New Immigration Pathway to Attract Newcomers to Stay in Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Executive Council
  • Immigration, Skills and Labour

November 18, 2020

The Provincial Government today announced Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador, a new immigration pathway under the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP). Launching on January 2, 2021, the pathway will attract highly educated, highly skilled newcomers with specialized experience working in sectors such as technology, where a growing demand has outpaced local training and recruitment.

The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Immigration, Skills and Labour, made the announcement today at the Emera Innovation Exchange at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Signal Hill Campus.

Employers in high-growth sectors requiring specific skills have been asking for the new pathway because their attempts to recruit locally have not met the growing demand for skilled and experienced workers.

Pathways similar to Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador account for up to 70 per cent of all immigration applications approved in other provinces.

Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador will be open to persons who have one or more of the following advanced academic or specialized qualifications in priority sectors such as information and communications technology, oceans technology, health care, agriculture and aquaculture:

  • Memorial University Masters or PhD degree graduates, whose studies have been completed within the last three years; or
  • Exceptionally qualified individuals who have worked in a specialized, highly skilled, high-demand occupation for at least one year.

Someone meeting eligibility criteria will be assessed on their expression of interest and may be invited to submit an application under the NLPNP. More information can be found in the backgrounder below.

The list of in-demand occupations will be revisited on a regular basis, to best address provincial labour priorities.

Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government continues to plan for future growth and to meet the 2022 target of increasing immigration to 2,500 new permanent residents annually.

Quotes
“We have exciting opportunities in emerging and traditional industries and we are working to recruit the necessary talent and skills to bring these opportunities to fruition. This new focus in Priority Skills for immigration builds on the gathering momentum to attract and retain more newcomers with fresh ideas and perspectives for growth.”
Honourable Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“Employers have been asking for a new immigration pathway flexible enough to help them meet the growing demand for highly-skilled workers in sectors where they are challenged to hire locally, such as technology. The new Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador pathway has wide-reaching potential and I look forward to working with our partners to ensure its maximum benefit.”
Honourable Gerry Byrne
Minister of Immigration, Skills and Labour

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Nouvelle voie en matière d’immigration pour inciter les nouveaux arrivants à demeurer à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador

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Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program

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Media contacts
Meghan McCabe
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
meghanmccabe@gov.nl.ca

Ryan Crocker
Immigration, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 725-9595
ryancrocker@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Eligibility Requirements for Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador

Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador will be open to persons who have one or more of the following advanced academic or specialized qualifications in priority sectors such as information and communications technology, ocean technology, health care, agriculture and aquaculture:

  • Memorial University Masters or PhD degree graduates, whose studies have been completed within the last three years; or
  • Exceptionally qualified individuals who have worked in a specialized, highly skilled, high-demand occupation for at least one year in the past decade.

For individuals with work experience, consideration will be given for in-demand occupations, such as the following:

Engineers and Developers:

  • Software Developer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • UI/UX Developer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • AI Developer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Python Developer
  • .NET Developer
  • Infrastructure Engineer

Technical Specialists:

  • Security Specialist
  • Cloud Specialist
  • Bioinformatician
  • Computer Network Support

In order to be eligible for Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador, individuals need to have taken an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) language test within the last twelve months and scored equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark level 5 or higher. Additionally, all candidates must be at least 21 years old at the time of application.

Scenarios

Post-Secondary Graduate
Mashaal is 33 years old, from Jordan, and is completing a Master’s Degree in Computer Science at Memorial University. She will complete her degree program in January 2021. Mashaal has a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 in English, but currently does not speak or write in French. Her older brother has been living and working in St. John’s for six years. Through Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador, Mashaal appears to meet minimum criteria due to her academic background, and would be invited to submit a full application online through the NLPNP, and pending assessment, be nominated to apply through the Express Entry pool.

Candidates with Work Experience
Li is 29 years old, from Hong Kong, and has three years of work experience as a Software Engineer. He worked in Newfoundland and Labrador for two of those years, but had to return to Hong Kong for family reasons, and subsequently lost his employment. He has applied to a number of companies in the province, but has been told by a few employers that he would need to be living in Newfoundland and Labrador in order to be considered for jobs. Li has a CLB level 6 in English. Li’s occupation is considered in-demand, and Li would appear to meet Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador criteria, and would be invited to apply online for nomination under the Skilled Worker category of the NLPNP.

Aurelie is 37 years old, from Mauritius, and has been living in another part of Canada for six years, working as a Project Manager for a major Canadian IT company. She previously worked for two years as a Software Engineer. Aurelie has a CLB level 7 in English, and a level 7 in Niveau de compétence linguistique canadien (NCLC) in French. Through her work experience and language competencies, Aurelie appears to meet minimum criteria for Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador, and would be invited to submit a full application online through the NLPNP, and pending assessment, would be nominated to apply through the Express Entry pool.

Employers
Alex is a startup company owner looking to expand his business, particularly in new and emerging markets. He is interested in hiring promising candidates with experience in business development, but also IT sector architecture. Through the Priority Skills Newfoundland and Labrador pathway, Alex and his company will be able to access a pool of highly skilled and qualified candidates who have expressed a desire to permanently settle in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through the pool, Alex may identify someone he wishes to hire, and may either choose to contact individuals he is interested in by directly connecting with them, or work with the Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour to connect.

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