Frequently asked questions about the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP). 

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) is a program that allows Nova Scotia to nominate immigrants to fill the economic and labour market needs of the province.

Yes, Nova Scotia has two immigration streams aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system, also referred to as enhanced Express Entry streams. These streams are called Nova Scotia Demand (see question 10 for more information) and Nova Scotia Experience (see question 12 for more information). By receiving an enhanced provincial nomination from one of these streams, candidates receive an extra 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, resulting in an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residence being issued at a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool. 

Applying to the NSNP is a two-step process. Candidates interested in living and working permanently in Nova Scotia should first review the different NSNP streams to determine if they are eligible:

Step 1: Once a complete application is submitted along with all supporting documentation, the processing time for eligible applications can be up to three months or more.

Step 2: Apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a permanent resident visa within six months of receiving your nominee certificate. Applicants, along with their spouse/common-law partner and dependents, if applicable, must meet all requirements for medical, security, and criminal admissibility. IRCC has the final authority to issue a permanent resident visa.

This stream is for applicants with a permanent, full-time job offer from a Nova Scotia employer who can demonstrate that they have made an effort to fill the position with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident before extending the offer of employment to the applicant. The stream is composed of three different categories:

  • Skilled Workers
  • Semi-Skilled Workers; and
  • Low-Skilled Workers.

To learn more about the NSNP Skilled Worker Stream, click here.

Under this category, priority is given to highly skilled applicants (those with experience in NOC level 0, A, or B occupations).

Furthermore, all applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • If living in Canada, provide proof of legal status
  • If applying from outside Canada, provide proof of legal status in their current country of residence.
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 55 at the time of application
  • Receive a full time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer
  • Have completed at least a high school level of education (12 years of study)
    • Have the education, training, and licensing/certification needed to perform the job in Canada, if applicable
  • Have at least 12 months of relevant work experience in the past five years
  • Meet language requirements for the program
    • For NOC levels 0, A or B – CLB level 5 in English or French
    • For NOC levels C or D – CLB level 4 in English or French
  • Demonstrate the intent and ability to settle in Nova Scotia
  • Demonstrate sufficient settlement supports and financial resources to cover immigration costs and travel expenses (if applicable) and to successfully establish themselves in the province.

Employers sponsoring applicants through this program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be permanently established in Nova Scotia
  • Have operated in Nova Scotia, under current management, for at least two years
  • Issue a full time, permanent job offer to the individual applicant
    • The job must be located in Nova Scotia
    • The job must have salary and benefits that meet provincial employment standards
    • The job must be in a position for which there is a shortage of qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents
    • The job must not contravene any existing bargaining unit agreements, labour agreements/standards, or be involved in any employment disputes
    • Job offers made to NOC level C or D occupations will be considered based on local labour market requirements and conditions
  • Demonstrate recruitment efforts to fill the position with a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a history of good workplace and business practices, and must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

This stream is for experienced business owners and senior business managers looking to start or acquire a business in Nova Scotia where they will actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business. The Nova Scotia Nominee Program Entrepreneur Stream is a temporary to permanent residence program whereby approved applicants operate a business in Nova Scotia on a valid work permit for at least one continuous year prior to being nominated for permanent residence in Canada.

To learn more about the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream, click here.

To qualify under the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream, applicants must:

  • Have a minimum $600,000 CAD in Net Business and Personal Assets, verified by NSOI designated third party professionals;
  • Demonstrate accumulation of claimed net worth through legal means, verified by NSOI designated third party professionals;
  • Have a minimum of three years of business ownership experience including 33.33 percent ownership OR greater than five years of experience in a senior business manager role in the last 10 years;
  • Agree to make a minimum capital investment of $150,000 CAD to establish or purchase a business in Nova Scotia;
  • Demonstrate sufficient language abilities in either English or French verified by an approved language testing agency;
    • Sufficient language abilities are considered to be Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in all four components (listening, speaking, writing and reading).
    • The following are the approved language testing agencies under the PNP:
      • English:
        • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General test
        • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training
      • French:
        • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)
    • Language tests must be taken within two years prior to the date of EOI submission.
  • Have a minimum of a Canadian high school diploma OR an equivalent foreign credential verified by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), which is dated within the five years prior to the date of EOI submission;
  • Have a Business Establishment Plan and be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the plan; and
  • Agree to reside in Nova Scotia.

Additionally, there are a number of requirements that must be met in order for the business to be considered eligible.

