Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

Last updated: 29 November 2021

Nova scotia pnp

Nova Scotia is a small Canadian province located in the Maritimes region of the country.

The province is composed of the Nova Scotia peninsula, Cape Breton Island, and over 3,000 smaller islands. Its capital city, Halifax, is known as a major centre for culture and the arts, as well as for its high standard of living. Nova Scotians are closely connected to the sea, and the province is renowned for its coastal beauty and delicious cuisine.

The NSNP is Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominee Program. Through this program, prospective immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by the province may receive a Nova Scotia Provincial Nomination Certificate.

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Table of Contents


    Overview of the Nova Scotia PNP

    The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) launched in 2003.

    It launched to help address economic and labour market needs through immigration to the province.

    Nova Scotia has been welcoming an increasing number of new permanent immigrants since 2012. The province welcomed 2,339 new immigrants in 2012 and 7,580 in 2019.

    Immigration to Nova Scotia has tripled over the last 20 years because of the introduction and continuous development of its provincial program, as well as the introduction of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) in 2017.

    In 2018, two thirds of newcomers to the province immigrated through a provincial program or the AIP.

    Nova Scotia is expected to continue to welcome over 7,000 new immigrants every year.

    The province has a retention rate of over 70 per cent. This means that over 70 per cent of newcomers choose to stay in Nova Scotia. The province’s retention rate has improved because the Nova Scotia PNP and the AIP are looking to match immigration levels with job opportunities. Both the PNP and AIP also help make it easier for international graduates and temporary workers to transition to permanent residence.


    Nova Scotia Immigration Streams:

    Nova Scotia has enhanced streams and base streams. The following streams are enhanced

    Enhanced means that the sub-category is aligned with the Express Entry system. The federal government uses the Express Entry system to manage permanent residence applications through Canada’s main economic class immigration programs.

    Candidates in the Express Entry system are given a point score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Canada regularly holds Express Entry draws, where they invite the highest-ranking candidates to apply for permanent residence.

    If you get a nomination from an enhanced provincial program, you get an extra 600 CRS points, practically guaranteeing getting an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. You also get your nomination through your Express Entry profile.

    The majority Nova Scotia’s immigration streams are base streams. This means that they are not aligned with the Express Entry system. Candidates who get a provincial nomination are required to apply directly to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

    For many NSNP streams, you must meet the minimum language requirements. This will be according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB). This is a scale between 1 and 12, that measures your language ability.


    Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry

    Needs job offer? No

    Application Fee: None

    Processing Time: At least 3 months

    Minimum Requirements:

    • You must have an Express Entry profile;
    • You must be between 21 and 55 years old;
    • You must have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in Nova Scotia in the last three years;
    • You must have had proper authorization during their time in Nova Scotia, such as a work permit;
    • You must have a high school diploma/credential or higher;
    • You must have the language skills required to carry out their jobs:
      • NOC 0 and A – CLB 7
      • NOC B – CLB 5
    • You must intend to live in Nova Scotia permanently.

    How it works:

    If you wish to apply to immigrate to Nova Scotia through the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry, you must first make sure that you are eligible, and make sure that you have a valid Express Entry profile.

    When you are ready, apply online on this Nova Scotia webpage. You must include all required information and upload all required documents with your application.

    After you submit your application, if successful, you will receive a provincial nomination certificate by email. Your nomination will also be confirmed in the Express Entry system. You must accept the nomination on the Express Entry system within 30 days. Once you do, you will be given an extra 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. This will effectively guarantee getting an invitation to apply for permanent residence in the next Express Entry draw.

    When you receive your invitation to apply, you may apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system.

    Learn more about the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry


    Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities

    Needs job offer? No

    Application Fee: None

    Processing Time: At least 3 months

    Minimum Requirements:

    • You must have a valid Express Entry profile;
    • You must receive a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) on your Express Entry profile;
    • You must meet the work experience requirements for your Express Entry program (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class);
    • You must have the required supporting documents to demonstrate work experience;
    • You must have enough money to settle permanently in Nova Scotia;
    • You must meet the draw specific eligibility requirements. Each draw may have additional requirements.

