skilled Workers.

Skilled Workers:

Prioritizing Highly Skilled Applicants This category is for individuals with experience in NOC level 0, A, or B occupations, which are considered skilled occupations. Priority is given to these highly skilled applicants.

Semi-Skilled Workers:

Meeting Eligibility Criteria Workers with NOC level C occupations fall under this category. Applications will only be considered if all eligibility criteria are met.

Low-Skilled Workers:

Those who fall under the NOC level D category can benefit from employer-supported pathways in Nova Scotia. To be eligible, applicants must have worked for at least six months with a Nova Scotia employer who is supporting their permanent residence application. Strong employer support includes assistance with immigration fees, offering accommodation, providing language training, and creating career development plans for individuals.

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Skilled Worker Category – Eligibility Requirements

Minimum Eligibility Criteria for Applicants

In addition to the general eligibility criteria provided above, all applicants, regardless of their work experience, must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

Proof of Legal Status:

  • Applicants residing in Canada must provide evidence of their legal status.
  • Applicants applying from outside Canada must furnish proof of legal status in their current country of residence.

Age Requirement:

Applicants must be between 21 and 55 years old at the time of application.

Job Offer:

A full-time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer is required. Preferably, the offer should be for a NOC 0, A, or B occupation. Consideration will be given to NOC C and D occupations based on labour market requirements, conditions, six months of work with the same employer, and indicators of application success.


Applicants must have completed at least a high school education (12 years of study).

Training and Certification:

If applicable to the job, applicants must possess the necessary education, training, and licensing/certification required to perform the job in Canada.

Work Experience:

Applicants must have a minimum of 12 months of relevant work experience in the past five years.

Language Proficiency:

  • For NOC levels 0, A, or B: CLB level 5 in English or French. Applicants whose first language is English or French may provide proof through various means. Others must submit evidence such as educational transcripts, employment history, or internationally recognized test results.
  • For NOC levels C or D: CLB level 4 in English or French. Even if their first language is English or French, semi-skilled and low-skilled workers must provide test results to prove they meet CLB 4.

Designated Language Test Agencies:

The NSOI will only accept test results from designated agencies, including IELTS (General Training), CELPIP-General, and TEF.

Settlement Intent and Ability:

Applicants must demonstrate both the intent and ability to settle in Nova Scotia.

Settlement Supports and Financial Resources:

Applicants must demonstrate sufficient settlement supports and financial resources to cover immigration costs, travel expenses (if applicable), and successful establishment in the province.

Employer Eligibility Criteria

Employers participating in this program must adhere to the following requirements:

Establishment in Nova Scotia:

Employers must be permanently established in Nova Scotia.

Operational History:

The employer must have operated in Nova Scotia, under current management, for a minimum of two years.

Job Offer:

Issuance of a full-time, permanent job offer to the individual applicant is mandatory.

Job Specifications:

  • The job must be situated in Nova Scotia and offer salary and benefits under provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates.
  • It should pertain to a position facing a shortage of qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • The job offer must not violate existing bargaining unit agreements, labour standards, or be entangled in any employment disputes.
  • Job offers for NOC level C or D occupations will be evaluated based on local labour market requirements and conditions.

Recruitment Efforts:

Employers must demonstrate recruitment efforts to fill the position, with evidence predating the applicant’s current offer of employment. This evidence may include a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), proof of LMIA exemption, or documentation of three advertisements meeting specified conditions.

Compliance and Practices:

Employers must exhibit a history of good workplace and business practices, ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Procedure of Application

The Nova Scotia Skilled Worker Stream Application Journey can be presented in the following:

1. Application Preparation:

  • The principal applicant compiles and organizes an application package based on the NSNP’s document checklist.
  • The supporting employer completes an Employer form.

2. Application Submission:

The applicant submits the NSNP application online or by mail. Incomplete documents, lack of certified translations, or unclear submissions lead to non-assessment of the application.

3. Assessment Process:

  • The NSOI initiates the assessment process, commencing with a thorough check for completeness.
  • Throughout the assessment, the NSOI may request an interview with the applicant and/or contact the employer for additional information or clarification.

4. Nomination or Refusal:

  • If approved, the applicant receives a confirmation letter from the NSOI, confirming their nomination.
  • In cases of potential refusal, the applicant (or their representative) receives a letter of intent to refuse and has 10 business days to provide further information.

5. Work Permit Application:

Nominated applicants have the option to apply for a temporary work permit or renew an existing one with NSOI’s support. The letter of support serves as the LMIA replacement for the new work permit application, facilitating continued employment in Nova Scotia during the permanent resident visa processing.

6. Permanent Resident Visa Application:

Within six months of receiving the Letter of Nomination, the applicant submits a complete application for a permanent resident visa to IRCC. IRCC’s final decision is contingent upon the applicant continuing to meet eligibility requirements and passing medical, criminality, and security checks.

7. Arrival and Confirmation:

Upon receiving the Confirmation of Permanent Residence for themselves, their spouse, and dependents, the applicant must notify the NSOI within 30 days of arrival in Canada.

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