+16478852712

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

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.

The NSNP is Nova Scotia's Provincial Nominee Program. Through this program, prospective immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by the province may receive a Nova Scotia Provincial Nomination Certificate, which speeds up the overall immigration process.

The NSNP accepts applications under the following immigration streams:

  • Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry
  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
  • Skilled Worker Stream
  • Entrepreneur
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Nova Scotia has temporarily stopped taking new applications for its Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream. 
Nova Scotia uses the federal government's Express Entry immigration selection system in order to select candidates for this stream. This stream is for highly-skilled individuals with a post-secondary education and qualifications that will help them successfully settle in Nova Scotia.
There are two application routes to Nova Scotia Demand: 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. In either case, the principal applicant is 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.
There are two categories under the stream:

  • Category 1: Arranged Employment in Nova Scotia; This category requires candidates to have an arranged job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment from a Nova Scotia employer. The job offer must be in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B occupation.
  • Category 2: Paid Work Experience in an Opportunity Occupation; This category entails at least one year of continuous full-time (or 1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in part-time paid work experience in the last 10 years in one of the opportunity occupations.

Minimum Requirements for Applicants
In order to be eligible for Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry, candidates must:

  • Have a foreign diploma, certificate, or credential and its educational credential equivalency assessment by a designated body or a Canadian educational credential;
  • Have one year of full-time, or part-time equivalent, paid work experience in the last 10 years in an NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B occupation; and
  • Meet the minimum language proficiency threshold - currently Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four language components (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) in either English or French demonstrated by language test results from a designated agency:

Minimum Requirements for Employers
Additionally, to be eligible under this category, the following criteria must be met:

  • 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;
  • The employer must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations;
  • The employer must make a full-time, permanent job offer to the candidate. The job must be located in Nova Scotia and; Be NOC Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or B;
  • The employer must demonstrate satisfactory recruitment efforts to fill the position with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Selection Factors
Potential candidates must score at least 67 out of 100 points on 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.If required, applicants may have to attend an in-person interview in Nova Scotia.

Selection factor Points
Education Maximum 25 points
Ability in English and/or French Maximum 28 points
Work experience Maximum 15 points
Age Maximum 12 points
Arranged employment in Nova Scotia Maximum 10 points
Adaptability Maximum 10 points
Total Maximum 100 points
Pass mark: 67 Points

Opportunity Occupations
The following occupation list represents professions where there may be employment opportunities in Nova Scotia. The occupations are classified with National Occupational Classification (NOC). The NOC helps determine whether a job meets the skill levels established for skilled and semi-skilled occupations, and whether the candidateOpportunity Occupations qualifications and experience match the requirements of the job. This list is subject to change.

Occupation title >NOC Skill level
Financial Auditors and Accountants 1111 A
Financial and Investment Analysts 1112 A
Human Resources Professionals 1121 A
Purchasing Agents and Officers 1225 B
Geoscientists and Oceanographers 2113 A
Civil Engineers 2131 A
Mechanical Engineers 2132 A
Electrical and Electronic Engineers 2133 A
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineers 2141 A
Computer Engineers 2147 A
Information Systems Analysts and Consultants 2171 A
Database Analysts and Data Administrators 2172 A
Software Engineers 2173 A
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers 2174 A
Web Designers and Developers 2175 A
Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians 2231 B
Mechanical Engineering Technologists and Technicians 2232 B
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians 2241 B
Drafting Technologists and Technicians 2253 B
Engineering Inspectors and Regulatory Officers 2262 B
User Support Technicians 2282 B
Registered Nurses 3012 A
Physiotherapists 3142 A
Occupational Therapists 3143 A
Medical Laboratory Technologists 3211 B
Licensed Practical Nurses 3233 B
Psychologists 4151 A
Family, Marriage and Other Related Counsellors 4153 A
Financial Sales Representatives 6235 B


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 federal economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled WorkerFederal Skilled Trades, or Canadian Experience Class.
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. In either case, the principal applicant is 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.
Minimum Requirements
In order to be eligible for Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry, candidates must:

  • 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.
    • The work experience must be in a 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 agencie:
  • Have a profile registered in the Express Entry pool; and
  • Demonstrate that they will become economically established in Nova Scotia and that they intend to live in the province permanently.


