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Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP)


Nova Scotia is a long peninsular of land that sticks into the North Atlantic. The Mi’kma’ki were the original native Americans of Nova Scotia. The French were the first Europeans to settle there, followed by the English and the Scots. This is where the name Nova Scotia comes from, New Scotland.


Being a maritime province, the climate in Nova Scotia is far more temperate, than nearby main land provinces.




Fishing used to be the backbone of Nova Scotia’s economy.  In recent years, there has been a diversification. Salt and gypsum mining, along with other minerals, are a strong element in the economy. Military and aerospace also form an important part of this overall picture. Around 40% of Canada’s military resources are in Nova Scotia.  Television, and movies, both national and international, are produced there and place Nova Scotia as 4th overall in Canada.  Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a rapidly rising sector.  Tourism and agriculture, also provide solid employment possibilities.



Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP)

As you can see there is a wide range of different employment opportunities in Nova Scotia.  There are a number of different streams that can be looked at. This is aimed at employers looking for specific skills and professional expertise from any potential employee, anywhere in the world.

These streams are:

  • Entrepreneur
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur
  • Skilled Worker
  • Nova Scotia Demand Express Entry
  • Nova Scotia Experience Express Entry




The minimum age for entry is 21 years old. You wish to live in Nova Scotia permanently. You must have had experience of running your own business or being a senior manager in a business. You want to set up a new business in Nova Scotia, or take over the running of an existing business.  You must show you will operate the business on a daily basis. You must be “invited” to join this stream.  If you have completed one year successively, as an entrepreneur in Nova Scotia, you can then be nominated for permanent residence status.


Specific Requirements

In addition to what has been outlined already you must:

  • Your “net worth” must be $600,000 CAD or more.
  • You must be able to invest at least $150,000 in a new business in New Brunswick
  • You must have had 3 years or more, experience of running and managing your own business. This can apply to a one third ownership.  Alternatively, you must have 5 years’ direct experience in a senior management role in a company.
  • You must have scored at least 5 in the Canadian Language Benchmark Test in either English or French. This covers reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • You should have completed an Expression of Interest

You should have received an invitation for you to apply, from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.


To Apply

Complete the Expression of Interest form on line and send this off. If you are then invited to apply you then complete the application form.  Make sure all documents are sent, and if necessary validated along with attachments. Make sure all your documentation is copied, as these documents may need to be seen by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.


International Graduate Entrepreneur

This is designed for students that have recently graduated from either the Nova Scotia University or Nova Scotia Community College.  You have already started a business and this has been running for a year or more.  You intend to stay in Nova Scotia permanently. You can be nominated for permanent resident status. You will be invited to apply for the stream.

Specific Requirements

  • You have been in charge of running a business for a year or more.
  • You have been inveigled in academic study for at least 2 years.
  • Your Post Graduate work permit is valid.
  • You have achieved a score of at least 7 in your Canadian Language Benchmark Test, ineither English or French, in reading, speaking, writing and listening.
  • Complete your Expression of Interest on line.
  • Nova Scotia Office of Immigration has then sent you an invitation to apply.


To Apply

Complete the Expression of Interest form on line and send this off. If you are then invited to apply you then complete the application form.  Make sure all documents are sent, and if necessary validated along with attachments. Make sure all your documentation is copied, as these documents may need to be seen by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.


Skilled Worker

This applies to any skilled worker or recently qualified College or University graduate who wishes to work in Nova Scotia.  You must not be taking work away from a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident.


These are the eligibility requirements:

  • A Nova Scotia employer has given you a job offer for full time permanent employment.
  • You must has had one years’ experience which is related to this job.  If you are semi-skilled or unskilled, this must be six months.
  • You must be between 21 and 55 years old.
  • You have a least a high school diploma or the equivalent.
  • You have accreditation, skill and training for the work that is offered.
  • You must have a Canadian Language Benchmark score (CLB) of at least in either English or French. If you are semi-skilled or unskilled, this will be a CLB score of 4.
  • You need to show that you have the financial resources to settle successfully in Nova Scotia.

To Apply

In the case of Skilled Workers, the application is started on line on the official Nova Scotia web site.


Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry

This is a fast on line system for selecting skilled individuals who meet specific needs in the Nova Scotia economy.



  • You should have been working for at least a year in one of the “target occupations”, that are needed in the Nova Scotia
  • You should have at least, completed High School or Secondary School and received a diploma or equivalent qualifications.
  • Achieved at least 7 in your Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) tests, in either English or French.
  • You should have scored 67or more in the overall points test using the Streams six factors for selection.
  • Show you have sufficient financial resources to settle successfully in

You have registered your profile on the Federal Canadian Citizenship and Immigration’s Express Entry system.