        How it works:

        The first step is to make sure that you are eligible under this stream. You must also have a valid Express Entry profile.

        You must first receive a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) in order to apply. If you have received this letter, you are ready to apply. You will have 60 days to do so.

        Find out about the draw-specific supporting documents you need to upload on the Nova Scotia Nominee Program website.

        If your application is successful, you will get your nomination certificate by email. Your nomination will also be confirmed in the Express Entry system. You’ll have 30 days to accept your nomination on the Express Entry system.

        You will then be given an extra 600 CRS points, and you will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence in the next Express Entry draw.

        When you receive your invitation to apply, you may apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry system.

        Learn more about the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities


        Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians

        Needs job offer? Yes

        Application Fee: None

        Processing Time: At least 3 months

        Minimum Requirements:

        • You must have a valid Express Entry profile;
        • You must receive a Letter of Interest from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) on your Express Entry profile;
        • You must have a job offer from the Nova Scotia Health Authority or IWK Health Centre as a general practitioner, family physician or a specialist physician (NOC 3111 or NOC 3112);
        • You must meet the work experience requirements for your Express Entry program (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class);
        • You must have the required supporting documents to demonstrate work experience;
        • You must commit to stay in the province for two years, by sending a signed Return for Service Agreement to the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness;
        • You must have enough money to settle permanently in Nova Scotia.

              How it works:

              First, make sure that you are eligible for this stream. You must have an Express Entry profile. Once you’re ready, send your Express Entry profile number to NSOI.

              If you qualify, you will receive a Letter of Interest to your Express Entry account. You will then have 30 days to apply to the NSNP and submit all required documents.

              After you apply, you may get a nomination certificate if successful. Your nomination will also be added to your Express Entry profile. You must accept the nomination within 30 days.

              You will then be given an extra 600 CRS points, and you will be invited to apply for permanent residence in the next Express Entry draw.

              Learn more about the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians


              Skilled Worker Stream

              Needs job offer? Yes

              Application Fee: None

              Processing Time: At least 3 months

              Minimum Requirements:

              • You must be between 21 and 55 years old;
              • You must have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer;
              • You must have at least a high school education;
              • You must have the education, training, licensing or certification required to carry out your job duties;
              • You must have at least 12 months of relevant work experience in the last five years;
              • You must meet language requirements:
                • NOC 0, A or B – CLB 5 in English or French;
                • NOC C or D – CLB 4 in English or French;
              • You must intend to settle in Nova Scotia;
              • You must have enough money to settle permanently in Nova Scotia;
              • Employer must also meet additional requirements.

                      How it works:

                      Make sure you are eligible then prepare your application by visiting this webpage. Gather and upload your required documents and submit your application.

                      If you are successful, you will receive your nomination certificate on your email, or on your representative’s email. Your nomination will also be directly sent to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

                      The next step is to apply for permanent residence directly with IRCC within six months.

                      You can also request a Letter of Support from the NSOI for a temporary work permit. This would allow you to stay in Nova Scotia while you wait for IRCC to process your permanent residence application.

                      Learn more about the Skilled Worker Stream


                      Occupation In-Demand Stream

                      Needs job offer? Yes

                      Application Fee: None

                      Processing Time: At least 3 months

                      Occupations:

                      • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 3413);
                      • Food and beverage servers (NOC 6513);
                      • Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (NOC 6711);
                      • Light duty cleaners (NOC 6731);
                      • Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511);
                      • Heavy equipment operators, except crane (NOC 7521);
                      • Construction trades helpers and labourers (NOC 7611).

                      Minimum Requirements:

                      • You must be between 21 and 55 years old;
                      • You must have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer in one of the occupations outlined above;
                      • You must have one year of relevant work experience;
                      • You must have at least a high school education;
                      • You must have the appropriate training or education required for the job;
                      • You must meet the minimum language requirement of CLB 4;
                      • You must have enough money to settle permanently in Nova Scotia.

