News release

New Immigration Pathways for Hospitality Sector to Hire Skilled Workers

Business owners in the service industry are looking for support to help with labour shortages. The Province is making changes that will help employers hire international newcomers who have the skills they need.

Additions to the Occupations in Demand immigration stream include food counter attendants, kitchen helpers, related support occupations, food and beverage servers and light duty cleaners. Employers will have the option to hire these workers without the need for a labour market impact assessment before offering the position. There also won’t be a requirement for the employee to work with the employer for six months before applying to Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominee Program.

“We’re excited to welcome newcomers who can help employers meet their labour needs and grow Nova Scotia’s population,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “The tourism, restaurant and hospitality sectors are critical to our economy. These changes will help these industries hire the workers they need to prepare for a busy tourism season.”

The Department continues to be innovative and responsive to current and emerging labour needs and is focused on and committed to working with businesses, across government, and with other stakeholders to ensure the Province has immigration programs that benefit employers, Nova Scotians and communities.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia have faced many challenges, including the ability to attract and retain workers. The government continues to respond with strong support through innovative options, and we’re incredibly pleased with these changes that will help us prepare for the upcoming holiday and tourism season. We look forward to seeing the impact of these new occupation additions and the relief it will bring to Nova Scotia’s restaurant industry as well as getting ready to welcome new Nova Scotians as our colleagues, neighbours and friends. Gordon Stewart, Executive Director, Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia

Restaurants Canada believes this action to introduce new occupations under this immigration stream is a great option for employers in our sector to help fill their labour needs and hire more staff. This will sustain businesses and allow the industry to grow in communities throughout the province. Nine of 10 restaurateurs are reporting labour shortages and these measures will help. We’d like to thank the province for moving to address the needs of Nova Scotian business owners. Luc Erjavec, Vice-President, Atlantic Canada, Restaurants Canada

Quick Facts:

  • Nova Scotia’s Occupations in Demand immigration stream targets specific national occupation codes – standardized national labour codes used to describe the work performed by Canadians – that are in high demand in Nova Scotia
  • the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration identifies occupations in demand based on labour market information
  • three national occupation codes were added to the Occupations in Demand stream to allow these new options: NOC 671 – food counter attendants, kitchen helpers, related support occupations; NOC 6513 – food and beverage servers; and NOC 6731 – light duty cleaners
  • Nova Scotia’s population reached an all-time high of 992,055 as of July 1, largely due to increased immigration to the province

Additional Resources:

For more information on national occupation codes, visit:

For more information on the Occupations in Demand immigration stream, visit:

For more information on Nova Scotia’s immigration programs, visit: