Businesses in the province have another option to find skilled labour after a new immigration category was announced today, Dec. 12, by the Office of Immigration. The new family business worker stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program enables local entrepreneurs to address labour needs by bringing in family members to the province who are qualified to do the work. There is no application fee. “This category is in direct response to the need identified during consultations with communities in developing the immigration strategy,” said Immigration Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “As we heard, potential newcomers are more likely to settle in an area where they already have family and where they have a job offer. This new stream captures both elements.” Employers must own at least 33 per cent of the business, which has been under current management for a minimum of two years; they must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents; and the company must be financially viable. The employer must offer the relative a full-time, permanent job. Relatives or potential nominees must have appropriate education, training and/or licensing for the position, and sufficient support and financial resources to establish themselves in the province. A complete list of criteria, as well as application forms and the application guide, are available online at www.novascotiaimmigration.com . “We are very pleased that this stream is now available,” said Wadih Fares, president of W.M. Fares Group. “Accessing skilled labour is becoming more difficult as the population shrinks and the pull from the west intensifies. This category will help local businesses such as mine counter these issues and, at the same time, help bring families together from outside the country.” The nominee program allows the province to select immigrants who meet the labour market and economic needs of the province. A person who is nominated or recommended by Nova Scotia is eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa at a Canadian visa office under one of the federal economic classes known as the provincial nominee class. The province’s immigration strategy was launched in January 2005.