“It will help us address existing and expected labour shortages,” said Marilyn More, the provincial minister responsible for Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration. She said that the province would push for further increases of its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) quota.
PNPs allow Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who they deem as likely to contribute to their economy for immigration to Canada. The first PNP was created for Manitoba in 1998, and quickly expanded to all other provinces.
The federal government, which has jurisdiction over immigration in Canada, caps the number of individuals each province can nominate for Canadian permanent residence each year, but that number has steadily increased, amid repeated appeals by provincial premiers for expansions of their PNPs, which they say allow them to select the immigrants that best meet their provinces’ unique economic needs.
While the federal government has indicated it would continue to expand the PNPs, it has also expressed concern about the standards some provincial government use when nominating individuals. In July, it instituted minimum language requirements for PNP applicants in low/semi-skilled occupations.
Under the new language rules, applicants in occupations that are classified as NOC Skill Level C or D must prove English or French proficiency of at least Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)/Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 4, in all categories: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
The required International English Language Test System (IELTS) test scores to meet CLB 4 are 4.0, 4.5, 3.5, and 4.0 for listening, speaking, reading and writing, respectively.