Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians

The Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities Stream for Physicians provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for general practitioners, family physicians and specialist physicians who are in the Express Entry pool.

Candidates must have an approved offer from the Nova Scotia Health Authority or the Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) Health Centre in Halifax, among other criteria, and they must receive a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration in order to apply.

Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities stream for Physicians

This program pulls candidate profiles from the federal Express Entry pool under one of two federal economic immigration programs:

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Minimum Eligibility Requirements

To apply for a provincial nomination under Nova Scotia's Labour Market Priorities stream for Physicians, candidates in the Express Entry pool must:

  1. Receive a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) in their Express Entry profile;
  2. Submit the application within 30 days of the issue date of the Letter of Interest;
  3. Have an approved job offer from the Nova Scotia Health Authority or IWK Health Centre as either a general practitioner and family physician or a specialist physician (NOC 3112 or NOC 3111 from the National Occupational Classification);
  4. Demonstrate that they meet the work experience requirements for their Express Entry class;
  5. Provide a signed Return for Service Agreement with the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness indicating a two-year commitment to stay in the province;
  6. Show sufficient settlement funds to successfully settle in Nova Scotia alone or with accompanying family members and pay the required immigration costs and travel expenses. The NSOI will not approve an application if it seems likely that the family income (based on your job offer and any spousal income) will be below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-Off (LICO); and
  7. Have legal status in their country of residence when applying for the stream.

All documentation must be valid at the time of application to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) and at the time of application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency

Language requirements

Applicants need a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 across all four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) in one of the official languages, English or French. They must provide documentation of this even if their first language is English or French.

Language test results must not be more than two years old, and they must be renewed if they will expire at any time before the application to IRCC is approved for processing.

Acceptable language tests include:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training;
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP-General);
  • Test d'évaluation de français (TEF);
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF).

The following table shows the result requirements to achieve CLB level 7

CLB LevelListeningReadingWritingSpeaking


IELTS test results
CELPIP test results
TEF test results
TCF test results

Education requirements

The province needs proof that applicants have the education and medical training required to obtain a licence in Nova Scotia.

These can be in the form of:

  • proof of education in Canada (e.g. copies of diplomas, degrees, transcripts); or
  • proof of completed foreign educational credentials (e.g. copies of diplomas, degrees, transcripts) and a copy of an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) issued by the Medical Council of Canada.

The ECA report must:

  • follow IRCC format and content requirement;
  • be less than five years old on the date NSOI receives the application and upon applying for permanent residence to IRCC;
  • show the applicant's credential is equal to a completed Canadian credential.

ECA reports and proof of completed foreign educational credentials should be sent together.

NSOI recommends that applicants keep a copy of their ECA report for records and future use.

Work experience requirements

Applicants must demonstrate they meet the minimum work-experience requirements of the Express Entry stream under either Canadian Experience Class or the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Letters of reference from all employers are required.

Letters must:

  • be written on company letterhead;
  • be signed by the responsible human resources officer, supervisor, or manager;
  • show company's full address, telephone number, e-mail, website URL, and be stamped with the company's official seal (if applicable);
  • include the following information in one document:
    • the specific period of your employment with the company;
    • the positions you have held during the period of employment and time spent in each position;
    • your main responsibilities and duties in each position;
    • annual salary plus benefits in each position;
    • the number of hours worked per week in each position;
    • the number of hours worked in total for each position;
    • proof that your work experience meets the lead statement and the majority (at least 51 per cent) of the main duties as set out in NOC 2016.

Settlement funds

Federal guidelines recommend that immigrants arrive with a minimum of $12,669 CAD plus approximately $3,414 CAD for each family member.

This recommended amount is reduced if a principal applicant is already living in Nova Scotia, or has arranged employment.

Proof of financial resources in the applicant's own name is required. This may include transferable funds in the applicant's name, or their spouse's name.

Immigration Status

Applicants who are living in a country other than their country of nationality should include a photocopy of their visa or permit for the country where they are living at the time of application.

Those living in Canada must provide proof of legal status as a temporary worker or visitor.

