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“By their very nature, Provincial Nominee Programs are a dynamic and constantly evolving set of Canadian immigration programs. These programs often have relatively small intake caps, and provincial governments are entitled to make changes to them in order to respond to local labour market needs,”

“As a result, you have on the one hand Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan announcing increased allocations for new or reopened immigration categories, while on the other hand Alberta and B.C. are so popular that they need to place a temporary halt on new applications so as they can process existing applications fairly and in good time.

“The main thing to note is that individuals who prepare in advance are in a far better position to respond quickly when these programs open, as Alberta and B.C will early in 2016. They can do so by having their eligibility assessed regularly, as well as by collecting and reviewing the quality of supporting documents that are required across most Provincial Nominee Programs.”

Nova Scotia uses the federal government's Express Entry immigration selection system in order to select candidates for this stream.

This stream is for highly-skilled individuals with a post-secondary education and qualifications that will help them successfully settle in Nova Scotia.
There are two application routes to Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream, either you apply directly to Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) or you have been selected from the Express Entry pool by the NSOI. In either case, the principal applicant will need to submit a complete application to NSOI.
There are two categories under the stream.
Category 1 requires candidates to have an arranged job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment from a Nova Scotia employer. The job offer must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B occupation.
Category 2 requires candidates to have paid Work Experience in an opportunity occupation. This entails at least one year of continuous full-time (or 1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in part-time paid work experience in the last 10 years in one of the opportunity occupations.
  • Opportunity Occupations

Minimum Requirements

In order to be eligible for Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry, candidates must:
  • 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.

Selection Factors

Potential candidates must score at least 67 out of 100 points on a points grid that measures education, language ability, work experience, age, adaptability factors, and whether the candidate has an arranged job offer from a Nova Scotia-based employer.
Selection factorPoints
EducationMaximum 25 points
Ability in English and/or FrenchMaximum 28 points
Work experienceMaximum 15 points
AgeMaximum 12 points
Arranged employment in Nova ScotiaMaximum 10 points
AdaptabilityMaximum 10 points
TotalMaximum 100 points
Pass mark:67 Points

Factor 1: Education

You must have a completed Canadian secondary or post-secondary educational credential OR a completed foreign educational credential from a recognized institution or authority AND an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by an organization designated by CIC.
An ECA is used to verify that your foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada. The ECA report will also indicate the authenticity of your foreign educational credential(s).
Doctoral (PhD) level25
University-level credential at the Master’s level OR an entry-to-practice professional degree23
Two or more post-secondary credentials (at least one must be for a program of at least three years)22
Post-secondary credential for a program of three years or longer21
Two-year post-secondary credential19
One-year post-secondary credential15
Secondary school education credential (also called high school)5
Less than secondary schoolIneligible

Factor 2: Ability in English and/or French

You can earn up to 28 points for your skills in English and French. You will be given points based on your abilities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. You can also earn points for your official second language capacity. If you want to earn points for your skills in both English and French, you must provide your language test results for each language at the same time. 
Your results must come from one of the following designated testing agencies:
  • English:
    • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (General test only)
    • IELTS: International English Language Testing System (General Training test only)
  • French:
    • TEF: Test d’évaluation de français
Calculate your language points: You must meet the minimum level of CLB 7 (for your first official language in all four language areas). To get points for your second official language, you must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 (in all four language areas).
First official languagePoints
CLB level 9 or higher6666
CLB level 85555
5CLB level 74444
Below CLB level 7Not eligible to apply
Second official languagePoints
At least CLB 5 in all of the four abilities4
CLB 4 or less in any of the four abilities0

Factor 3: Work Experience

Your work experience in Canada or international must be:
  • At least one year (1,560 hours), full-time or an equal amount in part-time;
  • Paid work (volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count);
  • In the same occupation;
  • Within the last 10 years before your application to NSOI and at application for permanent residence to CIC; and
  • In NOC 2011 Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B.
The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is a system used to classify jobs in the Canadian economy. It describes duties, skills and work setting for different jobs.
Less than 1 yearIneligible
1 year9
2-3 years11
4-5 years13
6 or more years15

Factor 4: Age

You will earn points based on your age on the day that you have been invited to apply for permanent residence by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Younger than 220
47 and older0

Factor 5: Arranged Employment in Nova Scotia

You will receive points if you have a valid offer of permanent employment from a Nova Scotia employer. The job must be arranged before you apply to come to Nova Scotia as a federal skilled worker. 
A valid offer of employment must be:
  • for permanent full-time work in Nova Scotia; and
  • in an occupation in Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B of NOC.
The job must:
  • have compensation in the form of salary and benefits package that meets Provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates;
  • be a position which has a shortage of qualified permanent residents or Canadian citizens to fill the position; and
  • not contravene any existing bargaining unit agreements or be in any employment disputes.
A person can get arranged employment points without a new LMIA. The requirements in this case are:
  • The applicant is currently working in Canada on a work permit that was issued based on a positive Service Canada LMIA with respect to employment in an occupation listed in Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B of the NOC;
  • the work permit is valid at the time the application for permanent residence is made;
  • the applicant is currently working for an employer specified on the work permit; and
  • the current employer has made an offer to employ the applicant on a full-time, non-seasonal, indeterminate basis in a NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B occupation in Nova Scotia once a permanent resident visa, if any, is issued.