The Skilled Worker stream helps Nova Scotia employers recruit and hire foreign workers and international graduates whose skills are in limited supply in the province.This stream particularly targets international students. The Skilled Worker Stream is composed of three different categories, each with their own eligibility criteria. They are as follows.
Skilled Workers
This category is for individuals with experience in an occupation classified as NOC level 0, A or B, also known as skilled occupations. Priority is given to these highly skilled applicants.
Semi-Skilled Workers
This category is for workers whose occupations are classified as NOC level C, also known as semi-skilled occupations. Applications in this category will only be considered if all eligibility criteria are met and the applicant has worked for at least six months with a Nova Scotia employer that is supporting his or her application for permanent residence.
Low-Skilled Workers
This category is for individuals whose occupations are classified as NOC level D, also known as unskilled occupations. Applications in this category will only be considered if all eligibility criteria are met and the applicant has worked for at least six months with a Nova Scotia employer that is supporting his or her application for permanent residence.
Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Minimum Requirements for Applicants
In addition to the general eligibility outlined above, all applicants, regardless of their work experience, must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • If living in Canada, provide proof of legal status;
  • If applying from outside Canada, provide proof of legal status in their current country of residence.
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 55 at the time of application;
  • Receive a full time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer;
  • Have completed at least a high school level of education (12 years of study);
  • Have the education, training, and licensing/certification needed to perform the job in Canada, if applicable;
  • Have at least 12 months of relevant work experience in the past five years;
  • Meet language requirements for the program;For NOC levels 0, A or B – CLB level 5 in English or French. If the applicant's first language is English or French, that is enough proof; For NOC levels C or D - CLB level 4 in English or French.
  • Demonstrate the intent and ability to settle in the Province of Nova Scotia; and,
  • Demonstrate sufficient settlement supports and financial resources to cover immigration costs and travel expenses (if applicable) and to successfully establish yourself in the province.

Minimum Requirements for Employers
Employers sponsoring applicants through this program must meet the following requirements:

  • Be permanently established in Nova Scotia;
  • Have operated in Nova Scotia, under current management, for at least two years;
  • Issue a full time, permanent job offer to the individual applicant; the job must be located in Nova Scotia and;
    • Have salary and benefits that meet provincial employment standards and prevailing wage rates;
    • Be in a position for which there is a shortage of qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • Demonstrate recruitment efforts to fill the position with a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident; and,
  • Have a history of good workplace and business practices, and must be compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.


The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) Entrepreneur Stream is designed to attract individuals who wish to start or acquire a business and settle permanently in Nova Scotia. This stream is for experienced business owners and senior business managers intending to live in Nova Scotia and participate in the day-to-day management of the business. The NSNP Entrepreneur Stream is a temporary to permanent residence program whereby approved applicants are required to operate a business in the province of Nova Scotia on a valid work permit for a minimum of one continuous year prior to being nominated for permanent residence in Canada. It functions on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system.
The Nomination Process
There are six steps to the nomination process:
Step 1: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Province of Nova Scotia
Prospective immigrants will indicate their interest in operating a business and residing in Nova Scotia by completing an Expression of Interest (EOI) in the form of a short online survey. On this survey, candidates will provide required information about their business ownership or management experience, language, education, investment, net worth, age, adaptability, and business. Only applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be able to submit an EOI. Candidates will be assessed based on a points matrix according to their profile and then assigned a score and added to the EOI pool. EOIs can remain in the pool for up to one year from the date of receipt. If the EOI is not selected during this time, it will be removed from the pool. After this point candidates may submit a new EOI if they so choose. If candidates are able to acquire additional points after submitting their EOI, they will need to submit a new one. 
Step 2: Invitation to Apply
Top scoring applicants will be notified by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) that they are being invited to submit a formal application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) in the form of an Invitation to Apply (ITA) letter. Complete applications received from those invited to apply will then undergo an assessment by the NSOI.

  • A complete application form (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter);
  • All supporting documentation (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter);
  • A Business Establishment Plan (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter); and
  • A Net Worth Verification Report prepared by one of NSOI’s designated Net Worth Verifiers (submitted within 180 days of the issuance of the ITA letter).

