Nova Scotia uses the federal government's Express Entry immigration selection system in order to select candidates for this stream.
This stream is for skilled individuals with a post-secondary education and qualifications that will help them successfully settle in Nova Scotia.
There are two categories under the stream:
- Category A: Arranged Employment in Nova Scotia
- This category requires candidates to have an arranged job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment from a Nova Scotia employer. The job offer must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B occupation.
- Category B: Paid Work Experience in an Opportunity Occupation
- This category entails at least one year of continuous full-time (or 1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in part-time paid work experience in the last six years in one of the opportunity occupations.
This page will provide details on the following topics:
- Minimum Requirements for Applicants
- Selection Factors
- Opportunity Occupations
- When Not to Apply
Minimum Requirements for Applicants
In order to be eligible for Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry, candidates must:
- Have a foreign diploma, certificate, or credential and its educational credential equivalency assessment by a designated body or a Canadian educational credential;
- Have one year of full-time, or part-time equivalent, paid work experience in the last six years in an NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B occupation; and
- Meet the minimum language proficiency threshold – currently Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four language components (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) in either English or French demonstrated by language test results from a designated agency:
Potential candidates must score at least 67 out of 100 points on a points grid that measures education, language ability, work experience, age, adaptability factors, and whether the candidate has an arranged job offer from a Nova Scotia-based employer.
|Education||Maximum 25 points|
|Ability in English and/or French||Maximum 28 points|
|Work experience||Maximum 15 points|
|Age||Maximum 12 points|
|Arranged employment in Nova Scotia||Maximum 10 points|
|Adaptability||Maximum 10 points|
|Total||Maximum 100 points|
|Pass mark:||67 Points|
Factor 1: Education
Candidates must have a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential OR a completed foreign educational credential from a recognized institution or authority AND an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by an organization designated by CIC.
An ECA is used to verify that the foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of credentials) is valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada. The ECA report will also indicate the authenticity of the foreign educational credential(s).
|Doctoral (PhD) level||25|
University-level credential at the Master’s level OR an entry-to-practice professional degree (only for degrees related to NOC Skill Level A occupations for which licensing by a provincial regulatory body is required, in one of the following fields of study:
|Two or more post-secondary credentials (at least one must be for a program of at least three years)||22|
|Post-secondary credential for a program of three years or longer||21|
|Two-year post-secondary credential||19|
|One-year post-secondary credential||15|
|Secondary school education credential (also called high school)||5|
|Less than secondary school||Ineligible|
Factor 2: Ability in English and/or French
Candidates can earn up to 28 points for their skills in English and French. They will be given points based on abilities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Candidates can also earn points for their official second language capacity. To earn points for skills in both English and French, language test results for each language must be provided at the same time.
Language test results must not be more than two years old at the time of receipt at the NSOI and at application for permanent residence to IRCC.
Language test results must come from one of the following designated testing agencies:
- CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (General test only)
- IELTS: International English Language Testing System (General Training test only)
- TEF: Test d’évaluation de français
Applicants are required to meet the minimum level of CLB 7 (for their first official language in all four language areas). To get points for the second official language, they must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 (in all four language areas).
|First official language||Points|
|CLB level 9 or higher||6||6||6||6|
|CLB level 8||5||5||5||5|
|CLB level 7||4||4||4||4|
|Below CLB level 7||Not eligible to apply|
|Second official language||Points|
|At least CLB 5 in all of the four abilities||4|
|CLB 4 or less in any of the four abilities||0|
Factor 3: Work Experience
The Candidate's Canadian or international work experience must be:
- At least one year (1,560 hours), full-time or an equal amount in part-time;
- Paid work (volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count);
- In the same occupation;
- Within the last six years before the application to the NSOI and the application for permanent residence to IRCC; and
- In NOC 2011 Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B.
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a system used to classify jobs in the Canadian economy. It describes duties, skills and work setting for different jobs.
|Less than 1 year||Ineligible|
|6 or more years||15|
Factor 4: Age
Candidates earn points based on their age on the day that their application is received by the NSOI.
|Under 18 years||Ineligible|
|47 years and older||0|
Factor 5: Arranged Employment in Nova Scotia
Candidates will receive points if they have a valid offer of permanent employment from a Nova Scotia employer. The job must be arranged before they apply to come to Nova Scotia as a federal skilled worker.
A valid offer of employment must be:
- For permanent, full-time work in Nova Scotia; and
- In an occupation in skill level type 0, A, or B of the NOC.