How to Apply

At this point in time Nova Scotia is not accepting new entries. This may well change in time. Therefore, this needs to be constantly monitored.

Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry.

This is for workers who are highly skilled.  They need to want to stay in Nova Scotia permanently. Note: applicants will need to have been working in Nova Scotia, in a skilled occupation, for at least a year.



  • You have already had a least a year working in Nova Scotia.
  • You are between 21 and 55 years in age.
  • You have completed High School or its equivalent, and received accreditation, diplomas or examination certificates.
  • For NOC skill level 0 or A, you will need a Canadian Language Benchmark result (CLB) of 7 for either English or  If you are NOC skill level B, then your CLB result in either English of French, must be 5.
  • You profile must already be registered on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Express Entry system.


How to Apply

You can apply on line, through a link on the official Nova Scotia site.


Time Taken for the Application.

This will depend largely on the stream you have chosen to determine how long your application will be processed. If you have an eligible application this can be three months or longer.

If you receive your nominee certificate, you must apply within 6 months to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), this is to get your permanent residence visa.

It is also important to consider that your spouse/partner or any dependents will have to go through certain procedures.

You and any other members of your family will have to have complete security and criminal checks, in your home country, or all the different countries you and any other family members may have lived in. There needs to be comprehensive medical checks for anyone coming to stay in Canada.

The final say on whether or not you can stay in Nova Scotia Canada, will be decided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). To look now at a number of specific points that need to be understood when you start to apply for a Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP).


Express Entry

Nova Scotia uses the Federal Canadian Government Express Entry System.  This is designed to streamline your visa application.


Online Application Form

Maxim marks 100.  You must achieve 67 marks or more.

There are six factors for selection:


  1. Age Maximum 12 points

You will score 12 maximum points, if you are aged between 18 – 35.  You will be awarded 1 point only if you are 46, and no points if you are older than that. In Nova Scotia, the age range for application, is 18 to 55.


  1. Language, Ability in English and or French, maximum 28 points.

Nova Scotia uses the Canadian Language Bench (CLB) system.


For English there are two recognized testing organizations, the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The recognized organization for French is the test devaluation de francais.

It would be sensible to contact your local consulate or embassy where you live, in order to find language centers that will help you with these tests and test preparations.  Do not be complacent.  The language test is an important part of the Express Entry section of the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP) You may think that you are a self a fluent speaker in either English or French.  There are various forms of English and French internationally. You will need lessons with an authorized teacher.  You will have to find an official center in your home country, in order “sit” the test.

You will be tested across four categories.  These are listening, speaking, reading and writing in either of both English and French. You are then given a CLB mark in each section.


  • A score of 6, across all four categories, will equal a CLB score of 9 minimum points.
  • A score of 4, across all categories, will equal a CLB score of 7 minimum points.
  • If your second language score, English or French was 4 minimum points, over all four sections you will get 5 points.


  1. Education, maximum 25 points.
  • With a doctorate (PhD) you will receive 25 points
  • With a Masters level, (MA or MSc) you will get a maximum of 23 points.
  • If you have a professional degree, recognized and licensed by regulatory bodies in Nova  These are: Pharmacy, Optometry, Chiropractic Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Podiatry, Veterinarian Medicine and Medicine. You could collect 23 points maximum.
  • Canadian or equivalent post-secondary/high school education.  This could include two or more degrees, diplomas and or equivalents. The courses would have been undertaken over three years or more. This can result in 22 points
  • A Canadian degree or equivalent post-secondary school/high school education for three years, taking part in a degree, diploma or an equivalent course. This can produce 21 points
  • A Canadian or equivalent post-secondary/high school degree diploma or equivalent course for two years.  This can give you 19 points
  • A Canadian or equivalent post-secondary/high school degree, diploma or equivalent course for one year results in a total of 15 points
  • High School qualifications or equivalent a Canadian qualification, will give you only 5 points


National Occupation Classifications (NOC), Your Occupation: This needs to be understood.

National Occupation Classifications. (NOC). This is the system that is used to evaluate different professions and occupations across Canada.

There are the four broad classifications:

  • Zero or O= Managerial.
  • A = professional; for example, an Architect. Doctor, Dentist etc.
  • B is a skilled occupation.  This would include anyone having completed an apprenticeship or post High School/Secondary School course of two or three year. For example, a skilled welder, motor mechanic, hair dresser, etc.
  • C = a semi-skilled occupation. You would have completed High School/ Secondary School and would have picked up some skills “on the job”.
  • D= unskilled. This includes laborers, temporary farm workers etc.