Step 3: In-Person Interview and Business Performance Agreement
Once the application has been assessed by the NSOI, those candidates who meet the outlined eligibility requirements (see below) will be contacted about an in-person interview with an official of the NSOI. All interviews will take place in Nova Scotia and are expected to take place within 60 days of the candidate being contacted. If the interview is successful, the candidate will be sent a Business Performance Agreement to review and sign. A business Performance Agreement is a legal agreement with the province that states the amount of investment the candidate will make and the business sector in which the business will operate, along with any other relevant information. Unsuccessful interviews or failure to participate in the interview within the 60-day time limit will result in closure of the application.
The NSOI will issue an Entrepreneur Approval Letter and instructions on how to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a work permit upon receipt of the Business Performance Agreement. Candidates are required to apply to IRCC for a work permit within two months of the date on the Entrepreneur Approval Letter. If IRCC refuses the work permit application, the candidate will no longer be eligible under the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream.
Step 4: Temporary Work Permit and Business Establishment in Nova Scotia
Applicants who are successful in obtaining a work permit will be able to land in Nova Scotia with their family, settle, and start or acquire their business. Applicants are expected to do so within one year of receiving the Entrepreneur Approval Letter or their file will be closed. It is recommended that applicants start operating their business in Nova Scotia within six months of arriving in the province on a work permit. 
Approved applicants must attend an arrival meeting with an NSOI officer within 60 days of their arrival date. Officers will answer any questions related to the terms of the Business Performance Agreement and may refer candidates to other relevant service providers for further guidance and information. Candidates are required to bring a signed Arrival Report to the meeting.
Step 5: Request for Nomination
Once an applicant satisfies the conditions of the Business Performance Agreement, including, but not limited to, making the mandatory investment, operating the business continuously for a minimum of one year, and submitting a Business Establishment Progress Report to the NSOI, he or she can then apply to be nominated for permanent residence by the province of Nova Scotia under the NSNP by submitting a Nomination Request Form. The Nomination Request Form will ask for details of the business and will require the submission of an audit opinion and Special Purpose Report, both of which must be provided by an NSOI designated Audit Services Verifier of the candidate's choosing. 
The NSOI will communicate the nomination decision in writing to the applicant or their representative. If nominated by the NSNP:
In the event that the application is being considered for refusal, the applicant or their representative will receive a letter of intent to refuse from the NSOI. In this case, the applicant will be given 10 business days to submit additional information to be considered. After 10 business days the file, including any new information submitted, will be re-assessed and a final decision made, which will be sent in writing and which cannot be appealed.
Step 6: Apply for Permanent Residence
Upon nomination, the applicant will apply to IRCC for permanent residence within six months. Candidates should note that an NSNP nomination does not guarantee the issuance of a Permanent Resident Visa. If the application is approved by the visa office, the candidate will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. He or she is required to provide a copy of the confirmation to the NSOI within 30 business days.
Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Minimum Requirements for Applicants
In order to be eligible under the NSNP Entrepreneur Stream, applicants must:

  • Have a minimum $600,000 CAD in Net Business and Personal Assets, verified by NSOI designated third party professionals;
  • Demonstrate accumulation of claimed net worth through legal means, verified by NSOI designated third party professionals;
  • Have a minimum of three years of business ownership experience including 33.33 percent ownership OR greater than five years of experience in a senior business manager role in the last 10 years;
  • Agree to make a minimum capital investment of $150,000 CAD to establish or purchase a business in Nova Scotia;
  • Demonstrate sufficient language abilities in either English or French verified by an approved language testing agency;
  • Have a minimum of a Canadian high school diploma OR an equivalent foreign credential verified by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), which is dated within the five years prior to the date of EOI submission;
  • Have a Business Establishment Plan and be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the plan; and
  • Agree to reside in Nova Scotia.

Minimum Requirements for Businesses
In order to qualify as an eligible business under the Entrepreneur program, the following criteria must be met:

  • The applicant must own at least one third (33.33 percent) of the equity of the business;
  • The applicant must provide active and on-going participation in the day to day management and direction of the business from the place of business in Nova Scotia. The business must not be managed from another location in Nova Scotia or from another Canadian province or territory or other country;
  • The business must be a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • The business must meet the legal requirements of the community in which it operates;
  • The business must be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985;
  • The business is liable to pay income tax on taxable income earned as a result of a “permanent establishment” in Nova Scotia, irrespective of income or other taxes which may also be payable in other jurisdictions as a result of income earned or other business activity; and
  • The business must have potential to create an economic benefit to Nova Scotia.