                                How it works:

                                The first step is to make sure you are eligible for this immigration stream. Next, gather and upload the required documents and submit your application through this webpage.

                                If you are successful, you will get a nomination certificate on your or your representative’s email. Your nomination will also be directly sent to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

                                Now, you are able apply for permanent residence directly with IRCC. You must do so within six months.

                                You can also request a Letter of Support from the NSOI for a temporary work permit. This would allow you to stay in Nova Scotia while you wait for IRCC to process your permanent residence application.

                                Learn more about the Occupation In-Demand Stream


                                International Graduates In-Demand Stream

                                Needs job offer? Yes

                                Application Fee: None

                                Processing Time: At least 3 months

                                Occupations:

                                • Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates (NOC 3413);
                                • Early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214).

                                  Minimum Requirements:

                                  • You must have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer in an occupation listed above;
                                  • You must be between 21 and 55 years old;
                                  • You must have at least a high school education;
                                  • You must have completed a course of study that is at least 30 weeks long, in the last three years. At least half of the program must have been completed in Nova Scotia;
                                  • You must have the certifications required for the job;
                                  • You must meet the language requirement of CLB 5;
                                  • You must have enough money to settle permanently in Nova Scotia.

                                              How it works:

                                              Make sure you are eligible for this immigration stream. Then upload the required documents and submit your application through this webpage.

                                              If your application is approved, you will get a nomination certificate on your or your representative’s email. Your nomination will also be directly sent to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

                                              At this point, you will be able apply for permanent residence directly with IRCC. You must do so within six months.

                                              You can also request a Letter of Support from the NSOI for a temporary work permit. This would allow you to stay in Nova Scotia while you wait for IRCC to process your permanent residence application.


                                              Entrepreneur Stream

                                              Needs job offer? No

                                              Application Fee: None

                                              Processing Time: At least 3 months

                                              Minimum Requirements:

                                              • You must be at least 21 years old;
                                              • You must have a minimum of CAD $600,000 in Net Business and Personal Assets;
                                              • You must have accumulated your net worth through legal means;
                                              • You must have a minimum of three years of business ownership experience (at least a third ownership), or more than five years in a senior business manager role in the last 10 years;
                                              • You must agree to make a minimum capital investment of CAD $150,000 in Nova Scotia to establish or purchase your business;
                                              • You must meet the language requirements of CLB 5 in English or French;
                                              • You must have at least a high school education;
                                              • You must have a Business Establishment Plan;
                                              • You must agree to live in Nova Scotia.

                                                          How it works:

                                                          First, make sure you are eligible. Once you are satisfied, you must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Nova Scotia through this webpage. Based on the answers you provide; you will be given a point score. The highest-ranking candidates may receive an invitation to apply.

                                                          If you are selected, you will receive an invitation to apply (ITA) from Nova Scotia.

                                                          The next step will be to prepare and submit your application to Nova Scotia. You must submit:

                                                          • An Application Form;
                                                          • A Business Establishment Plan;
                                                          • A Net Worth Verification Report;

                                                          After you receive your ITA, you will have 20 days to choose and notify Nova Scotia of your chosen Net Worth Verifier.

                                                          You’ll have 90 days after receiving an ITA, to submit your application form, required documents and the Business Establishment Plan.

                                                          You’ll have 180 days after receiving an ITA to submit your Net Worth Verification Report.

                                                          If you meet the requirements, you will be invited to attend an in-person interview. After that, you will be sent a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) to review and sign.

                                                          After submitting your BPA, Nova Scotia will send you an Entrepreneur Approval Letter, as well as instructions on how you can apply for a work permit. This document allows you to live in Nova Scotia while you set up your business.

                                                          You must apply for a work permit within two months of receiving your Entrepreneur Approval Letter.

