About the Program
The Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry provides skilled individuals who want to live permanently in Nova Scotia and must have at least one year of experience working in Nova Scotia in a high skilled occupation.
There are two application routes to this stream. Candidates may either apply directly to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI), or they may be selected from the Express Entry pool by the NSOI.
To be eligible for the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry, candidates must:
- Have a profile registered in the Express Entry pool;
- Be between the ages of 21 and 55;
- Have at least 12 months full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) paid skilled work experience in Nova Scotia in the three years before the application is made;
- The work experience cannot have been gained through self-employment or while studying full-time.
- Volunteer work, unpaid internships, co-op terms, etc. do not count.
- The work experience must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B occupation.
- Have gained their experience in the province of Nova Scotia with the proper authorization (work permit, etc.);
- Have completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary educational credential; OR
- Have completed a foreign educational credential from a recognized institution/authority AND have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report issued by an organization designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC);
- Demonstrate sufficient language ability in all four components (speaking, reading, writing, and listening);
- These levels are CLB 7 for NOC 0 and A and CLB 5 for NOC B.
- Language test results must come from one of the following designated testing agencies:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (General Training test) or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) — General test for English; or
- Test d’Evaluation Du Français (TEF) for French.
- Demonstrate that they will become economically established in Nova Scotia and that they intend to live in the province permanently.
You are ineligible candidates in this stream if you are:
- an individual who has received a nomination under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program dated within the last 12 months
- intending to work in an occupation that is a National Occupational Classification (NOC) level C or D
- a grandparent, parent, spouse, or common-law 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
- not legally present in your current country of residence
- in Canada illegally, under a removal order, or are prohibited from entering or being in Canada
- an individual who does not have status; you are not eligible to apply until your status has been restored
- 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
- an individual with unresolved custody or child support disputes affecting any dependent
- in a sales position that is based solely on commission for compensation
- an individual whose 12 months’ full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in the three years before your application is not based in Nova Scotia
- an individual in Canada who is in the Caregiver Program
How to Apply
Candidates who meet all the eligibility criteria can prepare and submit a complete application package to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP).
Here are 4 steps you must follow in the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry Stream.
Step 1. Create an Express Entry profile
Once you determine that you qualify for a Nova Scotia Nominee Program stream, the next step is to apply.
You must create an Express Entry profile within Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s online Express Entry system before you apply to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program. Your Express Entry Profile Number is necessary for your application. A Job Seeker Validation Code may also be required.
Step 2. Prepare and submit your NSNP application online or by mail
Apply through Nova Scotia’s online service, you can:
- Create an account
- Save your application in process
- Submit supporting documents as PDF attachments
Organize your completed forms and supporting documents according to Appendix 1. It is your responsibility to submit all the requested documents. If documents are missing, not signed, not translated by a certified translator, or not clear, your application may not be assessed.
Postal Box Address (Mail)
Nova Scotia Office of Immigration
PO Box 1535
Halifax NS B3J 2Y3
Step 3. Nova Scotia Office of Immigration assesses your application
a. Eligibility and completion check
After receiving your application, NSOI will review your application to ensure that it is complete and meets eligibility criteria before they assess it. If your application is not complete or if you do not meet basic eligibility requirements, your application may be returned.
NSOI will conduct a full review and evaluation of the complete application, subject to application volumes and the possible circumstances set out in this Guide under “Disclaimer.” The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration reserves the right to request an interview with the applicant. Nomination under the NSNP is at the sole discretion of NSOI.
NSOI will communicate the decision in writing to you or your representative via email. This decision will be either that you have been nominated or that you have been refused.
NSOI will confirm nomination within Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry system. You will need to accept the nomination within the Express Entry system.
If your application is being considered for refusal, you or your representative will receive a letter of Intent to Refuse from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. You have 10 business days to submit additional information to be considered by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. After 10 business days, the file will be re-assessed, including any new information submitted, and a final decision made. This decision will be sent in writing to you or your representative. There is no appeal process.
Step 4. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Express Entry System
a. NSOI will nominate you in the Express Entry system.
Once you are nominated, you will have 30 days to accept the nomination within the Express Entry system.
b. Invitation to Apply for permanent residence by IRCC
Following acceptance of the nomination with the Express Entry system, you will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence by IRCC. You will have 60 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence. You will need to upload your application and supporting documents via your IRCC account.
Follow these steps to fill out the online form to apply for permanent residence:
- sign in to your account
- Click the link to apply for permanent residence under Express Entry
c. Issuance of permanent resident visa
If approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, you, your spouse and dependents will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence.
d. Provide contact information to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration
When you are granted permanent residence, you must contact the NSOI within 30 days of your arrival in Nova Scotia. You must provide NSOI with a copy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence, a copy of your passport and your Nova Scotia contact information such as a current address, phone number(s) and email.
Candidates must pay some fees in the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry Stream.
Economic immigration (including Express Entry)
Your application: $1,040 CAD
Your application (without right of permanent residence fee): $550 CAD
Include your spouse or partner: $1,040 CAD
Include your spouse or partner (without right of permanent residence fee): $550 CAD
Include a dependent child: $150 CAD (per child)
Biometrics – per person: $85 CAD
Biometrics – family (2 or more): $170 CAD
Biometrics – a group of performing artists (3 or more): $255 CAD
- The processing time for a completed application eligible for consideration can take three months or more depending on the time required for the verification of documents included in the application and on the volume of applications received.
- The processing time for the application for permanent residence: Express Entry is six months including the time you need to give your biometrics.