How to Immigrate to Nova Scotia in 2021

Are you looking for a slower pace of life in a charming seaside location with great job opportunities and all the comforts of city life? You could find this and more in Nova Scotia, Canada!

Located in eastern Canada, Nova Scotia is one of three maritime provinces. As a coastal province, you may think that you’ll only find work in the seafood manufacturing sector. Although there is a thriving fishing industry, other areas of employment include healthcare, agriculture, forestry, mining, construction, as well as the oil and gas sectors to name a few. In fact, Nova Scotia has one of the fastest-growing information and communications technology sectors in Canada.

The province is also doing well in terms of handling the effects of the pandemic. According to a report by digital Nova Scotia, employment increased by 3,700 in July 2021 alone while the unemployment rate dropped by 0.6%, despite the May lockdown. More than 70 percent of Nova Scotians are fully vaccinated with very few cases reported.

There are various ways to migrate to Nova Scotia: whether you want to study, work, start a business or make a more permanent move, there is a pathway for you.

Keep reading to find out more about how to immigrate to Nova Scotia in 2021 and beyond.

How to Get Permanent Residence in Nova Scotia

map of Nova Scotia Canada | How to Immigrate to Nova Scotia in 2021

There are two main ways to do this: one requires a job offer and one does not. Having a job offer in Nova Scotia, however, can boost your chances of getting permanent residency in Canada, no matter which program you choose. Here’s how.

1. Express Entry

The Express Entry system is an extremely popular yet competitive way to apply to move to Nova Scotia, Canada. Between 401,000 and 411,000 newcomers will be invited to apply for permanent residency through one of three programs:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program - for highly-skilled professionals, usually with some form of post-secondary qualification
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program - for skilled and experienced trade workers
  • The Canada Experience Class - for highly-skilled workers with at least 1 year of Canadian work experience in the past 3 years

How to apply

To apply through one of the Express Entry programs you will first need to see which program you qualify for. Each program has different requirements. General requirements to qualify for an Express Entry program are:

General Express Entry Requirements

  • Ensure that you meet all of your chosen program's requirements
  • Ensure that you are admissible to Canada
  • Ensure that you have a valid travel document
  • Ensure that you have sufficient settlement funds

Once you know which program you qualify for, you can then create your Express Entry profile.

What is an Express Entry profile?

Your profile will include details about your age, education, work experience, among others. Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will use this information to see if you are eligible and if so you will receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Your profile will then go into a draw pool with other applicants. Draws usually happen every two weeks and if you meet the minimum cut-off score or score higher you could get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency in Canada in just six months!

Top Tip: To get the attention of the Nova Scotia provincial government, make sure that you express interest in Nova Scotia when creating your profile. Why? Because it will increase your chances of being selected for a provincial nomination, which could help secure your spot in Nova Scotia in 2021.

Nova Scotia also has an Express Entry-linked program under its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for those who have at least one year’s work experience in the province. This means that you could also apply directly to the province, however, you will still need an Express Entry profile to apply.

Express Entry-Linked Provincial Nominee Programs

1. Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities

This program is for Express Entry candidates who meet the labour needs of Nova Scotia. If the provincial government likes what you have to offer, they will select your profile from the Express Entry draw pool and give you a Provincial Nomination (PNP) which is worth 600 PR points!

2. Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians

This program is especially for skilled and experienced general practitioners or family physicians, and specialist physicians who have applied for permanent residency through the Express Entry system and have expressed interest in Nova Scotia. Applicants will also need an approved job opportunity from the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) or Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre (IWK) to qualify.

3. Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry Stream

This program is for Express Entry candidates who have at least one year of work experience in Nova Scotia. All applicants must have an Express Entry profile and meet the minimum language requirements based on their level of skill and the Express Entry program they intend to apply through.

2. Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program

Canada has 11 Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPS), one of which is the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (Nova Scotia PNP). There are various programs and categories to choose from. Whether you want to start a business, graduate from a Nova Scotian university or college, are looking for work in Nova Scotia, or simply want to apply for permanent residency in the province, you should find a program that suits your specific needs.

