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1. Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry

Nova Scotia uses the federal government’s Express Entry immigration selection system in order to select candidates for Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry. This stream, which came into effect on January 1, 2015, is for highly-skilled individuals with a post-secondary education and qualificfations that will help them successfully settle in Nova Scotia. There is a list of 11 eligible occupations for this stream.


2. Arranged Employment in Nova Scotia


This category requires candidates to have an arranged job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from a Nova Scotia employer. The job offer must be in a 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill Type/Level 0, A, or B occupation.  Nova Scotia’s Office of Immigration specifies that the job offer must be for full-time work that lasts for a minimum of one year after becoming a permanent resident.

Arranged Employment in Nova Scotia

NOC 0, A, B offer

  • 1 year of full-time (or equivalent) work experience (NOC, 0, A, B) in the last 6 years.
  • Have an EE profile
  • 67 points pass mark
  • CLB 7 in English or French
  • High school diploma and ECA if applicable

3. Selection Factors

Potential candidates must score at least 67 out of 100 points on a point 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

Candidates 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 the foreign degree, diploma, certificate (or other proof of credentials) is valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada. The ECA report will also indicate the authenticity of the foreign educational credential(s).

Doctoral (PhD) level25

University-level credential at the Master’s level OR an entry-to-practice professional degree

For entry-to-practice professional degrees, the degree program must have been in:

  • Medicine,
  • Veterinary Medicine;
  • Dentistry;
  • Podiatry;
  • Optometry;
  • Law;
  • Chiropractic Medicine; and
  • Pharmacy.


The related occupation must be:

  • NOC 2016 Skill Level A, and
  • licensed by a provincial regulatory body
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

Candidates can earn up to 28 points for their skills in English and French. They will be given points based on abilities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Candidates can also earn points for their official second language capacity. To earn points for skills in both English and French, language test results for each language must be provided at the same time.

Language test results must not be more than two years old at the time of receipt at the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) and at application for permanent residence to IRCC.

Language test 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
First official languagePoints
CLB level 9 or higher6666
CLB level 85555
CLB level 74444
Below CLB level 7Not eligible to apply

Applicants are required to meet the minimum level of CLB 7 (for their first official language in all four language areas). To get points for the second official language, they must meet the minimum level of CLB 5 (in all four language areas).

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

The Candidate’s Canadian or international work experience must be:

  • At least one year (1,560 hours), continuous full-time or an equal amount in continuous part-time;
  • Paid work (volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count);
  • In the same occupation;
  • Within the last six years before the application to the NSOI and the application for permanent residence to IRCC; 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

Candidates earn points based on their age on the day that their application is received by the NSOI.

Under 18 yearsIneligible
18-35 years12
36 years11
37 years10
38 years9
39 years8
40 years7
41 years6
42 years5
43 years4
44 years3
45 years2
46 years1
47  years and older0
Factor 5: Arranged Employment in Nova Scotia

Candidates will receive points if they have a valid offer of arranged employment from a Nova Scotia employer. If the occupation is a regulated occupation in the province, the NSOI must be satisfied that the candidate can be expected to qualify for licensing/certification in Nova Scotia.

A valid offer of employment must be:
  • Made by one employer
  • For continuous, paid, full-time work (at least 30 hours a week);
  • For work that is:
    • located in Nova Scotia
    • for a minimum one year following the issuance of the permanent resident visa
    • not seasonal; and
    • in an occupation in skill level type 0, A, or B of the 2016 NOC.
The job must:
  • Have a compensation package that meets provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates;
  • Be a position for which there is a shortage of qualified permanent residents or Canadian citizens; and
  • Not contravene any existing bargaining unit agreements or be in any employment disputes.
In addition, the candidate must meet one of the following:
  • The employer making you the job offer has a valid positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada that approves the offer and names you and your position


  • You are currently working in Canada in a NOC 0, A or B job on a work permit that was issued based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and
    • you are working for an employer listed on your work permit, o you are authorized to work in Canada on the day you apply for a permanent resident visa, and when the visa is issued, and o your current employer made you an offer to give you a full-time job for at least one year if you are accepted as a permanent resident


  • You have a valid work permit for a NOC 0, A or B job that is exempt from needing an LMIA, and you:
    • are currently working for the employer specified on the work permit o have one year of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work) for that employer and o have a valid job offer from that employer for at least one year after your permanent resident visa is issued.

Criteria and Requirements for the Employer​

(LMIA) supplier

If claiming points for arranged employment, the Nova Scotia employer must meet the following requirements:

  • The business has a permanent establishment in Nova Scotia;
  • The business must have been in operation in Nova Scotia, under current management, for at least two years;
  • The employer must have a history of good workplace and business practices, including compliance with employment, immigration, health and safety standards and regulations;
  • The employer must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations;
  • The employer must make a full-time, continuous, paid work job offer to the candidate; The job must:
    • Be NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B of the 2016 NOC,
    • Be located in Nova Scotia,
    • Have a compensation package that meets provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates,
    • Be a position for which there is a shortage of qualified permanent residents or Canadian citizens to fill the position,
    • Not contravene any existing bargaining unit agreements, labour agreements/standards or be in any employment disputes.
  • The employer must demonstrate satisfactory recruitment efforts to fill the position with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • The employer must provide a copy of a current LMIA.

