NSNP Skilled Worker Stream

The NSNP Skilled Worker Stream targets foreign workers and international graduates whose skills are in limited supply in the province.

The NSNP Skilled Worker stream is one of several immigration streams of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) operated by the province of Nova Scotia. The NSNP Skilled Worker Stream provides a Canadian immigration pathway to foreign nationals with the required skills for positions that the province has not been able to fill with a permanent resident or Canadian citizen. The Skilled Worker Stream is not an Express Entry-linked Stream, which means foreign nationals can apply for Canadian permanent residence even if they are not eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool. The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) does not provide a specific occupation or skills shortage list for the Skilled Worker Stream. However, the NSOI utilizes the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to distinguish between three occupation types: Skilled Workers, Semi-skilled, and Low-skilled Workers.

The applicant age must be between 21 and 55 at the time of application and must provide the legal status of the current country of residence even if they are living in Canada. The candidate must demonstrate the intent and ability to settle in the province of Nova Scotia.

Eligibility Requirement

Express Entry Profile No
Connection to Province No
Job Offer Yes
Language Proficiency CLB 7
Level of Education Post-secondary
2 years
Work Experience Minimum 1 year
Investment Requirement None

Job Offer

To be eligible for the Nova Scotia Skilled Worker stream, candidates must have a valid job offer from an eligible employer in Nova Scotia. It must be a full-time job position. In order to be considered valid, the job offer must be from a business that has a permanent residence in Nova Scotia and which has been in an active operation over the previous two years. In order for a job offer to be valid for this program, the business must demonstrate that they were unable to find a Canadian permanent resident or citizen to fill the position.

If the job offer is for a position at National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level C or D, the applicant must have already been working with the employer for at least 6 months. Candidates must show that they have at least 1 year of full-time work experience in the same occupation as their offer of employment. The NOC C and D occupations will be considered based on labour market requirements/conditions.

Language Proficiency

For NOC levels 0, A or B: Candidates applying with a job offer at NOC Skill Level 0, A, or B must demonstrate language test results consistent with Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5. If the applicant’s first language is not English or French, he or she may submit the following as proof of language ability:

  • Educational transcripts or other documentation indicating English or French as the principal language of instruction or communication;
  • Employment history and references with English or French as the principal language of communication; or,
  • Internationally recognized test results to prove a CLB/NCLC Level 5.

For NOC levels C or D: Candidates applying with a job offer at NOC Skill Level C or D must demonstrate language test results consistent with Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 in English or French across all four categories (listening, reading,
writing and speaking) even if your first language is English or French. Language test results must not be older than two years upon receipt at the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration
and they must be renewed if they will expire at any time before your application to IRCC is approved for processing. The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration will only consider results from designated testing agencies.

Level of Education

All candidates applying to this stream must demonstrate a level of education of at least a Canadian high school diploma or an international equivalent. The candidate must have the education, training, and licensing/certification needed to perform the job in Canada (if applicable).

Work Experience

Candidates must have at least one year of work experience in an occupation related to the job offer they have received.

Settlement Funds

All candidates for this stream must meet the settlement funds requirement as determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This can be demonstrated through their own finances, or through maintaining a valid offer of employment.

Employers Requirement

Employers sponsoring applicants through this program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be permanently established in Nova Scotia;
  • Have operated in Nova Scotia, under current management, for at least two years;
  • Issue a full time, permanent job offer to the individual applicant;
    • The job must:
      • Be located in Nova Scotia;
      • Have salary and benefits that meet provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates;
      • Be in a position for which there is a shortage of qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
      • Not contravene any existing bargaining unit agreements, labour agreements/standards, or be involved in any employment disputes; and,
      • Job offers made to NOC level C or D occupations will be considered based on local labour market requirements and conditions;
  • Demonstrate recruitment efforts to fill the position with evidence that predate the applicant’s current offer of employment. Evidence can be either:
    • a current positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);
    • a proof that the position offered or worker is considered to be LMIA exempt; or
    • three advertisements and related information that meet the conditions outlined.
  • Have a history of good workplace and business practices, and must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations

Application Process

The principal applicant must gather and prepare an application package based on the document checklist provided by the NSNP. The supporting employer must prepare an Employer form. The applicant submits the NSNP application online or by mail. If documents are missing, not translated by a certified translator, or are not clear, the application will not be assessed. The application is assessed by the NSOI beginning with a completion check. During the assessment, the NSOI may request an interview with the applicant and/or contact the employer to gather information or for clarification. If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a letter from the NSOI to confirm their nomination else the applicant (or their representative) will be issued a letter of intent to refuse. The applicant has 10 business days to provide additional information to the NSOI.

Nominated applicants may choose to apply for a temporary work permit or the renewal of an existing work permit with the support of the NSOI. The letter of support replaces the LMIA in applying for the new work permit. The work permit allows the applicant to continue working in Nova Scotia while the application for a Canadian permanent resident visa is being processed. The applicant must submit a complete application for a permanent resident visa within 6 months of obtaining a Letter of Nomination. IRCC makes the final decision on the granting of permanent resident visas based on an applicant continuing to meet the eligibility requirements and passing the medical, criminality or security checks.

Once a Confirmation of Permanent Residence is issued to the applicant, his or her spouse and dependents, the applicant must contact the NSOI within 30 days of arriving in Canada.


Foreign nationals should not apply under this stream if they are:

  • an individual who has received a nomination under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program dated within the last 12 months;
  • an applicant under humanitarian and compassionate grounds, a refugee claimant or a failed refugee claimant;
  • not legally present in your current country of residence;
  • in Canada illegally, under a removal order, or are prohibited from entering or being in Canada;
  • an individual who does not have status; you are not eligible to apply until your status has been restored;
  • an international student who is currently studying at a Canadian post-secondary institution;
  • an international graduate who has studied in Canada, whose studies have been sponsored by an agency or government and who is contractually obligated to return to their country of origin;
  • on a federal post-graduation work permit whose occupation falls under NOC skill Level D;
  • an individual with unresolved custody or child support disputes affecting any dependent;
  • a seasonal, part-time or casual worker;
  • in a sales position that is based solely on commission for compensation;
  • an individual in Canada who is in the Caregiver Program;
  • an individual whose job is not based in Nova Scotia;
  • a passive investor (individuals who intend to invest in a Nova Scotia business with very limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business);
  • basing your application on a job offer where you are self-employed in Nova Scotia;
  • basing your application on a job offer where you are a majority shareholder in a Nova Scotia business;
  • basing your application on a job offer where you are intending to start a business and/or becoming self-employed in Nova Scotia.