 Zero or 0, A or B. are the only work classifications used for an Express Entry Visa

There is a numerical code for each kind of profession and type of work found across all the Canadian Provinces and Territories.  


  1. The Number of Years You Have Worked.  Maximum 15 points
  • If you worked 1 year, this equals 9 points.
  • If you have worked 2 to 3 years, this equals 11 points.
  • If you have worked 4 to 5 years, this equals 13 points.
  • If you have worked for 6 or more years, this equals 15 points.

This applies to a 30 hours’ week, and part time equivalent working hours.


  1. Arranged Employment. Maximum 10 points.

This applies, If you have already been given a valid permanent employment offer from a company or concern in Nova Scotia. This applies to NOC levels 0 or zero, A or B.

You will get 10 points maximum, if the following applies:

  • You have a valid work permit and you are authorized to work in Canada.
  • CIC has granted you a work permit.
  • Your Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) has been successful. Your employer having applied for the LMIA using Service Canada. It is important that this application is attached to and is part of, your application.

You will get 10 points maximum, if the following applies:

  • Your employment is exempt from LMIA, due to the fact that it is part of an international trade agreement such as the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or a Canadian Federal Provincial agreement.
  • You have a valid work permit.
  • Your potential employer has made you a job offer to employ in a permanent occupation.

You will get 10 points maximum, if one of these three different criteria apply:

At present, you do not have:

  • A work permit, and only plan to go to Nova Scotia when you get a permanent work permit.
  • You are working now in Nova Scotia for a different employer, who wants to offer you a work permit.
  • You are currently working in Canada, but this is not part of a Labor Market Impact Assessment, or an International Agreement

If any one of these three criteria apply to you then you will be granted the full ten points. This is providing that and your potential employer has made you a job offer as a full time permanent employee and your employers’ Labor Market Impact Assessment has been positive.


  1. Adaptability maximum of 10 points.

You can gain further points if you can show that you have a partner or spouse that can also make a general contribution to Nova Scotia.

You will also gain further points if you can prove and show the following:

  • You (Principal Applicant or PA) have earned points in the previous section 5 as part of Arranged Employment.   This will give you 5 points maximum.
  • You have attended a Secondary or High School, or post-secondary or High School, full time for two years.  This is also worth 5 points maximum.
  • Your spouse or common law partner has also attended a Secondary or High School, or post-secondary or High School, full time for two years.  This is also worth 5 points maximum.
  • You have worked previously in Nova Scotia legitimately, for one year, in one of the three NOC skills categories 0 or Zero, a or B.  This will equal 5 points maximum.

The spouse or common law partner, who is accompanying you, has worked in legitimate for a year. This will bring 5 points maximum.


General Point: Get outside Help

As you can see from the amount of detail that is here already, there is a lot to understand and “take on board”.    You do not want to make mistakes, or leave important information out. You may also over look an important opportunity.  Looks of initials are used all over the place on line, which can easily get you confused. You need to be fully prepared before embarking on say, the Express Visa.  How much will all of this cost? What is the right order for everything? How do I make the initial contact with a company of concern in Nova Scotia.  Do I go over to visit Nova Scotia?  If all of this is getting out of hand, it would be a good idea to find a reliable online Visa Agency  That can help you, step by step, with the process of getting you through the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP).



NEXT STAGE:  Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)

If your initial application with Nova Scotia has been successful your application will then be processed at the Canadian Federal level.


You will need to find an office

There are a number of official Canadian Visa Offices around the world that can help you with process your application.


You will need to sign on

This can be done via the web. You will need an official “sign in partner”. This is a list of official Canadian banks and financial institutions. Alternatively, you can use an official Canadian Government Log in key or GCKey.


Spouse Common Law Partner and Dependents

There are separate visa applications that can be set up once you are certain that your permanent residency work visa is going to be processed and will succeed


Medical Examination

You cannot use your own doctor to do your examination. Again, be using the official site, you will have to find an official panel physician in your home country.


Police Checks.

You must have a thorough police check for you and any other people you might be bringing with you. This would include your spouse or common law partner of any other close relatives.

A serious criminal offense, a felony under United States law, may debar you from entering.

Terrorist threats are also taken very seriously.



It is possible to navigate the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP) and gain a permanent residency for you and your family along as a secure job for yourself.

Decide on which stream is best for you. It is important to have all your documentation ready.

Show all previous employment records, be prepared and pass the language test. Secure employment in Nova Scotia, either form outside on line, as well as possibly visiting Nova Scotia.  Get the initial stage of the process completed with Nova Scotia then complete the application process with the Canadian CIC. It can be done.

What to do next


Getting started is simple, just fill out our Free Assessment form, or call us for an assessment for the most suitable visa for you.

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