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Truro Colchester Welcome Network

Employment and Income

Finding work is a main priority for many newcomers. If you are an immigrant your local settlement service provider may refer you to the resources and supports you need.

To get the job you really want, you need to do 3 things:

  • Get a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • Make sure your qualifications meet Canadian standards.
  • Gain Canadian experience.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Apply for a SIN for each person in your family including children. This number allows you to work in Canada. It also allows all members of your family to receive government services.

To find out how to apply for a SIN, visit and type “Social Insurance Number” in the search box.

Your SIN is confidential.

Do not use it for any of these reasons:

  • to use as a personal ID card
  • to apply for a job
  • to give to a potential landlord

Find out more about how to protect your SIN. Visit and type SIN (all caps) into the search box.

Find out if Your Qualifications Are Recognized

Depending on the path you took to immigrate to Canada, you may or may not be allowed to work here. To work in some jobs, your qualifications must be equivalent to Canadian qualifications.

You can start the process of getting your credentials recognized before you arrive in Canada. To find out more, visit and enter “foreign credential recognition tool” in the search box.

In Nova Scotia, the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration has a list of organizations that regulate different jobs in the province. When you click on the organization you are interested in, you will find the rules for having your qualifications recognized.

To find out more, type “International Qualifications Recognition Nova Scotia” into a search engine.

What are qualifications?

Qualifications = Credentials + Competencies + Experience

Credentials are education records like certificates, diplomas, and degrees. They may include other documents related to a specific job.

Competencies are the skills and knowledge you need to do the job.

Language skills

For most jobs in Nova Scotia, you need to have strong English language skills. As French is the second official language of Canada, you may need strong French language skills for some jobs. To find out how you can improve your skills in English or French, see Language Services, on this website.