Canada is a land of opportunities and beauty you can truly see this fact in the wonderful province of Nova Scotia. Read this page to discover how the Nova Scotia Provincial Nomination Program (Nova Scotia) PNP system works to make your immigration dreams a reality.

But first, learn a bit more about what makes this province so great for the many residents in Canada.

Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s Maritime Provinces, with a peninsula and many offshore islands. Nova Scotia is popular for water sports, such as kayaking, and is home to puffins and seals.

nova-scotia-town

The province also has the stunningly unique Bay of Fundy, which is one of its most popular tourist destinations, famous for its high tides and whale watching. Its capital, Halifax, is known for its lively waterfront and the star-shaped Citadel.

A low cost of living and high quality of life make Nova Scotia an enjoyable and affordable place to live. The Nova Scotian government introduced organizations with a mandate to help new immigrants find jobs, improve their language skills and enrol in university, making their integration easier.

The people of Nova Scotia are friendly, welcoming and live in safe communities. Their healthcare system puts people first, based on need and not financial status.

Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program

Through the Nova Scotia PNP, prospective immigrants to Nova Scotia, who have the skills and experience targeted by the province, may be nominated for immigration. Candidates, who receive a Nova Scotia Nomination certificate, may have their application fast-tracked, speeding up the immigration process.

The Nova Scotia PNP (Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program) receives immigration applications under the following:

  • Physician Stream;
  • Entrepreneur Stream;
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur;
  • Skilled Worker Stream;
  • Nova Scotia Labout Market Priorities Stream
  • Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry Stream;
  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry Stream; and the
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Physician Stream

doctor talking to patients

This stream was created to hire health professional like general practitioners, family physicians and specialists to work in the province. The Physician Stream enables trained medical professionals to become permanent residents of Nova Scotia, with the help of two medical authorities, the:

  • Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA); and the
  • Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre (IWK)

The stream was created to help the province deal with its shortage of skilled and experienced medical practitioners.

What NOC (National Occupational Classification) Do You Need

To apply for the Physicians Stream you must have a:

NOC 3112 as either a general practitioner or family physician; or a
NOC 3111 as a specialist physician

Please note that you must have a signed Approved Opportunities with the province’s IWK or NSHA. An Approved Opportunity must :

  • Be signed and dated by you and by the person who has authorized it, from either the NSHA or IWK;
  • Show that you can apply for a licence with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the province; and
  • Show that you can apply for credentials through the NSHA and IWK

Entrepreneur Stream

young female entreprenueur

The Entrepreneur Stream is made for business owners and managers who are looking to expand their business in Nova Scotia. If you start a business or buy an existing one and continue to actively manage your company for longer than one year, you may be nominated for permanent residence in the province.

To qualify you must:

Be 21 years of age or older;
Be interested in living permanently in Nova Scotia, while owning and actively running a business in the province;
Have a net worth of at least $600,000;
Be able to invest at least $150,000 of their own money to establish a business in Nova Scotia
Have at least three years of experience in actively managing and owning a business or five years experience in a senior management position;
Have at least a score of 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, and writing for English or French;
Have completed a diploma from a Canadian high school or have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), which is not older than five years;
Complete an Expression of Interest (EOI); and
Receive an Invitation to Apply from the Nova Scotian Office of Immigration

International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

graduating students

This stream is for international graduate entrepreneurs who have graduated from either a college or university in Nova Scotia. You must have already either bought or started your own business that has been operating for at least one business year.

You must intend to settle in the province and spend most of your time in Nova Scotia while operating your business. This stream allows successful candidates to apply for permanent residence when they get a nomination from the province.

To Apply You Must:

Be interested in living permanently in Nova Scotia, while owning and directly running a business in the province;
Have at least one year of experience in owning and managing your current Nova Scotian business;
Have completed a degree or diploma after at least two academic years of full-time study at a university or community college in Nova Scotia;
Have a valid post-graduation work permit;
Have at least a score of 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in speaking, listening, reading and writing for English or French
Complete an Expression of Interest (EOI); and
Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration

Skilled Worker Stream

young millennial hard at work

This stream helps employers find and employ foreign workers and recent graduates. This stream was created to deal with a shortage of skilled workers, where local Canadians did not have the required skills to deal with these jobs.

You Must:

Have a full-time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotian employer;
Have at least one year of work experience related to the job;
Be 21 to 55 years old;
Have a high school diploma;
Have the right training, skills and accreditation for the job;
Score at least a 5 for the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for English or French if you are a skilled worker; or
Score at least a 4 for the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for English or French if you are a semi-skilled or low skilled worker; and
Prove you have enough funds to support yourself and your dependents in Nova Scotia. Applicants must have at least CAD$11,000 and an additional CAD$2,000 per dependent

What Is the Difference Between a Skilled, Semi-Skilled and Low Skilled Worker

Skilled workers have a NOC code of 0, A and B. Semi-Skilled workers have a NOC of C, while low skilled workers are NOC D. Please be aware that Skilled workers may be more in demand in the province, so their applications may be prioritized by the province.

Processing Times

Processing times for the Skilled Worker Stream can take up to at least three months. Please note that this can change, depending on how long your documents take to be verified.

This is also subject to change based on the number of applications the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration receives.

Dependents

This stream considers all of the following as dependents, your:

  • Spouse or common-law partner who you have been with for at least one year;
  • Children who are under the age of 22 and are not married or have a common-law partner

Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities Stream

To be selected for this stream, you must first be entered into the federal Express Entry pool. The province will choose you from this pool if you meet the labour market needs of Nova Scotia at a particular time. You can only apply if you receive a Letter of Interest form the Nova Scotian Office of Immigration.