Valid passports are required for all family members. Submitted applications must have copies of passport pages with the passport number, date of issue and expiry, photo, name, date and place of birth, any amendments, date of expiration, and any previous visas or visits to Canada. NSOI recommends that passports have an expiry date two years from the date of application.

Any previous applications to immigrate to Canada through provincial or federal immigration categories must be declared. Applicants need copies of all correspondence received from the provincial or Canadian government associated with each previous application.

Who is not eligible for the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities Stream

Foreign nationals are not eligible for this stream if they are a refugee claimant or a failed refugee claimant who has not yet left Canada. Failure to provide valid documentation, and those who do not meet the eligibility requirements will also be refused.

NSOI may change criteria without prior notice and may close or suspend application intake for any NSNP stream at any time.

Application process

1. Notify NSOI of Express Entry profile

Before applying to the Labour Market Priorities Stream for Physicians, applicants need an Express Entry profile.

Once a profile with the federal Express Entry system is complete, candidates can then send their profile number to NSOI.

If candidates qualify they will receive a Letter of Interest (LOI) to their IRCC online account. 

LOIs will only be offered to physicians who have:

  • created an Express Entry profile;
  • received an approved job offer from the NSHA or the IWK;
  • signed a Return of Service Agreement; and
  • indicated their interest in moving to Nova Scotia in Express Entry.

2. Apply to NSNP under the Labour Market Priorities Stream

Applicants have 30 days after receiving their LOI to apply to NSNP under the Labour Market Priorities Stream.

Applications must be submitted through Nova Scotia's website with all the required supporting documents.

The NSOI recommends that documents:

  • are sent as PDF files;
  • are clear enough to read;
  • if they contain an image, should be scanned in colour;
  • text-only documents may be scanned in grayscale to reduce file size;
  • scanner resolution settings should be at a minimum of 300 pixels per inch;
  • have not been subjected to enhancement or editing;
  • should not take up more than 50 Mbs;
  • should have filenames of less than 50 characters.

Documents that are not in English or French must be submitted in the original language and be accompanied by a certified translation.

Translators must be certified by a regulatory body and cannot be a family member of either the applicant or their spouse or common-law partner. In addition, they cannot work for a paid consultant or representative who is preparing the application. Applicants must also supply proof from the translator describing their translation ability or certification.

3. Nomination or Refusal

Nomination under the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities Stream is at the discretion of NSOI.


If the application is approved, candidates will receive a letter from NSOI through their IRCC online account. NSOI will also communicate the decision and provide the Nomination Certificate to the applicant or the applicant's representative via email.

Applicants have 30 days to accept the nomination from Nova Scotia in the Express Entry system.

Once the nomination is accepted IRCC will send an invitation to apply, along with guidelines and instructions to apply for permanent residency.

A nomination from Nova Scotia does not guarantee permanent residence status in Canada. Only the IRCC has the authority to issue a permanent resident visa.

Intent to Refuse

NSOI may send an Intent to Refuse to applicants who may not have properly submitted their application. They have 10 business days to submit any additional information. Extensions may be given on a case-by-case basis and must be the result of extenuating circumstances such as hospitalization or death in the family.  

The file will be re-assessed. The final decision will be sent via email to the applicant or their representative.


NSOI will issue a notification by email if an application has been refused. There is no appeal process. Refusal decisions are final.

4. Temporary work permit

After receiving a provincial nomination from Nova Scotia, candidates can request a letter of support from the Office of Immigration to support an application for a temporary work permit. This letter replaces the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) that is often required for work permits.

The temporary work permit allows candidates to work in Canada while their application for permanent residency is in processing. 

In case the temporary work permit needs to be renewed, the application for renewal should be submitted three months before the expiry date. 

Passports should be valid during the requested time frame, otherwise, IRCC cannot approve a work permit.

5. Extension of Nomination

One six-month extension of nomination may be issued at the NSOI's discretion under the NSNP. The decision will be made on a case-by-case basis where there is evidence of extenuating circumstances. 

6. Nomination of Permanent Residence

Once permanent residence is granted, applicants must contact the NSOI within 30 days of arrival in Nova Scotia. The NSOI needs to see a copy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence, the applicant's passport, and Nova Scotia contact information such as a current address, phone number, and email.


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