The International Graduate Entrepreneur (IGE) Stream is open to recent graduates of universities and colleges in Nova Scotia who have already started or purchased a business in the province. This stream targets those who intend to reside permanently in the province while owning and actively managing their Nova Scotia business.

To learn more about the NSNP International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, click here.

To qualify under the NSNP IGE Stream, applicants must:

  • Have completed a full-time Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma or degree of at least two years in length from a recognized university in Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Community College;
  • Have resided in Nova Scotia full-time during the academic program;
  • Demonstrate genuine intent to settle permanently in Nova Scotia
  • Have already owned and operated a business in Nova Scotia for at least one continuous year prior to the date of EOI submission;
  • Demonstrate sufficient language abilities in either English or French verified by an approved language testing agency;
    • Sufficient language abilities are considered to be Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four components (listening, speaking, writing and reading).
    • The following are the approved language testing agencies under the PNP:
      • English:
        • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General test
        • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training
      • French:
        • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)
    • Language tests must be taken within two years prior to the date of EOI submission.
  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit at the time of application to the NSOI;
  • Own 100% of the equity of the eligible business and provide active and ongoing participation in the daily management and direction of the business; and
  • Demonstrate that they are receiving compensation in the form of salary from the business.
    • The compensation must, at minimum, meet the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) as defined by Statistics Canada.

Additionally, there are a number of requirements that must be met in order for the business to be considered eligible.

This stream is for highly-skilled individuals with a post-secondary education and qualifications that will help them successfully settle in Nova Scotia. Candidates must also be eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool through one of the federal economic immigration classes: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class

There are two categories under the stream; the first category requires candidates to have an arranged job offer from a Nova Scotia employer while the second requires candidates to have at least one year of continuous full-time, or part-time equivalent, paid work experience in the last five years in an NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B occupation.

There are two application routes to the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream. Candidates may either apply directly to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) or be selected from the federal Express Entry pool by the NSOI. In either case, the principal applicant will need to submit a complete application to the NSOI.

To learn more about Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry, click here.

In order to be eligible for Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry, candidates must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 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 10 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: IELTS (General Training Test only) for english; CELPIP (General test only) for english; or TEF for french.

Additionally, potential candidates must score at least 67 out of 100 points on a points grid that measures a number of selection factors including education, language ability, work experience, age, adaptability factors, and whether the candidate has an arranged job offer from a Nova Scotia-based employer.

Some applicants may be required to attend an in-person interview in Nova Scotia. Applicants will be notified if such an interview is required.

This stream is for highly skilled applicants who have worked for a Nova Scotia employer for at least one year and are seeking permanent residence. Candidates must also be eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool through one of the federal economic immigration classes: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class.

There are two application routes to the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream. Candidates may either apply directly to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) or be selected from the federal Express Entry pool by the NSOI. In either case, the principal applicant will need to submit a complete application to the NSOI.

To learn more about Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry, click here.

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

  • 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, which cannot have been gained through self-employment or while studying full-time and which is in NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B
    • Volunteer work, unpaid internships, and co-op terms do not count
  • Have gained your experience in Nova Scotia with the proper authorization (work permit, etc.)
  • Have completed a Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary educational credential OR a foreign educational credential from a recognized institution or authority
    • An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by an organization designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is required if the educational credential was obtained outside Canada
  • Meet the required language levels needed for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing, and listening). These levels are CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A and CLB 5 for NOC B. Language test results must come from a designated agency: IELTS (General Training Test only) for English; CELPIP (General test only) for English; or TEF for French
  • Demonstrate that they will become economically established in Nova Scotia and that they intend to live in the province permanently.

Additionally, potential candidates must score at least 67 out of 100 points on a points grid that measures a number of selection factors including education, language ability, work experience, age, adaptability factors, and whether the candidate has an arranged job offer from a Nova Scotia-based employer.

Some applicants may be required to attend an in-person interview in Nova Scotia. Applicants will be notified if such an interview is required.

As part of any PNP application, applicants are required to submit a Settlement Plan indicating why they wish to live in the province and how they intend to settle. Applicants are also required to sign an ‘intention to reside’ document with their application. That being said, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures that all Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to work and reside in any location across Canada. Once an individual obtains Canadian permanent residence, he or she has the right to work and reside in any Canadian province or territory.

 

To learn more about your Canadian immigration options, fill out a free online assessment today.

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