You also need to meet the following requirements:

Issued a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Nominee Program;
You must meet the work experience requirements of the Express Entry you qualified for;
You must have enough funds to successfully support and establish you and your dependents in the province;
You must have legal status in your country of residence; and
The last requirement will change depending on the needs of the province, for example, the first round targeted early childcare educators and assistants and you had to have work experience in that occupation to qualify.

Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry

This program was made for highly skilled workers to apply to work and live in the province with the chance to gain permanent residence later on. There are two sub-categories for this program, called Category A and Category B.

Category A is for applicants with a job offer. Currently, this category is still open.

This program is currently closed

Category B is for applicants who have experience in an opportunity occupation. Please note that this program opens and closes throughout the year, depending on the needs of the province’s labour markets.

For Applications Under Category A, You Must:

Have a profile that is registered with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Express Entry system;
Score at least 67 points based on the six selection factors;
Have a full-time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotian employer;
Have one year of skilled work experience related to the job;
Have a Canadian high school degree or a foreign degree that meets the same standards;
Show enough financial resources to successfully settle in Nova Scotia; and
Score at least a 7 on the CLB for both French and English

What Is A Valid Job Offer

job offer

To qualify for a valid job offer in category A, the job offer must:

  • Be made by a legal employer in Nova Scotia;
  • Be for a full-time job, with working hours of at least 30 hours a week;
  • Be offered at least one year after you get permanent residence in Canada;
  • Be for a job that is skill type 0, A or B

Please note that some jobs do not require an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment).

For Applications Under Category B, You Must:

Have a profile that is registered with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Express Entry system;
Score a minimum of 67 points on the six selection factors;
Score at least a 7 on the CLB for English and French for CELPIP and IELTS General Test;
Have one year of skilled work experience in one of the required occupations;
Have a Canadian high school degree or a degree that meets the same standards;
Show you can support yourself and your dependents enough financial resources to successfully settle in Nova Scotia

What Are the Six Selection Factors

These factors are used to rate your application. They are based off your:

  • Education (maximum points 25);
  • Language skills in French and English (maximum points 28);
  • Work experience (maximum points 15);
  • Age (maximum points 12);
  • Job offers (maximum points 10); and
  • Adaptability (maximum points 10)

Work Experience

For Category B you need to have a certain type of work experience to qualify, this must be for:

  • Work experience that lasted at least 1,560 hours or for one year of full-time employment; and
  • Work experience in an opportunity occupation within the past six years

Opportunity Occupation

The Following Jobs Belong to the Opportunity Occupation:

Job Title NOC Code
Accountants and finance auditors 1111 A
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers 1311 B
Administrative assistants 1241 B
College and other vocational instructors 4021 A
Civil engineers 2131 A
Licensed practical nurses 3233 B
Other financial officers 1114 A
Paralegal and related occupations 4211 B
Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations 1123 A
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 3012 A
Social and community service workers 4212 B

Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry

This stream chooses applicants who have at least one year of work experience in a skilled occupation in the province. This stream lets you become a permanent resident of Nova Scotia. Please note that this stream is a pilot program and may be changed by the government of Nova Scotia.

To Apply You Must:

Have at least one year of full time/part time work experience in Nova Scotia for a skilled job three years before you apply;
Have gained legal work experience in the province through for example, a work permit;
Be 21 to 55 years old;
Have completed a Canadian high school degree or have a degree that is equal to this qualification; or
Have completed an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) and have a degree that is acknowledged by an recognized institution;
Have the funds needed to support yourself and your dependents in the province;
Have the intention to live in the province permanently;
Prove your language ability in English or French with a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7 for NOC 0 and A, or score a CLB of 5 for NOC B. Please note that accepted tests are the CELPIP and IELTS General Test and TEF; and
Have a profile that is registered with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Express Entry system

Experience

You need the following work experience to qualify. You must have:

  • Worked for a Nova Scotian employer;
  • Applied within three years of your application with the NSOI and IRCC;
  • Worked at least one year or 1,560 hours as either a full-time or part-time worker;
  • Worked a job that belongs to Skill Type 0, A or B; and
  • Proved that you meet all the main duties of the above Skill Type you applied with

You must know that work experience gained by self-employment, volunteer work, unpaid internship and co-op programs do not count towards valid work experience.

Language Tests

language test

The following are language tests that are accepted by this stream.

  • English tests like CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program); and
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

Please note that you must apply for the General Test, do not choose the Academic IELTS or CELPIP option.

The French test TEF (Test d’évaluation de français) is an accepted program to apply with. Please note that you must include your test results with your application.

All tests must not be older than two years when you apply or you will not qualify.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

halifax nova scotia

This program was created in 2017 to help Nova Scotia manage its labour shortages.

Companies from the province must apply to become part of the program to help bring in foreign talent. Currently, there are 62 companies that belong to the project.

The ALPP allow successful candidates who are endorsed by the province to apply for permanent residency directly to the IRCC. There is also an option for foreign workers to get a temporary work permit while their application is processed.

Not All Companies Can Qualify

An employer must first:

Have a company that is legal and operated according to all the business requirements of the province;
Have a detailed list of the labour needs of the company;
Have a plan to help with the settlement and retention of their foreign worker:
Have proof that they could not fill the job description from the local Canadian labour market;
Have an offer for full-time employment, not part time or seasonal work; and
Have a settlement plan that is signed by the foreign worker

There are four main steps for AIP:

  • Employers must know whether they need to supply a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) to prove that they cannot find an employee for the position in Canada;
  • If applicable the employer must apply for an LMIA from the ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) to prove the job offer is legal and valid;
  • Employers must find and interview a potential employee to:
    • Supply a job offer;
    • Send a copy of the LMIA; and
    • Give a Letter of Employment to the employees so they can apply for a work permit
  • Workers must apply to the IRCC for a work permit, note that a temporary resident visa may be needed for some applicants