The Province of Nova Scotia has created a new immigration option for aspiring permanent residents called the Regional Labour Market Demand Stream. This stream, which is administered under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), is particularly exciting because individuals do not need a job offer in Canada to apply.
The Regional Labour Market Demand Stream was announced in early March, and began considering applications on March 6, 2014. Through this stream, Nova Scotia immigration officials are able to select individuals with skills and experience that are in-demand in the province.
Eligibility Requirements for the Regional Labour Market Demand Stream
In order to be eligible for this stream, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 55;
- Meet minimum language proficiency requirements;
- Have at least two years of continuous full-time work experience within the past five years in an eligible occupation*;
- Intend to work in an eligible occupation;
- Be legally residing in current country of residence;
- Have sufficient funds for settlement in Nova Scotia;
- Have at least a high school level of education and a degree, diploma, or certificate from a post-secondary institution;
- Completed post-secondary program must be at least one year in length
- Demonstrate intent to live in Nova Scotia and ability to become economically established in the province;
- Complete an Employment Settlement Plan; and
- Attend an interview, if required.
*The NSNP has listed 43 eligible occupations. They can be viewed in their entirety here. The list includes, but is not limited to, occupations in the following fields: engineering, health services (including nursing), skilled trades, and food service.
The Settlement Plan
For this stream, applicants must complete an Employment Settlement Plan, which is provided by the NSNP. The settlement plan requires applicants to answer questions on the following topics:
- Intended occupation in Nova Scotia;
- Reasons for choosing Nova Scotia; and
- Where they wish to settle and why.
By answering these questions, applicants demonstrate their desire to live in Nova Scotia as well as their readiness to quickly settle into their new homes.
The Application Process
Like other Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), obtaining a permanent resident visa through the NSNP is a two-step process.
First, applicants must apply to the NSNP for provincial approval. For the Regional Labour Market Demand Stream, the NSNP has stated that processing times may be up to one month or more depending on the volume of applications received and the time required to assess the application documents. Nomination under the NSNP is solely at the discretion of the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. Desirable applicants are then selected by the province and issued a Provincial Nomination Certificate. The overall application, including the Provincial Nomination Certificate, must then be approved by the Federal government.
In the second step of the process, the Federal government assesses an applicant’s admissibility with respect to medical and security/criminality concerns. The final authority rests with the Federal government, who is ultimately responsible for granting Canadian permanent resident status.
What This Means for Applicants
The Regional Labour Market Demand Stream is a chance for individuals to immigrate to one of Canada’s most economically and culturally dynamic provinces.
According to Attorney David Cohen, many prospective immigrants possess valuable skills and experience that are needed in Canada. However, due to the gradual restriction of some immigration programs, many have not yet been successful in obtaining Canadian Permanent Residency.
“In recent years, many if not most new Canadian immigration programs require that individuals first obtain a job offer in Canada in order to be eligible to apply,” said Attorney David Cohen. “The fact that this new stream does not require a job offer is likely to generate large amounts of interest.”
At the moment there is no deadline for submission of applications. However, the NSNP notes that this can change at any time.
“This new program is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to immigrate to one of Canada’s most beautiful provinces,” said Attorney Cohen. “However, such opportunities do not last forever. Now is the time for eligible applicants to seize the moment and have a chance to realize their immigration goals.”
To find out if you are eligible for the NSNP, or any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.