Additionally, when reviewing an application, the NSOI will take into consideration support offered to the candidate by the employer. Support may be in the form of financial or non-financial assistance. Some examples of support and retention efforts include settlement assistance, career training plans, coverage or contribution to immigration fees, and others.

Factor 6: Adaptability

Candidates can claim points for their accompanying spouse or common-law partner. However, candidates cannot claim points for a spouse who is living in Canada or a Canadian citizen. A maximum of 10 points can be awarded under this factor, regardless of how many criteria a candidate qualifies for.


Arranged employment (principal applicant only)

Points under Factor 5: Arranged Employment.


Candidate’s previous study in Nova Scotia

The candidate 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 in the past five years.

Full-time study means at least 15 hours of classes per week. Candidates must have remained in good academic standing (as defined by the school) during the period of full-time study in Nova Scotia.


Spouse or common-law partner’s previous study in Nova Scotia

The candidate’s 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 in the past five years.

Full-time study means at least 15 hours of classes per week, and the 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.


Candidate’s previous work in Nova Scotia

The candidate completed a minimum of one year of authorized, full-time work in Nova Scotia in the past five years:

  • 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.

Spouse or common-law partner’s previous work in Nova Scotia

The candidate’s spouse or common-law partner completed a minimum of one year of authorized, full-time work in Nova Scotia in the past five years.


Relatives in Nova Scotia

The candidate or, if applicable, his/her spouse or common-law partner, have a relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident residing in Nova Scotia and is 19 years or older. Acceptable forms of relatives include:

  • parent
  • grandparent
  • brother/sister
  • aunt/uncle
  • niece/nephew

Spouse or common-law partner’s level of language proficiency

The candidate’s 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, candidates must submit a copy of the language test results from a designated testing agency with their application. Results must not be more than two years old on the date that the application is received. The language test results must remain valid through the assessment process with the NSOI and remain valid throughout the submission of a complete application for permanent residence with IRCC.


4. Settlement Requirements

Proof of funds

Candidates must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to establish themselves and their family members in the province of Nova Scotia. The amount required to show proof of funds is determined by family size. The funds must be in the candidate’s name or in the name of the accompanying spouse. 

These funds must be unencumbered by debts or obligations transferable and available to the candidate. Funds must be liquid (i.e. not real estate) and cannot be borrowed. 

Proof of funds is not required if:

  • the candidate has a valid job offer (offer of arranged employment) in Nova Scotia; and
  • the candidate is currently working or is authorized to work in Nova Scotia.

Arranged Employment Income

The NSOI will not approve an application if it appears that the family income (based on the offer of employment and any spousal income) will be below Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Cut-off.

Settlement Plan

Candidates are required to show a genuine intention to settle in Nova Scotia by providing a detailed explanation of why they chose to settle permanently in the province and what they believe Nova Scotia can offer them and their family. The settlement plan can include details such as accommodation /housing, transportation, employment/job, schools or child care, language training plans and integration into the community.

5. Application Process

  1. This first step to applying for the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry Stream is to create a profile with IRCC’s online Express Entry system. A candidate’s Express Entry profile number and job seeker code are necessary for the application.
  2. Next, candidates will need to submit all the requested documents along with the application electronically through Nova Scotia’s online service. It is important to ensure all requested documents are completed, signed and translated by a certified translator (if required).  Candidates may have to attend an in-person interview in Nova Scotia. 
  3. Once an application is received, the NSOI begins the process by conducting a completion check. After conducting a full review and evaluation of the application, the NSOI will communicate a decision of nomination or refusal to the candidate (or representative) via email. If a nomination is issued, the candidate will have 30 days to accept the nomination in his or her Express Entry profile. Candidates who are being considered for refusal will receive an Intent to Refuse letter from the NSOI and will have 10 business days to provide additional information. 
  4. Following the acceptance of a nomination, candidates nominated by the province will obtain an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence from IRCC. Nominees will have 90 days to submit an electronic application for permanent residence and provide all the supporting documents to the federal government. If approved for permanent residence, applicants and their spouses/partners and dependants will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent residence, which must be submitted to the NSOI within 30 days of arrival in Nova Scotia along with other required documents. 

6. Opportunity Occupations

The following occupation list represents professions where there may be employment opportunities in Nova Scotia. The NOC code and occupation title, which are based on Canada’s 2016 National Occupational Classification, 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
Other financial officers1114A
Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations1123A
Administrative assistants1241B
Accounting technicians and bookkeepers1311B
Civil engineers2131A
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses3012A
Licensed practical nurses3233B
College and other vocational instructors4021A
Paralegal and related occupations4211B
Social and community service workers4212B

7. Who is not eligible for Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry

Candidates should not apply if they are:

  • A person 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 NOC skill 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;
  • An individual who does not have legal status in Canada (candidates are not eligible to apply until their status has been restored);
  • An international student 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;
  • 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 (an individual who intends to invest in a Nova Scotia business with very limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business); or
  • Unable to provide proof of required amount of funds.