Nova Scotia Skilled Worker Stream

Nova Scotia Skilled Worker Stream

October 19, 2019

About the program

The Skilled Worker Stream helps employers recruit foreign nationals and international graduates whose skills are needed in Nova Scotia. An employer can only hire foreign workers with the required skills for positions that the province has not been able to fill with a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.


The candidate must:

  • Have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer
  • Have at least 1 year of relevant work experience (Semi-skilled and low-skilled workers must already have six months’ experience with the employer.)
  • Be 21 to 55 years old
  • Have a high school diploma (12 years of study)
  • Have the education, training, and licensing/certification needed to perform the job in Canada
  • Meet the language requirements for the program. If your first language is English or French, that is enough proof. If not:

For skilled workers: you must prove the language ability equal to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5.

For semi-skilled and low-skilled workers: you must have test results to prove that you meet CLB 4 even if your first language is English or French.

  • Show enough financial resources to successfully settle in Nova Scotia.

Who may be not eligible for this program?

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.

Requirements for employers

  • The employer must complete the NSNP 200 form to confirm the details of your job offer. The NSNP 200 form must include all supporting documents and must be signed by the employer. This form should be completed by the authorized signing officer of the company that is making the job offer (see more on page 8)
  • The employer must provide evidence of recruitment for the position. This evidence must predate the applicant’s current offer of employment. Satisfactory evidence can be either:
  • When reviewing an application, the Office of Immigration will consider the employer’s support to the immigrant employee. Supports may consist of financial or non-financial assistance such as covering or contributing to the immigration fees, accommodation/housing, and referrals to settlement services agencies or language classes.
  • The business must have a permanent establishment in Nova Scotia, as defined in Canada’s Income Tax Act
  • The employer’s business must have been in active operation in Nova Scotia for at least two years and be in good standing with provincial occupational health and safety and labor authorities and not be in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
  • Employers must have a history of good workplace and business practices and must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Employers cannot make deductions from wages or salaries for business costs such as bringing a foreign worker to Canada.
  • Most employers who wish to recruit and hire foreign workers for employment in Nova Scotia must obtain an Employer Registration Certificate from Labour Standards.
  • Employment agencies and similar placement firms cannot act as an employer unless they are establishing a full-time permanent employer-employee relationship with the applicant themselves.

How to Apply

The candidate must follow these steps to apply to this stream:

Step 1: Apply to the NSNP under the Skilled Worker Stream

  • Firstly, the candidate must submit the application through Nova Scotia Online service and make sure that all the required supporting documents are included.
  • All your documents must be in English or in French. NSOI will only accept translations prepared by certified translators.
  • You are responsible for submitting all documents outlined in this guide and setting out in the online application, including the signed NSNP 200 Employer form and all supporting documents.

Step 2: Nomination/Refusal

  • If you meet the Skilled Worker Stream criteria, NSOI will send you an email to provide the nomination certificate to you or your representative. The certificate expires six months after the date of the nomination. NSOI will also send proof of nomination directly to IRCC.
  • If you are not successful, you will receive a letter of Intent to Refuse from NSOI via email. You also have an opportunity to have your case re-assessed and receive your result after 10 business days.
  • If your application has been refused by NSOI, you or your representative will receive a notification via email.

Step 3: Extension of Nomination

NSOI may issue one extension of nomination on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of when the request for extension is made, the extension will expire six months after the original expiry date.

Step 4: Letter of Support for Temporary Work Permit

  • After you receive the nomination of the Nova Scotia Province, you can request a Letter of Support from the Office of Immigration. 
  • You can use this letter when you apply for a temporary work permit or renew your existing work permit with IRCC.

Step 5: Application for Permanent Residence

After you have been nominated by the Province of Nova Scotia, you must submit a complete application for a permanent resident visa to IRCC within six months.

Step 6: Notification of Permanent Residence

Successful applicants are required to contact the NSOI within 30 days of arriving, to provide a copy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence and current Nova Scotia contact information.


There is no provincial application fee under the NSNP. You must, however, pay all the required Government of Canada immigration fees when you submit your file to IRCC.

  • For permanent residence fee:

Right of permanent residence fee: $490 CAD

  • For Work permit fees:

Work permit (including extensions) – per person: $155 CAD

Work permit (including extensions) – a group of performing artists (3 or more): $465 CAD

Openwork permit holder: $100 CAD

Restore your status as a worker: $355 CAD

  • For Biometrics fees (when you apply for a visitor visa/study permit/work permit)

Biometrics – per person: $85 CAD

Biometrics – family (2 or more): $170 CAD

Biometrics – a group of performing artists (3 or more): $255 CAD

Processing Time

The processing time of the Express Entry (for the skilled workers) is 6 months.

The processing time of the Work Permit from inside Canada is 9 weeks and from outside Canada is dependent on where you apply from.

Required Documents


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