One of the provinces in the Maritime region, Nova Scotia offers a high quality of life to its residents.  As a new immigrant, there are a variety of free services you may avail of to help you settle in the province.

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.  Tourism therefore plays an important role in Nova Scotia with almost 2 million international and local tourists a year.

Nova Scotia is located on Canada's East Coast.  As it is almost completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, no point in the province is more than 60 km from water.  Small wonder that Nova Scotia is the base of The Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO): Canada's first major center devoted solely to oceanography.

The provincial capital, Halifax, is a major international seaport and transportation center.  It also serves as the economic and cultural hub of the region.  According to Statistics Canada, the top industry groups based on employment are:

If you wish to settle in Nova Scotia, you'll be interested in the fact that public school operate for approximately five hours a day, with times varying at different schools and at different levels.  All children in Nova Scotia must attend school until they are 16 years old though parents also have the option to homeschool their children.  French is also taught to all students from grades 4 to 9.  It then becomes an optional credit in high school.


The Nova Scotia Nominee Program or NSNP, is an immigration recruitment and selection program that allows the Government of Nova Scotia to nominate individuals who can meet the province's labour requirements.  Applicants must demonstrate that they and their families intend to settle in Nova Scotia.  The NSNP is not intended to be used for family reunification, protected persons, or humanitarian or compassionate reasons.

Eligible family members included in the application are called “dependents” and include:

If the Province of Nova Scotia nominates you, you will be held responsible for submitting a complete application for a permanent resident visa to IRCC.  Like all provinces, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada will make the final decision on approving your application.

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration will assess your application to the NSNP with the most current criteria available, regardless of the date you submitted it.  Applications may be assessed with the most current criteria irrespective of the date of submission of an application.

While the Office of Immigration may withdraw your nomination at any time prior to the issuance of the permanent resident visa and prior to landing in Canada if:

There are five NSNP streams to choose from:


Skilled Worker Stream

Using this stream, employers in the province will be able to recruit or retain foreign workers who will fill up positions that they have been hard-pressed to fill with either Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

Nova Scotia's Office of Immigration defines skilled workers as those with an occupation designated 0, A or B in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) List.  Skilled workers enjoy higher priority.  Semi-skilled workers have occupations at NOC C.  Low-skilled workers have occupations that fall under NOC D.  If your occupation falls in this category, the Office of Immigration will consider your application only if the other criteria for eligibility are met.

>>  CLICK HERE to check the NOC <<

Are you a Canada international student? If you graduated from a post-secondary school in Canada, the Office of Immigration will not consider your application if your federal post-graduation work permit is for an occupation listed under NOC D.

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration will only consider results from designated testing agencies.  Results from any other language test will not be accepted. Moreover, your test results should be less than two years old on the date you applied to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program.  The acceptable tests are:

CLB Level

NOC Level

Test

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

CLB 4

C and D (mandatory language testing)

IELTS

4.5

3.5

4

4

 

 

 

 

CELPIP

4

4

4

4

TEF

145

121

181

181

CLB 5

NOC 0, A & B (non-mandatory language testing)

IELTS

5

4

5

5

 

 

 

 

CELPIP

5

5

5

5

TEF

180

150

225

225

If you intend to apply under the Skilled Worker stream, you will need two levels of approval before gaining permanent resident status:

You are discouraged from applying to the Skilled Worker Stream if you are:


Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry

If you have worked for a Nova Scotia-based employer for at least one year, you may want to consider applying to the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry.  If you decide to do so, you must also be eligible to use the Express Entry immigration selection system through three federal economic immigration programs:

>> CLICK HERE to read up on the Federal Skilled Worker Program <<

>> CLICK HERE to read up on the Federal Skilled Trades Program <<

>> CLICK HERE to read up on the Canadian Experience Class <<

If you are a highly skilled worker and meet the initial requirement of having worked in Nova Scotia for at least one year, you may choose between two application routes to apply to the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream:

Regardless of which application route you take, you will be required to created an Express Entry profile on Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) online Express Entry system and submit a complete application to the NSOI.

To be eligible for Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry, you must:

You must also be prepared to attend, if required, an in-person interview in Nova Scotia. 