Study in Nova Scotia

smiling female student sitting on steps | How to Immigrate to Nova Scotia in 2021

To study in Nova Scotia you will need to first get accepted to a Designated learning Institution (DLI) before you can apply for a Canadian study permit. Nova Scotia has 40 DLI’S to choose from. If you intend to apply to stay and work in Nova Scotia it’s important to find out if your DLI will allow you to qualify for the Postgraduate Worker program (PGWP).

What is the Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP)?

The Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP) was designed to help students who have completed a Canadian qualification which was at least 8 months or longer, stay and work in Canada. To optimize the length of your work permit, it's best to choose a study program that is at least 3 years long. This is because your work permit will usually be valid for the same length as your study program was. In other words, if your study program was 3 years long, your Canada work permit will be valid for 3 years too.

This isn’t the only way that you can apply to stay on and live and work in Nova Scotia after graduating, though.

There are two options for international graduates from Nova Scotian Institutions:

  1. The International Graduates In-Demand Stream; and
  2. The International Graduates Entrepreneur Stream.

The International Graduates In-Demand Stream is for international graduates who have completed their studies at an institution in Nova Scotia. Occupations that are eligible include:

  • nurses aides; and
  • early childhood educators and assistants

Eligible candidates must have at least one year of work experience and a job offer in Nova Scotia.

The International Graduates Entrepreneur Stream is for international graduates who have completed their studies at an institution in Nova Scotia and have either bought or started a business that has been in operation for at least a year in Nova Scotia.

Work in Nova Scotia

Healthcare workers sitting together in a modern hospital | How to Immigrate to Nova Scotia in 2021

When applying to work in Nova Scotia you can do it in one of two ways:

  • Apply for a job in Nova Scotia and get a temporary employer-specific Canada work permit; or
  • Apply for permanent residency through one of the following Nova Scotia PNP categories.

1. Nova Scotia Physician Stream

This program is especially for skilled and experienced general practitioners or family physicians, and specialist physicians who have a job offer from the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) or Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre (IWK). The difference between this stream and the Express entry linked stream is that you don’t need an Express Entry profile to qualify and can apply directly to the Nova Scotian local government.

2. Nova Scotia Skilled Worker Stream

This program is for skilled foreign workers and international graduates who have a job offer in Nova Scotia in an in-demand occupation and at least six months to one year of related work experience. The minimum education requirement is to have a high school diploma and to meet the language requirements related to your level of skill. You will also need to be between the ages of 21 and 55 years old and have enough funds to comfortably support yourself while settling in Nova Scotia.

3. Nova Scotia Occupation In-Demand Stream

This program is for candidates who have a job offer in Nova Scotia in an in-demand occupation as well as at least one year of work experience and the appropriate training/skills and/or accreditation related to the job. Applicants will also need to be able to support themselves financially and meet the minimum language requirements.

Which Jobs in Nova Scotia, Canada Are In-demand?

  • Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates;
  • Transport truck drivers
  • Heavy equipment operators (except crane); and
  • Construction trades helpers and labourers.

To find out more about demand career opportunities in Nova Scotia, visit our in-demand jobs in Nova Scotia page here.

Finding Your Pathway to Move to Nova Scotia

cabot trail cape breton island nova scotia canada | How to Immigrate to Nova Scotia in 2021

There are various ways to immigrate to the beautiful coastal province of Nova Scotia in 2021. No matter your skill level or whether you intend to move to Canada permanently or to study or work, there are various options you can choose from. If you want to study in Nova Scotia it's best to not only choose a DLI but a program that will give you the best opportunities should you choose to stay and work in Nova Scotia. This can be particularly beneficial when applying for Canada permanent residency as most programs, excluding those managed by the Express Entry system, will require you to have a job offer in Nova Scotia to qualify.

Ready to make the move to Nova Scotia in 2021 but aren’t sure what your best options are or if you qualify?

We’ve got you covered. Our team of professionals works closely with Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who are both experienced and highly qualified. To get the help and guidance you need to apply for a Canada visa, simply chat to one of our visa professionals today to see which immigration pathways could set you on your way to living your Canadian dream in Nova Scotia.