Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry

Last updated: 14 March 2023

Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry provides a pathway to permanent residence for highly skilled applicants who have worked for a Nova Scotia employer for at least one year.

Candidates must also be eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool through one of the three federal economic immigration programs:

There are two application routes to Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream. Candidates may either apply directly to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI), or they may be selected from the Express Entry pool by the NSOI. To be considered for this stream, candidates are required to have an active profile under the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) online Express Entry system to submit a complete application to the NSOI.

Minimum Requirements

In order to be eligible for Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry, candidates must:

  • Have a profile registered in the Express Entry pool;
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 55;
  • Have at least 12 months full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) paid skilled work experience in Nova Scotia in the three years before the application is made;
    • The work experience cannot have been gained through self-employment or while studying full-time.
    • Volunteer work, unpaid internships, co-op terms, etc. do not count.
    • The work experience must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B occupation.
  • Have gained their experience in the province of Nova Scotia with the proper authorization (work permit, etc.);
  • Have completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary educational credential; OR
  • Have completed a foreign educational credential from a recognized institution/authority AND have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by an organization designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC);
  • Demonstrate sufficient language ability in all four components (speaking, reading, writing, and listening);
  • Demonstrate that they will become economically established in Nova Scotia and that they intend to live in the province permanently.


If required, candidates may have to attend an in-person interview in Nova Scotia. Candidates will be notified if such an interview is required.

Who is not eligible to apply for the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream

Candidates should not apply if they are:

  • An individual whose 12 months full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in the three years prior to their application is not based in Nova Scotia;
  • Intending to work in an occupation that is a NOC level C or D;
  • A grandparent, parent, spouse, or common-law 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 individual who does not have status;
  • An international student who is 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;
  • A Post-Graduation Work Permit holder whose work permit was issued based on studies in a province other than Nova Scotia. 
  • On a valid federal post-graduation work permit whose occupation falls under NOC skill level C or D;
  • An individual with unresolved custody or child support disputes affecting any dependent;
  • In a sales position that is based solely on commission for compensation;
  • An individual in Canada who is in the Caregiver Program;
  • Intending to start a business and/or be self-employed in Nova Scotia; or
  • A passive investor (an individual who intend to invest in a Nova Scotia business with very limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business).

Find out if you are eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool