The Canadian province of Nova Scotia has launched a new immigration stream for aspiring permanent residents called Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry. This stream, which has been allocated 350 spaces and is administered under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), is particularly exciting because individuals do not necessarily need a job offer in order to apply.
This opportunity gives eligible candidates the opportunity to live and work in one of Canada’s most beautiful provinces. Nova Scotia is also predicted to have the third-highest level of economic growth of all Canadian provinces in 2015. A nominee, along with his or her spouse or common-law partner and dependent children under the age of 19, may become permanent residents of Canada following approval by the Canadian government.
Who can apply?
Potential candidates are assessed according to 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. There are up to 100 points available, and potential candidates must score at least 67 points. Candidates should note that the points grid for Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry is not exactly the same as the points grid used to assess candidates for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Click here to view how points are awarded.
Potential candidates must also have at least one year of full-time (or equivalent part-time) work experience within the past five years in one of the 29 skilled opportunity occupations considered in-demand. The opportunity occupations include various professions in the engineering, science, healthcare, finance and computing industries, among others. The government of Nova Scotia has stated that this list is subject to change at any moment.
Demand: Express Entry.
Though a job offer from a Canadian employer is not required in order to apply, points for adaptability are available if a candidate has arranged employment in a skilled opportunity occupation with a Nova Scotia employer and/or has previously studied in Nova Scotia. Points are also available if a candidate’s accompanying spouse or common-law partner has previously studied in Nova Scotia. In the case of both the candidate and his or her spouse or common-law partner, the study must have been full-time and at least two years in duration at a secondary or post-secondary level.
Candidates must prove proficiency in either English or French by attaining at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in a standardized language test recognised by the government of Canada — either IELTS or CELPIP for English or TEF for French. In addition, a foreign diploma, certificate or credential and its educational credential equivalency assessment by a designated body is also required if a candidate does not have a post-secondary Canadian educational credential.
What is the application process?
Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry is aligned with Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Express Entry immigration selection system, which came into operation early 2015.
– Potential candidates have the benefit of two application routes for the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream. They may either:
– apply directly to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) and then enter the Express Entry pool with a provincial nomination, which will trigger an invitation to apply for permanent residence; or
– be selected from the Express Entry pool by the NSOI.
In the latter case, when candidates create an Express Entry profile, they will be prompted to select their desired destination(s) in Canada, as well as details of their education and work experience. The NSOI will be able to browse candidates in the pool and may select candidates based on the information they provided when creating their profile.
The good news for candidates is that, through this stream, the government of Nova Scotia may use the new federal immigration selection system in order to satisfy provincial labour market needs. As a result, once a complete file has been submitted to the federal government along with a provincial nomination, the government aims to process that file within six months. On completion of the process, applicants and their families may immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.
A unique opportunity
For candidates with work experience in one of the opportunity occupations, Nova Scotia’s new immigration stream represents a unique and wonderful opportunity to immigrate to Canada.
If you have work experience in a healthcare, engineering, finance, sales or scientific area, among others, Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry could be the immigration stream for you. Successful candidates would be receiving a nomination from one of the most desirable and beautiful provinces in Canada. I encourage anyone thinking of immigrating to Canada to look carefully at the opportunity occupations list for this stream.