The job must:
- Have a compensation package that meets provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates;
- Be a position for which there is a shortage of qualified permanent residents or Canadian citizens; and
- Not contravene any existing bargaining unit agreements or be in any employment disputes.
|You currently work in Canada on a temporary work permit.||
Your work permit is valid both when you apply and when the visa is issued (or you are authorized to work in Canada without a work permit when your visa is issued),
IRCC issued your work permit based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Service Canada. Your employer would have applied for the LMIA, which you then had to attach to your application,
You are working for an employer named on your work permit who has made a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker.
You currently work in Canada in a job that is exempt from the LMIA requirement under:
Your work permit is valid both when you apply and when the visa is issued (or you are authorized to work in Canada without a permit when your visa is issued),
Your current employer has made a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker.
You currently do not:
You are currently working in Canada and a different employer has offered to give you a permanent full-time job,
You are currently working in Canada in a job that is exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment, but not under an international or federal-provincial agreement,
An employer has made you a permanent job offer based on you being accepted as a skilled worker,
The employer has a positive LMIA from Service Canada.
Candidates can get arranged employment points without a new LMIA if:
- They are currently working in Canada on a work permit that was issued based on a positive Service Canada LMIA with respect to employment in an occupation listed as NOC 0, A, or B;
- Their work permit is valid at the time that the application for permanent residence is made;
- They are currently working for an employer specified on the work permit; and
- The current employer has made an offer to employ the applicant on a full-time, non-seasonal, indeterminate basis in a NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B occupation in Nova Scotia once a Permanent Resident Visa, if any, is issued.
Additionally, the following criteria must be met:
- The business has a permanent establishment in Nova Scotia;
- The business must have been in operation in Nova Scotia, under current management, for at least two years;
- The employer must have a history of good workplace and business practices;
- The employer must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations;
- The employer must make a full-time, permanent job offer to the candidate; The job must:
- Be NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B,
- Be located in Nova ScotiaThe job, located in Nova Scotia,
- Have a compensation package that meets provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates
- Be a position for which there is a shortage of qualified permanent residents or Canadian citizens to fill the position,
- Not contravene any existing bargaining unit agreements, labour agreements/standards or be in any employment disputes.
- The employer must demonstrate satisfactory recruitment efforts to fill the position with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Factor 6: Adaptability
Candidates with an accompanying spouse or common-law partner, can earn points on his or her behalf as well. Candidates cannot, however, claim points for a spouse who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. A maximum of 10 points can be awarded under this factor, regardless of how many criteria a candidate qualifies for.
If required, applicants may have to attend an in-person interview in Nova Scotia. They will be notified if such an interview is required.
The following occupation list represents professions where there may be employment opportunities in Nova Scotia. The occupations are classified with National Occupational Classification (NOC). The NOC helps determine whether a job meets the skill levels established for skilled and semi-skilled occupations, and whether the candidate’s qualifications and experience match the requirements of the job.
In your application to NSOI under this category you will need to demonstrate that you:
- performed the actions described in the lead statements for the occupation as set out in the occupational description of the NOC; and
- performed a substantial number of the main duties, including all of the essential duties, of the occupation as set out in the occupational description of NOC.
This list is subject to change.
When Not To Apply
Candidates should not apply if they are:
- A person who has received a nomination under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program dated within the last 12 months;
- Intending to work in an occupation that is a NOC skill level C or D;
- A grand-parent, parent, spouse, common-law or conjugal partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada;
- An applicant under humanitarian and compassionate grounds, a refugee claimant or a failed refugee claimant;
- In Canada illegally, under a removal order, or are prohibited from entering or being in Canada;
- Not legally present in their country of residence;
- An international student currently studying at a Canadian post-secondary institution;
- An international graduate who has studied in Canada, whose studies have been sponsored by an agency or government and who is contractually obligated to return to their country of origin;
- On a valid federal post-graduation work permit whose occupation falls under NOC skill level C or D;
- The spouse of an international student at a Canadian post-secondary institution who is not in his or her last academic year of studies;
- An individual with unresolved custody or child support disputes affecting any dependent;
- In a sales position that is based solely on commission for compensation;
- A seasonal, part-time or casual worker;
- An individual whose job is not based in Nova Scotia;
- A helper and/or labourer in construction, agriculture or primary resources sectors;
- An individual in Canada who is in the Caregiver Program;
- Intending to start a business and/or be self-employed in Nova Scotia;
- A passive investor (an individual who intends to invest in a Nova Scotia business with very limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business); or
- Unable to provide proof of required amount of funds.