Additional Requirements for Starting a Business
If starting a business, the applicant must also create at least one full time (or equivalent) employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Nova Scotia (non-relative workers). This position must be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant, relevant to the said business and meet prevailing wage rates.
Additional Requirements for Business Succession
If purchasing a previously existing Nova Scotia business, the following requirements must be met:

  • The business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous five years;
  • All applicants must complete an exploratory visit to meet the current owner(s);
  • Applicants must provide evidence that reasonable efforts were taken to establish a fair market value for the business;
  • The business must be actively in operation and not in receivership; and 
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.

Expression of Interest Points Matrix
When candidates submit their Expression of Interest in Step 1, a points matrix will be used to select the strongest applicants who best align with Nova Scotia’s business and economic priorities based on eight factors: language abilities, education, business ownership or management experience, level of investment in the business, net worth, age, adaptability, and Nova Scotia priorities.

Selection factor Points
Language abilities Maximum 35 points
Education Maximum 25 points
Business ownership or senior management experience Maximum 35 points
Net worth Maximum 10 points
Age Maximum 10 points
Adaptability Maximum 10 points
Nova Scotia economic priorities Maximum 10 points
Investment Maximum 15 points
Total Maximum 150 points

 

Factor 1: Language Abilities in English and/or French

First official language Points
  Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total
CLB level 7 or higher 7 7 7 7 28
CLB level 6 6 6 6 6 24
CLB level 5 5 5 5 5 20
Below CLB level 5 Not eligible to apply

 

Second official language Points
At least CLB 5 in all of the four abilities 7

 

Factor 2: Education

Education Points
University degree at the Doctoral (PhD) level or equivalent 25
Degree at the Master’s level, or equivalent OR university level entry-to-practice professional degree 23
Two or more Canadian post-secondary degrees or diplomas, or equivalent (one at least three years) 22
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of three years or longer, or equivalent 21
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a two-year program, or equivalent 19
Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma for a one-year program, or equivalent 12
Canadian secondary school education credential (also called high school), or equivalent 8
Less than secondary school Ineligible

 

Factor 3: Business Ownership or Management Experience

Business Ownership or Management Experience Points
Greater than 5 years of business ownership experience (minimum 33.33% ownership) in the last 10 years 35
Greater than 5 years of experience in a senior business management position in the last 10 years 20
3-5 years of business ownership experience (minimum 33.33%) in the last 10 years 20

 

Factor 4: Net Worth

Net Worth Points
Greater than $1.5 Million CAD 10
$1 Million CAD - $1.5 Million CAD 7
$600,000 CAD - $999,999 CAD 5
Less than $600,000 CAD Ineligible

Factor 5: Age

\

Age Points
Under 21 years Ineligible
21-24 years 5
25-32 years 7
33-39 10
40-44 7

45-55

5

56 years and older

0

 

Factor 6: Adaptability

Adaptability

Points

Candidate's previous study in Nova Scotia

10

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

5

Candidate's previous work in Nova Scotia

10

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

5

Relatives in Nova Scotia

5

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

5

 

Factor 7: Nova Scotia Economic Priorities

Nova Scotia Economic Priorities

Points

Export-oriented business

5

Proposed business location outside of Halifax Regional Municipality

5

Business succession 

5

 

Factor 8: Investment

Investment Amount

Points

Greater than $300,000 CAD

15

$150,000 CAD - $300,000 CAD

10

Less than $150,000 CAD

Ineligible

Business Establishment Plan
The Business Establishment Plan must be a coherent and well-thought-out plan for successful settlement and business development in Nova Scotia. The plan should demonstrate that the business meets the minimum required investment level and that the applicant will hold an active managerial position in the business. Additionally, it should show that the candidate has conducted extensive research into the economic, market, and cultural factors relevant to the proposed business.
The Business Establishment Plan must include a detailed Action Plan that outlines, step by step, the planned actions of the business over the next two to three years. These actions include but are not limited to: financial actions required to start or buy the business, anticipated start date of the business, when staff will be hired, timing of planned export activities, etc.
It is crucial that the applicant has complete knowledge and understanding of his or her Business Establishment Plan. In the event that the applicant is unaware of the plan's contents, he or she may be deemed ineligible.
Regardless of whether the candidate intends to purchase an existing business or establish a new one, the Business Establishment Plan must include all of the following: the business idea, sales and marketing plan, exploratory visit (only in the case of business succession), critical factors, risk factors, investment/financial information, business relationships, human capital, Business Establishment Plan change requests.
Business Idea
The business idea section of the Business Establishment Plan must:

  • Specify the industry/sector that the proposed business will operate in;
  • Provide a description of the business; Ownership percentages; at least 33.33 percent of the business and all other investors must be listed;
  • Provide business ownership information – partnership, proprietorship, corporation, acquisition, franchise;
  • Specify the proposed location for the business (city or town); and
  • Provide details on the geographic coverage (local, regional or national) of the business.