Factor 6: Adaptability

You must demonstrate your genuine intention to settle in the province. In addition, you must meet federal criteria listed in the following table to gain points. If you have a spouse or common-law partner who will immigrate to Canada with you, he or she can earn points for adaptability, too. You cannot claim points for a spouse who is a permanent resident living in Canada or a Canadian citizen. Even if you qualify for points under several criteria, you can only receive a maximum of 10 points for adaptability.
Arranged employment (principal applicant only)
You earned points under Factor 5: Arranged Employment.
Your previous study in Nova Scotia
You completed at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program of at least two years in duration) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Nova Scotia.
Full-time study means at least 15 hours of classes per week, and you must have remained in good academic standing (as defined by the school) during the period of full-time study in Nova Scotia.
Your spouse or common-law partner’s previous study in Nova Scotia
Your spouse or common-law partner completed at least two academic years of full-time study (in a program of at least two years in duration) at a secondary or post-secondary school in Nova Scotia.
Full-time study means at least 15 hours of classes per week, and your spouse or common-law partner must have remained in good academic standing (as defined by the school) during the period of full-time study in Nova Scotia.
Your previous work in Nova Scotia
You completed a minimum of one year of authorized, full-time work in Nova Scotia:
  • in an occupation in Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B of NOC; and
  • with a valid work permit or while authorized to work in Canada.
Your spouse or common-law partner’s previous work in Nova Scotia
Your spouse or common-law partner completed a minimum of one year of authorized, full-time work in Nova Scotia.
Relatives in Nova Scotia
You or, if applicable, your spouse or common-law partner, have a relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident residing in Nova Scotia and is 18 years or older. Acceptable forms of relatives include:
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • brother/sister
  • aunt/uncle
  • niece/nephew
Your spouse or common-law partner’s level of language proficiency
Your spouse or common-law partner’s level of language proficiency in either English or French is at the CLB 4 level or higher in all four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
To receive these points, you must submit a copy of the language test results from a designated testing agency with your application. Results must not be more than two years old on the date that your application is received.


If required, you may have to attend an in-person interview in Nova Scotia. You will be notified if such an interview is required.

When Not To Apply

Candidates should not apply if they are:
  • not a citizen of or hold a passport or other documentation permitting him or her to legally reside in his or her currentcountry of residence;
  • intending to work in an occupation that is a National Occupational Classification (NOC) level C or D;
  • a grand-parent, parent, spouse, common-law or conjugal partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada, an applicant under humanitarian and compassionate grounds, a refugee claimant or a failed refugee claimant;
  • in Canada illegally, under a removal order, or are prohibited from entering or being in Canada;
  • not legally present in his or her country of residence;
  • an international student who is currently studying at a Canadian post-secondary institution;
  • an international graduate who has studied in Canada, whose studies have been sponsored by an agency or government and who is contractually obligated to return to their country of origin;
  • on a valid federal post-graduation work permit whose occupation falls under NOC skill level C or D;
  • the spouse of an international student at a Canadian post-secondary institution who is not in his or her last academic year of studies;
  • an individual with unresolved custody or child support disputes affecting any dependent;
  • in a sales position that is based solely on commission for compensation;
  • a seasonal, part-time or casual worker;
  • an individual whose job is not based in Nova Scotia;
  • a helper and/or labourer in construction, agriculture or primary resources sectors;
  • an individual in Canada who is in the Caregiver Program;
  • intending to start a business and/or be self-employed in Nova Scotia;
  • a passive investor (individuals who intend to invest in a Nova Scotia business with very limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business);
  • unable to provide proof of required amount of funds.

Category 2: Opportunity Occupations

The following occupation list represents professions where there may be employment opportunities in Nova Scotia. The occupations are classified with National Occupational Classification (NOC). The NOC helps determine whether a job meets the skill levels established for skilled and semi-skilled occupations, and whether the candidate’s qualifications and experience match the requirements of the job.
In your application to NSOI under this category you will need to demonstrate that you:
  • performed the actions described in the lead statements for the occupation as set out in the occupational description of the NOC; and
  • performed a substantial number of the main duties, including all of the essential duties, of the occupation as set out in the occupational description of NOC.
This list is subject to change.
Occupation titleNOCSkill level
Financial Auditors and Accountants1111A
Financial and Investment Analysts1112A
Human Resources Professionals1121A
Purchasing Agents and Officers1225B
Geoscientists and Oceanographers2113A
Civil Engineers2131A
Mechanical Engineers2132A
Electrical and Electronic Engineers2133A
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers2141A
Computer Engineers2147A
Information Systems Analysts and Consultants2171A
Database Analysts and Data Administrators2172A
Software Engineers2173A
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers2174A
Web Designers and Developers2175A
Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians2231B
Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians2232B
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians2241B
Drafting Technologists and Technicians2253B
Engineering Inspectors and Regulatory Officers2262B
User Support Technicians2282B
Registered Nurses3012A
Occupational Therapists3143A
Medical Laboratory Technologists3211B
Licensed Practical Nurses3233B
Family, Marriage and Other Related Counsellors4153A
Financial Sales Representatives6235B

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