                                                          After you receive your work permit, you are expected to arrive in Nova Scotia within 12 months. You must also meet with NSOI staff within 60 days of your arrival.

                                                          You must fulfil the terms outlined in the BPA, and you must transfer the required funds to Canada. After that, you can request a Nova Scotia nomination by completing a Nomination Request Form. You’ll have to provide details of your business and submit Review Engagement and Special Purpose Report.

                                                          If you are successful, you will receive a letter that confirms that a Nomination has been issued. Your nomination will be sent directly to IRCC. This expires after 6 months.

                                                          After that you can apply for permanent residence directly with IRCC.

                                                          Learn more about the Entrepreneur Stream


                                                          International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

                                                          Needs job offer? No

                                                          Application Fee: None

                                                          Processing Time: At least 3 months

                                                          Minimum Requirements:

                                                          • You must have a full-time Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma or degree that is at least two years long;
                                                          • You must have lived in Nova Scotia full time during your academic program;
                                                          • You must intend to live in Nova Scotia permanently;
                                                          • You must have already owned and operated a business in Nova Scotia for at least one year before submitting your EOI;
                                                          • You must meet the language requirement of CLB 7;
                                                          • You must be at least 21 years old;
                                                          • You must have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit;
                                                          • You must own a third of the equity of the eligible business;
                                                          • You must have participated in the daily management of the business;
                                                          • You must show that you are receiving compensation from the business, as a salary.

                                                                        How it works:

                                                                        First, make sure you are eligible. You must then first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to Nova Scotia through this webpage. Based on the answers you provide; you will be given a point score. The highest-ranking candidates may receive an invitation to apply.

                                                                        If you are selected, you will receive an invitation to apply (ITA) from Nova Scotia.

                                                                        The next step will be to prepare and submit your application to Nova Scotia. You must submit:

                                                                        • An Application Form;
                                                                        • All your supporting documents;
                                                                        • A Review Engagement and Special Purpose Report.

                                                                        You can submit your application through this webpage. You must also select one of the designated Financial Statement Review Service Providers, who will assess your financial statements and provide the required reports.

                                                                        After you receive your ITA, you will have 20 days to choose and notify Nova Scotia of your chosen Financial Statement Review Service Provider.

                                                                        You’ll have 90 days after receiving an ITA, to submit your application form, required documents and the Review Engagement and Special Purpose.

                                                                        If you meet the requirements, you will be invited to attend an in-person interview. After that, if the officer is satisfied, you will be nominated for permanent residence.

                                                                        If you are successful, you will receive a letter that confirms that a Nomination has been issued. Your nomination will be sent directly to IRCC.

                                                                        After that you can apply for permanent residence directly with IRCC. You must do so within 6 months.

                                                                        Learn more about the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream


                                                                        Physician Stream

                                                                        Needs job offer? No

                                                                        Application Fee: None

                                                                        Processing Time: At least 3 months

                                                                        Minimum Requirements:

                                                                        • You must be a general practitioner, family physician or specialist physician (NOC 3111 or 3112);
                                                                        • You must have a signed approved opportunity with the Nova Scotia Health Authority or the IWK Health Centre;
                                                                        • Must have the education or training required for licensure in Nova Scotia.

                                                                                        How it works:

                                                                                        First, make sure you are eligible for the Physician stream. Then, gather and prepare the required documents.

                                                                                        Prepare and submit an application online by creating an account on Nova Scotia’s website.

                                                                                        If your application is approved, you will receive a letter from the NSOI that confirms that a nomination has been issued. The proof of nomination will be sent directly to IRCC.

                                                                                        You can now submit your permanent residence application to IRCC. You may be invited for an interview.

                                                                                        You can also request a letter of support from Nova Scotia so you can apply for a temporary work permit. This letter of support replaced a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) when you’re applying for a work permit. This will allow you to work in Nova Scotia while you wait for your permanent residence application.

                                                                                        Learn more about the Physician Stream


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