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How to Immigrate to Nova Scotia, Canada

IRCC provides eligibility, requirements, and criteria to immigrate to Nova Scotia, Canada, no matter where you are moving from.

Dreaming of a quieter pace of life set in a charming and alluring seaside environment with plenty of job opportunities in addition to every comfort of city living? These and many more you could discover in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Immigrating to Canada, particularly Atlantic Canada, cannot offer any better life experience than Nova Scotia.

Founded at the eastern end of Canada, Nova Scotia is one of three maritime provinces in Canada. However, as a coastal province, the only work available will be in the seafood manufacturing sector.

Even though there is a booming fishing industry, many other sectors of work and employment, such as healthcare, agriculture, forestry, mining, and construction, as well as the oil and gas sectors, to name a few, are available.

As a matter of fact, Nova Scotia boasts one of Canada’s fastest-emerging information and communications technology sectors.

Suppose you are wondering how to get permanent residency in this province. In that case, several options are on offer to migrate to Nova Scotia: whether you desire to study, find a job, begin a business or fulfill your dreams of making a permanent move to live in Canada, there is an immigration option for you.

How to Become a Permanent Resident in Nova Scotia

There are two major possible options: The first option requires a job offer, while the second does not. Landing a job in Nova Scotia can boost your chances of becoming a permanent resident in Canada, notwithstanding the program of choice. Here is how:

  1. Nova Scotia Express Entry

The Express Entry stream is the fastest method to immigrate to Nova Scotia; nevertheless, competitive way to apply. Not less than 401,000 to 411,000 new arrivers will be invited to make applications for permanent residency via one of these three programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program in Nova Scotia: This option is for highly skilled professionals who often hold some post-secondary qualifications.
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program: Created for skilled and experienced trade workers
  • Canada Experience Class: Available to skilled workers with at least one year of Canadian work experience in the past three years.

Application to immigrate to Nova Scotia

To make an application through one of the Express Entry streams, the first step to take is to know which program you are eligible for. Each of the programs has its peculiar requirements. However, the general requirements to qualify for an Express Entry program include the following:

  • Ensure to meet all of the requirements for your chosen program
  • You must be admissible to Canada.
  • Must hold a valid travel document
  • Show proof of sufficient settlement funds

You can create your Express Entry profile upon knowing the program you are eligible for.

What is an Express Entry profile?

Your profile in the Express Entry stream will include details regarding your age, education, work experience, and nationality, amongst others. The Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses this information to assess if you qualify and if so, you should get a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. People applying to move from the UK need to pay particular attention because Nova Scotia is perceived as a good place for English immigrants.

This profile will thereafter be placed into a draw pool alongside other applicants. These draws often happen every two weeks, and if you reach the minimum cut-off score or score higher, you will get the ITA (Invitation to Apply) for permanent residency in Canada within six months.

Important Tip:

So as to get the attention of the Nova Scotia provincial government, ensure that you express interest in Nova Scotia as you create your profile. Why is this necessary? This is because it will boost your chances of being picked for a provincial nomination, which could help secure your position in Nova Scotia for 2021.

The province of Nova Scotia also has an Express Entry-linked program under its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for anyone with less than one year of work experience in the province. This means that you can also apply directly to the province; nevertheless, you will require an Express Entry profile to make an application.

Express Entry-Linked Provincial Nominee Programs

  •  Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities

This program was created for Express Entry applicants who satisfy the labor requirements of Nova Scotia. Once the provincial government appreciates your portfolio and what you offer, your profile will be selected from the Express Entry draw pool; you will then be offered a Provincial Nomination (PNP) worth a whopping 600 PR points.

  • Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities for Physicians

This program is particularly tailored for skilled and experienced general medical practitioners, family physicians, and specialist physicians who have expressed interest in Nova Scotia and applied for permanent residency through the Express Entry system. Candidates will also require job approval from the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) or the Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre (IWK) to qualify.

  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry Stream

Express Entry applicants with at least one year of work experience in Nova Scotia. Every applicant must have an Express Entry portfolio and satisfy the minimum language requirements based on the skill level and the Express Entry program option they wish to apply through.

  1. Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program

There are 11 Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPS) in Canada, among which is the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (Nova Scotia PNP). Here, there are several programs and classes to choose from. Therefore, whether you intend to start a business, hold a Nova Scotian university or college degree, are actively searching for work in Nova Scotia, or wish to become a permanent resident in the province, you would find a program that meets your specific needs.

