Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry provides a pathway to permanent residence for highly skilled applicants who have worked for a Nova Scotia employer for at least one year.
Candidates must also be eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool through one of the three federal economic immigration programs:
There are two application routes to Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry 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 considered for this stream, candidates are required to have an active profile under the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) online Express Entry system to submit a complete application to the NSOI.
|Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry|
In order to be eligible for 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, PGWP,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.
1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada’s primary economic immigration pathway and gives skilled workers, and their loved ones, the opportunity to become permanent residents in Canada.
The first step in pursuing permanent residence in Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker is to make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile.
Based on the information provided in their profile, Federal Skilled Worker candidates obtain a score under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines their ranking in the pool of eligible candidates.
Periodically, the Government of Canada issues Invitations To Apply (ITAs) to the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool and publishes the CRS cut-off score. CRS scores are not fixed and candidates may take steps to improve their ranking while in the pool.
1.1. Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Foreign nationals may begin the process of immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker Program by determining whether or not they meet the minimum requirements of the program. The minimum requirements are:
- One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A or B;
- Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities (reading, writing, listening, and speaking); and
- Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.
IRCC determines candidates’ eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program based on its unique points grid. However, only the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
In order to be eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, potential candidates must meet the minimum requirements for work, language ability, education and obtain at least 67 points under the program’s 100-point grid. The program’s selection factors grid assesses candidates based on factors that include age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language ability and adaptability.
1.2. Selection Factors
The Federal Skilled Worker selection factors are listed below. Click on each factor to learn more:
|Education||Up to 25 points|
|Language Skills||Up to 28 points|
|Work Experience||Up to 15 points|
|Age||Up to 12 points|
|Arranged Employment||Up to 10 points|
|Adaptability||Up to 10 points|
If invited to apply, Federal Skilled Workers will need to prove they can become economically established in Canada with their dependent family members. The settlement funds requirement is waived for foreign nationals who are currently authorized to work in Canada and/ or those who have arranged employment in Canada.
Medical Examinations and Admissibility
IRCC encourages Federal Skilled Worker candidates and their dependents to complete their medical examinations as soon as an ITA is issued. Medical exam results must be valid at the time of applying for permanent residence and when arriving in Canada. Applicants must also obtain security clearances as part of the Canadian immigration application process to prove that they are admissible to Canada.
1.3. Processing Times
IRCC aims to process complete Federal Skilled Worker applications in six (6) months or less. Please consult the Canada Immigration Processing Times Tool to find out the processing times for immigration applications.
1.4. Processing Fees
The table below outlines the processing fees for the Federal Skilled Worker program:
|Principal applicant ($550 processing fee + $490 right of permanent residence fee)||$1,040|
|Spouse or common-law partner ($550 processing fee + $490 right of permanent residence fee)||$1,040|
|A dependant child of the principal applicant who is under 22 and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or is 22 or older who has been unable to be financially self-supporting since before the age of 22, due to a physical or mental condition||$150 per child|
* Fees listed in Canadian dollars.
2. Canada Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)
The Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) is a Canadian permanent residence pathway for foreign nationals with experience in a skilled trade.
Foreign nationals looking to immigrate to Canada under the Federal Skilled Trades Program must first make an expression of interest through the federal Express Entry selection system.
The FSTC allows individuals with a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification to obtain permanent residence in any Canadian province or territory other than Quebec.
Eligibility Criteria for the Federal Skilled Trades Class
In order to qualify for a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa, Federal Skilled Trades applicants must:
- have valid job offers of continuous, paid, full-time employment (at least 30 hours a week) from up to two employers in Canada for at least one year OR a certificate of qualification* from a provincial or territorial body;
- provide proof of basic language proficiency from a designated language testing organization, demonstrating that the applicant meets the minimum threshold set by the Minister — Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, CLB 4 for reading and writing;
- have obtained 2 years of full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work) in the skilled trade in the five years before applying; and
- be able to demonstrate the skills and experience and that they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.
*A certificate of qualification proves that a foreign national is qualified to work in a skilled trade occupation in Canada. With a certificate of qualification, applicants prove they have passed a certification exam or met all the requirements to practice their trade in a specific province or territory.
Skilled work experience eligible for the Federal Skilled Trades Class falls under the following categories of the National Occupational Classification (NOC):
- Major Group 72: industrial, electrical and construction trades,
- Major Group 73: maintenance and equipment operation trades,
- Major Group 82: supervisors and technical jobs in natural resources, agriculture and related production,
- Major Group 92: processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators,
- Minor Group 632: chefs and cooks, and
- Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers.
FSTC candidates must plan to reside outside the province of Quebec. The province of Quebec selects its own skilled workers through a unique immigration system. If you plan on immigrating to Quebec, please visit the Quebec Skilled Worker Program page for more information.
Federal Skilled Trades Class and Express Entry
The FSTC is one of three federal economic programs managed by the Government of Canada’s Express Entry system. This means that in order to begin the process of immigrating to Canada as a tradesperson, you must first create an online Express Entry profile and obtain a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The CRS determines your ranking in the Express Entry pool based on factors like skills, work experience, language ability, education and others.
FSTC candidates may have lower CRS scores than other candidates in the Express Entry pool because they are not required to prove their level of education.
3. Canadian Experience Class Immigration Program
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category for Canada’s foreign workers who wish to become permanent residents.
Temporary foreign workers are ideal candidates for Canadian immigration (permanent residence). Having obtained Canadian work experience, these individuals have already settled into Canadian society and established important networks in their communities and their careers.
Canadian Experience Class applications are processed through the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada. Eligible candidates must make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada, create an online Express Entry profile, and receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence before they may make an application.
Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements. They must:
- Have obtained at least one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience in Canada within 36 months of the application date; and
- Meet or surpass a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5 (“initial intermediate”) or 7 (“adequate intermediate proficiency”), depending on the level of the job; and
- Plan to live and work outside of the province of Quebec (individuals with work experience in Quebec and who plan to reside in Quebec may apply to the Quebec Experience Class).
Applicants can remain in Canada throughout the application process. However, the Canadian Experience Class is also open to individuals who are no longer in Canada, provided that they submit their application within three years of leaving their job in Canada.
The Canadian Experience Class requirements are based on a pass or fail model. If the minimum requirements are met, the applicant is eligible to enter the Express Entry pool.
Note: Self-employment and work experience gained while you were a full-time student (for example, on a co-op work term) does not count under this program.
A Popular Option for International Students
For many international graduates, the Canadian Experience Class may offer the fastest and most simple path to achieving permanent residence.
After completing a program or course of study at a Canadian educational institution, many international graduates are able to remain in the country on post-graduate work permits. If, during this time, a graduate obtains at least one year of work in a skilled, professional or technical field, they may then become eligible to enter the Express Entry pool under the Canadian Experience Class.
Additional Options for Foreign Workers
If you are considering applying under the Canadian Experience Class, you may have other additional for Canadian immigration through the various Provincial Nominee Programs.
4. Who is not eligible to apply for the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream
Candidates should not apply if they are:
- An individual whose 12 months full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) skilled work experience in the three years prior to their application is not based in Nova Scotia;
- Intending to work in an occupation that is a 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;
- In Canada illegally, under a removal order, or are prohibited from entering or being in Canada;
- Not legally present in their country of residence;
- An individual who does not have status;
- 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 in Canada who is in the Caregiver Program;
- Intending to start a business and/or be self-employed in Nova Scotia; or
- A passive investor (an individual who intend to invest in a Nova Scotia business with very limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business).