Sales and Marketing Plan
The sales and marketing plan section of the Business Establishment Plan must outline:

  • The market analysis and marketing strategy including target market(s), major suppliers, and major competitors;
  • How the business will acquire space to operate;
  • What products or services the business will offer;
  • What distribution channels the business will use;
  • The business' hours of operation;
  • The outside professional services the business plans to use, if any; and
  • Full details of research undertaken to support these plans.

Exploratory Visit (for business succession only)
The exploratory visit is a requirement for all candidates intending to purchase an existing business rather than establish a new one. Applicants must create and submit a report on their visit as part of the Business Establishment Plan. The report must cover the entire length of stay in Canada (including time spent in other provinces) and should include:

  • Length of stay in Canada;
  • The name of the professional business service providers or settlement organizations visited during the trip, including mailing addresses, telephone numbers, and emails;
  • A description of the activity and/or meeting and its relevance to the applicant’s business establishment or settlement;
  • Copies of all airline tickets, boarding passes, and hotel receipts;
  • Copies of business cards collected from relevant contacts and business service providers throughout the visit; and 
  • Details of the visit to the existing business location and any meetings with current owners.

Critical Factors
This section of the business plan should identify any:

  • Government regulations that will be applicable to the proposed business including environmental regulations, health regulations, municipal zoning requirements, and labour rules;
  • Special insurance requirements; and
  • Overall anticipated challenges in addition to those identified above.

Risk factors
The NSOI will consider the potential for any risk factors of the proposed business and the candidate's ability to address them. These include, but are not limited to, whether the candidate is proposing external financing, or if he or she is proposing to invest more than 50 percent of his or her personal net worth.
Investment/Financial
The investment/financial section of the business plan should include:

  • Proposed investment amount including how the money will be spent;
  • Forecasted start-up funds and expenses;
  • Source of financing for investment;
  • Financial statements for the last five years, in the case of business succession; and
  • Three years pro-forma financial statements including balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. Assumption notes for income statement and cash flow statement including a rationale for estimated revenue, expenses and profitability must be included.

Business Relationships
In this section of the Business Establishment Plan, the candidate should provide:

  • The name, organizations, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and emails of contracted professional business service providers who the applicant has contacted and/or has established an active working relationship or paid contractual agreement with;
  • The name, organization name, mailing address, email, and telephone number of the person who compiled or assisted in the compilation of the Business Establishment Plan;
  • A summary of people contracted or consulted in preparation of the Business Establishment Plan.

Human Capital
This final section of the plan should outline:

  • The management contribution the candidate plans to make in the proposed business, including an estimate of the hours he or she will spend managing and/or working in the business on a weekly basis;
  • The number and type of jobs to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • The candidate's plan to offer the existing staff similar terms and conditions to what they already enjoy, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms, in the case of business succession;
  • The educational requirements and experience required for new employees;
  • Any preparation and training for entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia (including course titles and institution names, if applicable) that the applicant will undertake; 
  • The candidate's educational background and its relevance to the proposed business idea; and
  • The candidate's entrepreneurial experience and its relevance to the proposed business idea
    • If the candidate has no relevant experience or background directly related to the proposed business, he or she should explain how his or her knowledge or experience can be applied to the business.