You should not apply to this stream if you are:


International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

If you graduated within the last two years from a Nova Scotia university or the Nova Scotia Community College and have already started or purchased a Nova Scotia business and operated in for at least one year, then you might just be eligible for this stream.

In addition, you must:

You will have to complete an online Expression of Interest and receive an Invitation to Apply from the NSOI.  As all EOIs will be ranked upon a points assessment, the highest ranking applicants will be selected.

If you meet the minimum requirements above, you must also meet the following business and financial eligibility criteria:

The following businesses are not eligible under the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream:


Entrepreneur Stream

Are you an experienced business owner or a senior business manager? If you start a new business or buy an existing one, operate it for one year and take an active hand in the daily management and operation, you may be nominated for permanent resident status.

You cannot apply for the Entrepreneur Stream if you are:

The Entrepreneur Stream functions on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system.  To be considered eligible, you must:

The following businesses are not eligible under the Entrepreneur Stream:

When you submit your Expression of Interest to the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream, your application will again be assessed against several selection factors:


Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry

Nova Scotia has temporarily stopped taking new applications for its Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream.

This stream is for highly-skilled individuals with a post-secondary education and qualifications that will help them successfully settle in Nova Scotia.  Selection is done using the Express Entry selection system.  There is a list of eligible occupations for this stream.  

To be considered eligible in the Nova Scotia Demand:Express Entry stream, you must:

To check the CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) of your International English Language Testing System (IELTS) band score, check the table below:

CLB Level

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

7

6.0

6.0

6.0

6.0

8

7.5

6.5

6.5

6.5

9

8.0

7.0

7.0

7.0

10 and above

8.5 – 9.0

8.0 – 9.0

7.5 – 9.0

7.5 – 9.0

To check the NCLC (Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens) equivalent of your scores in the Test d'Évaluation de Français (TEF), check the table below:

NCLC Level

Speaking 

(expression orale)

Listening 

(compréhension de l'orale)

Reading 

(compréhension de l'écrit)

Writing 

(expression écrite)

7

310 – 348

249 – 279

207 – 232

310 – 348

8

349 - 370

280 - 297

233 - 247

349 - 370

9 and above

371+

298+

248+

371+

 There are two application routes to Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream. Regardless of the application method, you will be required to create an Express Entry profile:

Living Costs

If you are interested in settling in the province, we've compiled some living costs for Vancouver and Victoria for you to compare. These figures are from the website Numbeo (listed in Canadian Dollars) for you:

Expense

Sydney

Halifax

Meal for 2 people, mid-range restaurant

 50.00

80.00

McMeal at McDonalds or equivalent combo meal

8.43

9.03

Cappuccino, regular

2.28

2.01

Milk, regular 1 liter

2.13

2.50

Loaf of Fresh White Bread, 500g

2.59

3.09

Rice, white 1 kg

5.33

4.44

Eggs, 12

3.99

3.34

Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless 1 kg

14.00

15.35

Beef Round 1 kg or equivalent back leg red meat

14.00

14.66

Apples, 1 kg

4.59

5.31

Banana, 1 kg

1.94

2.01

Oranges, 1 kg

5.49

5.67

Tomato, 1 kg

6.30

4.94

Potato, 1 kg

1.69

2.54

Onion, 1 kg

2.99

3.27

Water, 1.5 liter bottle

1.29

2.23

Monthly Bus Pass, Regular Price

32.50

78.00

Gasoline, 1 liter

1.01

1.00

Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90KW Trendline or equivalent new car

23,500.00

21,000

1 Pair of Jeans, Levis 501 or similar

50.00

55.86

1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M, etc.)

43.33

45.94

1 Pair of Nike running shoes, mid-range

108.00

94.12

Apartment, 1 bedroom in the city centre, 1 month rent

600.00

986.54

Apartment, 1 bedroom outside city centre, 1 month rent

516.67

756.95

Apartment, 3 bedrooms in the city centre, 1 month rent

1,166.67

1,802.94

Apartment, 3 bedrooms outside city centre, 1 month rent

966.67

1,263.89

Average monthly disposable salary, net after tax

4,000.00

2,730.38

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About the Author

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.

About the Contributors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

Maximino Soliman Aquino

Maximino Soliman Aquino

Maximino Soliman S. Aquino IVC's Human Resources officer and part of the AMSG.


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