  1. Study in Nova Scotia

To study in this province, you will need to, first of all, be accepted by a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) before you can make an application for a Canadian study permit. There are 40 DLIs to choose from in Nova Scotia. After that, if you wish to apply to live and work in Nova Scotia, you must find out if your DLI will allow you to be eligible for the Postgraduate Worker program (PGWP).

Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

Another indirect way to immigrate to Nova Scotia is through the Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP), designed to enable students who have finished and obtained a Canadian qualification at a minimum of eight months or longer to stay and work in Canada.

In order to optimize the duration of your work permit, you should choose a program that is at least three years of study. This is because your work permit will typically be valid for the same duration as your study program. For example, if your study program were three years, your work permit would also be valid for three years.

However, there are other ways to apply to stay back to live and work in Nova Scotia after graduating.

There are two other options for foreign graduates of Nova Scotian Institutions, these are:

  • International Graduates In-Demand Stream.
  • The International Graduates Entrepreneur Stream.

International Graduates In-Demand Stream: 

This is designed for foreign graduates who have finished their studies at an institution in Nova Scotia. Occupations they are eligible for include:

  • Nurses aides and
  • Early childhood educators and assistants

To be eligible, you must have at minimum one year of work experience and a job offer in Nova Scotia.

The International Graduates Entrepreneur Stream:

This is created for international graduates that have finished their studies at an institution in Nova Scotia and have either started or bought a business that has been in operation for at minimum one year in Nova Scotia.

Work in Nova Scotia

The historic Scottish immigration to Nova Scotia in the 1800s led to the expansion of industries and job creation. There are various jobs in cities in Nova Scotia for immigrants and International Students. Do you desire to apply for work in Nova Scotia? Here are two ways it can be done:

  • Make an application for a job and receive a temporary employer-specific work permit; or
  • Apply for a permanent residency through the following Nova Scotia PNP classes.

Nova Scotia Physician Stream

This program is specially designed for skilled and experienced general medical practitioners, family physicians, and specialist physicians who hold a job offer from Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) or Izaak Walton Killam Health Centre (IWK). The difference between this program and the Express entry linked program is that you do not require an Express Entry profile to be eligible; you can apply directly to the Nova Scotian local government.

Nova Scotia Skilled Worker Stream

This program is created for skilled international workers and graduates who have obtained a job offer in Nova Scotia in an in-demand occupation and, in addition, have at least six months to one year of related work experience. The most minor education requirement is a high school diploma and meeting the language requirements related to your skill level. Furthermore, you are expected to be between the ages of 21 and 55 and have sufficient funds to comfortably assist yourself in settling in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Occupation In-Demand Stream

This program option is for applicants who already have a job offer in Nova Scotia in an in-demand occupation, have at least one year of work experience with appropriate training/skills and accreditation about the job, and fulfilling the minimum language requirements. Applicants must also have sufficient funds to be able to support themselves financially in the process of settling down in Nova Scotia.

See AlsoHow to Invite Business Associates to Canada

What Jobs are In-demand in Nova Scotia?

  • Nurse aides, patient service associates, and orderlies
  • Truck drivers
  • Heavy equipment operators (except cranes)
  • Construction helpers and laborers.

What jobs are in-demand in Nova Scotia?

The in-Demand jobs list of Nova Scotia is very often updated by the NSNP authorities to ensure skill gaps within the local Nova Scotia economy are filled in in a timely. Below is the current list:

1 Financial auditors and accountants 1111 A
2 Other financial officers 1114 A
3 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations 1123 A
4 Administrative assistants 1241 B
5 Accounting Technician and Book Keepers 1311 B
6 Civil engineers 2131 A
7 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses 3012 A
8 Licensed practical nurses 3233 B
9 College and other vocational instructors 4021 A
10 Paralegal and related occupations 4211 B
11 Social and community service workers 4212 B

Best cities to move to in Nova Scotia

  1. Halifax, NS. Halifax is the largest and capital city of Nova Scotia.
  2. Cape Breton, NS.
  3. New Glasgow, NS.
  4. West Hants, NS.
  5. Truro, NS.
  6. Queens, NS.
  7. Lunenburg, NS.
  8. Kings Subd, NS.


We hope that following this guide will make your dream of moving to Nova Scotia from your country possible. As you prepare documents to support your application, feel free to check other resources provided by Work Study Visa.

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