The International Graduate Entrepreneur (IGE) Stream is open to recent graduates Nova Scotia post-secondary institutions who have already started or purchased a business in the province. This stream functions on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system whereby candidates submit an EOI and are then awarded points based on a number of criteria. The highest ranked candidates are invited to apply to the program by the NSNP. The IGE Stream targets international graduates who intend to reside permanently in the province while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business.
The Nomination Process
There are four steps to the nomination process:
Step 1: Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Province of Nova Scotia
Prospective immigrants will indicate their interest in operating a business and residing in Nova Scotia by completing an Expression of Interest (EOI) in the form of a short online survey. On this survey, candidates will provide required information about their work experience, language, education, age, adaptability and business. Only applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be able to submit an EOI. Candidates will be assessed based on a points matrix according to their profile and then assigned a score and added to the EOI pool. EOIs can remain in the pool for up to one year from the date of receipt. If the EOI is not selected during this time, it will be removed from the pool. After this point candidates may submit a new EOI if they so choose. If candidates are able to acquire additional points after submitting their EOI, they will need to submit a new one. 
Step 2: Invitation to Apply
Top scoring applicants will be notified by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) that they are being invited to submit a formal application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP). Complete applications received from those invited to apply will then undergo an assessment by the NSOI.
Complete applications are expected to contain the following:

  • A complete application form (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter);
  • All supporting documentation (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter); and
  • An Audit Opinion and Special Purpose Report, both of which must be prepared by one of the NSOI’s designated Audit Service Verifiers (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter).

Step 3: In-Person Interview and Request for Nomination
Once an applicant has been assessed and is deemed to meet the criteria of the program, the applicant will be contacted about an in-person interview with an official of the NSOI. All interviews will take place in Nova Scotia and are expected to take place within 15 business days of the candidate being contacted. The interview will include a site visit to the eligible business. Unsuccessful interviews or failure to participate in the interview within the 15 day time limit will result in closure of the application.
If the NSOI officer assessing the application is satisfied that the candidate meets all program criteria, and there are no other reasons that would prevent the nomination, the candidate will be nominated for Canadian permanent residence by Nova Scotia under the NSNP.
Step 4: Applying for Permanent Residence
Upon nomination, the applicant will apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent resident status within six months. Candidates should note that an NSNP nomination does not guarantee the issuance of a Permanent Resident Visa. If the application is approved by the visa office, the candidate will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. He or she is required to provide a copy of the confirmation to the NSOI within 30 business days.
Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Minimum Requirements for Applicants
In order to be eligible under the NSNP International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, applicants must:

  • Have completed a full-time Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma or degree of at least two years in length from a recognized university in Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Community College;
  • Have resided in Nova Scotia full-time during the academic program;
  • Demonstrate genuine intent to settle permanently in Nova Scotia
  • Have already owned and operated a business in Nova Scotia for at least one continuous year prior to the date of EOI submission;
  • Demonstrate sufficient language abilities in either English or French verified by an approved language testing agency;
  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit at the time of application to the NSOI;
  • Own 100% of the equity of the eligible business and provide active and ongoing participation in the daily management and direction of the business; and
  • Demonstrate that they are receiving compensation in the form of salary from the business.

Minimum Requirements for Businesses
In order to qualify as an eligible business under the Entrepreneur program, the business must:

  • Have been started as a career objective, those created solely for immigration purposes are ineligible;
  • Meet the legal requirements of the community in which it will operate;
  • Be a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • Be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985;
  • Be liable to pay income tax on taxable income earned as a result of a “permanent establishment” in Nova Scotia, irrespective of income or other taxes which may also be payable in other jurisdictions as a result of income earned or other business activity;
  • Be actively managed by the applicant from the place of business in Nova Scotia;
  • Have the potential to create significant economic benefit to the province of Nova Scotia.

Additional Requirements for Starting a Business
In addition,if starting a business, the applicant must create at least one full time (or equivalent) employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Nova Scotia (non-relative workers). This position must be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant; be directly related to the applicant’s business; and meet the prevailing wage rates.
Additional Requirements for Business Succession
If the applicant is purchasing an existing Nova Scotia business, the following requirements must be met:

  • The Nova Scotia based business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous five years; and
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.

Expression of Interest Points Matrix
When candidates submit their Expression of Interest in Step 1, a points matrix will be used to select the strongest applicants who best align with Nova Scotia’s business and economic priorities based on 8 factors: language, education, business ownership or management experience, level of investment in the business, net worth, age, adaptability, and Nova Scotia priorities.
Candidates are required to get at least the minimum available score in each factor in order to submit an Expression of Interest.

