How to Immigrate to Nova Scotia, Canada

Immigrate to Nova Scotia

Economic immigration to Nova Scotia resulted in the province welcoming 5,875 new permanent residents during the last full year before the pandemic, accounting for 77.5 percent of the 7,580 who made the province their home in 2019.

“We are projecting a 4.2 percent expansion for Nova Scotia this year, more than reversing the three percent decline in 2020,” economists Beata Caranci, Derek Burleton, Rishi Sondhi, and Omar Abdelrahman wrote earlier this year in their TD Economics Provincial Economic Forecast.

According to TD Economics, the construction and finance, insurance, and real estate industries will contribute significantly to the province’s overall economic activity this year.

“September employment gains were concentrated in full-time work and among people in the core working age group of 25 to 54,” according to Statistics Canada’s September Labour Force Survey.   “Increases were spread across multiple industries and provinces.”

Despite the pandemic’s public health restrictions and border closures, Nova Scotia has already welcomed 44.7% more new permanent residents in the first nine months of this year than it did in the entire year of 2020.


New Provincial Nominee Program stream targeting international graduates

This year, Nova Scotia Immigration introduced a new Provincial Nominee Program stream aimed at international graduates, the International Graduates In Demand stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), with the goal of keeping international students in the province.

It is open to employees who have a permanent job offer in one of two National Occupational Classification codes:

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

As well as a job offer from a Nova Scotia employer that corresponds with their fields of study, international graduates must also have completed at least half of their courses in the Atlantic province.

The NSNP has nine different streams, with a three-month processing time for applications. The nine streams are as follows:

  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry;
  • Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities: Express Entry;
  • Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities For Physicians: Express Entry;
  • Skilled Worker;
  • Physician;
  • Occupations In Demand;
  • International Graduates In Demand;
  • Entrepreneur, and;
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur.

Nova Scotia offers the Study and Stay program to help international graduates from China, India, and the Philippines stay in the area after they graduate to build their careers. The province previously operated a Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream, but it was closed permanently as of Jan. 4, 2021


Nova Scotia Nominee Program offers nine permanent residency streams

  • Highly skilled immigrants with experience in Nova Scotia can apply for permanent residency under the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream if they have one year of experience in a NOC O, A, or B position.
  • The Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities: Express Entry stream is designed to allow the province to single out specific occupations for immigration. The stream targets occupations for Letters of Interest, with Early Childhood Educators the first focus job.
  • Physicians with Express Entry profiles, including specialists and family physicians, can apply for permanent residency through the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities For Physicians: Express Entry stream.
  • The Nova Scotia Physician Stream is another stream for physicians that helps the province’s public health system hire general practitioners, family physicians, and specialist physicians. It is designed to help recruit and retain doctors for positions the province has been unable to fill with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • The Skilled Worker stream is driven by employers and is aimed at foreign workers and international graduates. Employers who have been unable to fill positions with Canadian citizens or permanent residents can access the stream after receiving a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
  • Nova Scotia’s Occupations in Demand Pilot targets focuses on intermediate-skilled jobs that are in high demand in the province. Depending on labour market demand, the target occupations may change. It specifically targets NOC C jobs. The following occupations are on the list of In-Demand Occupations in Nova Scotia:
    1. NOC 3413 – Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates;
    2. NOC 6513 – Food and beverage servers;
    3. NOC 6711 – Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations;
    4. NOC 7511 – Transport truck drivers;
    5. NOC 7521 – Heavy equipment operators (except crane), and;
    6. NOC 7611 – Construction trades helpers and labourers.
  • The International Graduates in Demand stream, which was introduced earlier this year
  • The Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream is aimed at the foreign nationals with business ownership or senior management experience who live in Nova Scotia can either start a new business or buy an existing business to gain permanent residency.
  • The International Graduate Entrepreneur stream is designed for recent graduates of a Nova Scotia university or community college. They must have started or purchased a Nova Scotia business and run it for a year while holding a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Then, there’s the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, an employer-driven group of three programs:

  • the Atlantic High-Skilled Program;
  • the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program, and;
  • the Atlantic International Graduate Program.
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