Selection factor Points
Languabe abilities Maximum 35 points
Education Maximum 25 points
Work experience Maximum 15 points
Age Maximum 10 points
Adaptability Maximum 10 points
Nova Scotia economic priorities Maximum 10 points
Total Maximum 105 points

 

Factor 1: Language Abilities

First official language Points
  Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total
CLB level 9 or higher 7 7 7 7 28
CLB level 8 6 6 6 6 24
CLB level 7 5 5 5 5 20
Below CLB level 5 Ineligible

 

Second official language Points
At least CLB 5 in all of the four abilities 7

 

Factor 2: Education

Level of Education Points
Less than a Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma  Ineligible 
Completion of a Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma for a two-year program 12
Completion of a Nova Scotia post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of three years or longer 15
Two or more Canadian post-secondary degrees or diplomas (at least one completed at a Nova Scotia institution) 17
Nova Scotia university degree at the Master’s level 22
Completion of a Nova Scotia university level entry-to-practice professional degree. 22
Nova Scotia university degree at the Doctoral (PhD) level 25

 

Factor 3: Work Experience

Work Experience Points
Less than 3 years of work experience in the last 10 years at NOC 0, A, or B level No points awarded
3 to 5 years of work experience in the last 10 years at NOC 0, A, or B level 10
Greater than 5 years of work experience in the last 10 years at NOC 0, A, or B level strong15

 

Factor 4: Adaptability 

Adaptability Factor Points
Spouse or common-law partner's language proficiency 5
Spouse or partner's past study in Nova Scotia 5
Spouse or common-law partner's past work in Nova Scotia 5
Relatives in Nova Scotia 5

 

Factor 5: Age

Age Points
Less than 21 years Ineligible
21-39 years 10
40-44 years 7
45-55 years 5
56 years or older 0

 

Factor 6: Nova Scotia Economic Priorities

Nova Scotia Economic Priorities Points
Export-oriented business 5
Proposed business location outside of Halifax Regional Municipality 5
Business succession 5


The International Graduate Entrepreneur (IGE) Stream is open to recent graduates Nova Scotia post-secondary institutions who have already started or purchased a business in the province. This stream functions on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system whereby candidates submit an EOI and are then awarded points based on a number of criteria. The highest ranked candidates are invited to apply to the program by the NSNP. The IGE Stream targets international graduates who intend to reside permanently in the province while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business.
The Nomination Process
There are four steps to the nomination process:
Step 1: Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Province of Nova Scotia
Prospective immigrants will indicate their interest in operating a business and residing in Nova Scotia by completing an Expression of Interest (EOI) in the form of a short online survey. On this survey, candidates will provide required information about their work experience, language, education, age, adaptability and business. Only applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be able to submit an EOI. Candidates will be assessed based on a points matrix according to their profile and then assigned a score and added to the EOI pool. EOIs can remain in the pool for up to one year from the date of receipt. If the EOI is not selected during this time, it will be removed from the pool. After this point candidates may submit a new EOI if they so choose. If candidates are able to acquire additional points after submitting their EOI, they will need to submit a new one. 
Step 2: Invitation to Apply
Top scoring applicants will be notified by the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) that they are being invited to submit a formal application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP). Complete applications received from those invited to apply will then undergo an assessment by the NSOI.
Complete applications are expected to contain the following:

  • A complete application form (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter);
  • All supporting documentation (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter); and
  • An Audit Opinion and Special Purpose Report, both of which must be prepared by one of the NSOI’s designated Audit Service Verifiers (submitted within 90 days of the issuance of the ITA letter).

Step 3: In-Person Interview and Request for Nomination
Once an applicant has been assessed and is deemed to meet the criteria of the program, the applicant will be contacted about an in-person interview with an official of the NSOI. All interviews will take place in Nova Scotia and are expected to take place within 15 business days of the candidate being contacted. The interview will include a site visit to the eligible business. Unsuccessful interviews or failure to participate in the interview within the 15 day time limit will result in closure of the application.
If the NSOI officer assessing the application is satisfied that the candidate meets all program criteria, and there are no other reasons that would prevent the nomination, the candidate will be nominated for Canadian permanent residence by Nova Scotia under the NSNP.
Step 4: Applying for Permanent Residence
Upon nomination, the applicant will apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent resident status within six months. Candidates should note that an NSNP nomination does not guarantee the issuance of a Permanent Resident Visa. If the application is approved by the visa office, the candidate will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. He or she is required to provide a copy of the confirmation to the NSOI within 30 business days.
Minimum Eligibility Criteria
Minimum Requirements for Applicants
In order to be eligible under the NSNP International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, applicants must:

  • Have completed a full-time Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma or degree of at least two years in length from a recognized university in Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Community College;
  • Have resided in Nova Scotia full-time during the academic program;
  • Demonstrate genuine intent to settle permanently in Nova Scotia
  • Have already owned and operated a business in Nova Scotia for at least one continuous year prior to the date of EOI submission;
  • Demonstrate sufficient language abilities in either English or French verified by an approved language testing agency;
  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit at the time of application to the NSOI;
  • Own 100% of the equity of the eligible business and provide active and ongoing participation in the daily management and direction of the business; and
  • Demonstrate that they are receiving compensation in the form of salary from the business.

Minimum Requirements for Businesses
In order to qualify as an eligible business under the Entrepreneur program, the business must:

  • Have been started as a career objective, those created solely for immigration purposes are ineligible;
  • Meet the legal requirements of the community in which it will operate;
  • Be a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • Be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under subsection 400(2) of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations, 1985;
  • Be liable to pay income tax on taxable income earned as a result of a “permanent establishment” in Nova Scotia, irrespective of income or other taxes which may also be payable in other jurisdictions as a result of income earned or other business activity;
  • Be actively managed by the applicant from the place of business in Nova Scotia;
  • Have the potential to create significant economic benefit to the province of Nova Scotia.

Additional Requirements for Starting a Business
In addition,if starting a business, the applicant must create at least one full time (or equivalent) employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Nova Scotia (non-relative workers). This position must be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant; be directly related to the applicant’s business; and meet the prevailing wage rates.
Additional Requirements for Business Succession
If the applicant is purchasing an existing Nova Scotia business, the following requirements must be met:

  • The Nova Scotia based business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous five years; and
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.

Expression of Interest Points Matrix
When candidates submit their Expression of Interest in Step 1, a points matrix will be used to select the strongest applicants who best align with Nova Scotia’s business and economic priorities based on 8 factors: language, education, business ownership or management experience, level of investment in the business, net worth, age, adaptability, and Nova Scotia priorities.
Candidates are required to get at least the minimum available score in each factor in order to submit an Expression of Interest.

Selection factor Points
Languabe abilities Maximum 35 points
Education Maximum 25 points
Work experience Maximum 15 points
Age Maximum 10 points
Adaptability Maximum 10 points
Nova Scotia economic priorities Maximum 10 points
Total Maximum 105 points

 

Factor 1: Language Abilities

First official language Points
  Speaking Listening Reading Writing Total
CLB level 9 or higher 7 7 7 7 28
CLB level 8 6 6 6 6 24
CLB level 7 5 5 5 5 20
Below CLB level 5 Ineligible

 

Second official language Points
At least CLB 5 in all of the four abilities 7

 

Factor 2: Education

Level of Education Points
Less than a Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma  Ineligible 
Completion of a Nova Scotia post-secondary diploma for a two-year program 12
Completion of a Nova Scotia post-secondary degree or diploma for a program of three years or longer 15
Two or more Canadian post-secondary degrees or diplomas (at least one completed at a Nova Scotia institution) 17
Nova Scotia university degree at the Master’s level 22
Completion of a Nova Scotia university level entry-to-practice professional degree. 22
Nova Scotia university degree at the Doctoral (PhD) level 25

 

Factor 3: Work Experience

Work Experience Points
Less than 3 years of work experience in the last 10 years at NOC 0, A, or B level No points awarded
3 to 5 years of work experience in the last 10 years at NOC 0, A, or B level 10
Greater than 5 years of work experience in the last 10 years at NOC 0, A, or B level 15

 

Factor 4: Adaptability 


Adaptability Factor
Points
Spouse or common-law partner’s language proficiency 5
Spouse or partner’s past study in Nova Scotia 5
Spouse or common-law partner’s past work in Nova Scotia 5
Relatives in Nova Scotia 5

 

Factor 5: Age

Age strong Points
Less than 21 years Ineligible
21-39 years 10
40-44 years 7
45-55 years 5
56 years or older 0

 

Factor 6: Nova Scotia Economic Priorities

Nova Scotia Economic Priorities Points
Export-oriented business 5
Proposed business location outside of Halifax Regional Municipality 5
Business succession 5