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Home » Immigration Categories » Immigration to Canada » Provincial Nominee Program » Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) is the first step in a two-step application process for a permanent resident visa to Canada. It allows the Government of Nova Scotia to recruit and select immigrants who intend to settle in the province, and have the skills, education, and work experience needed to make an immediate contribution to labour market and economic needs.

Successful applicants will receive a Nova Scotia Provincial Nomination Certificate, which will speed-up the Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa application process.Under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), you may qualify under one of the following categories:

The processing time for eligible applications can be up to three months or more.

Skilled Worker

The Skilled Worker stream helps employers recruit and hire foreign workers whose skills are in limited supply in Nova Scotia, for positions they have been unable to fill with permanent residents or Canadian citizens.

Before submitting an application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), the skilled worker must have a full-time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer. Provincial priorities may change as skill shortages are met by permanent residents or Canadian citizens.


Defined as individuals with occupation within NOC skill level O, A or B. Priority will be awarded to these higher skilled occupations.


Have occupations that fall under the NOC skill level C occupations. The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration may consider applications based on local labour market requirement and conditions, and 6 months of work with the Nova Scotia employer supporting the application.


Have occupations that fall under the NOC skill level D. The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration may consider applications from individuals in these occupations only if all other eligibility criteria are met, the principal applicant has worked for at least 6 months with the Nova Scotia employer supporting the application, there are indicators of success in the application, and there is strong employer support.

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration reserves the right to consider only certain types of jobs and occupations for nomination, depending on the current economic situation of the Nova Scotia labour market needs.

For skilled, semi-skilled and low-skilled workers, priority will be given to workers whose employers:

  • Have made a genuine effort to recruit qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Can demonstrate they’ll provide additional supports to assist newcomers with their settlement needs

Positions in all skill level occupations need to receive prevailing wages for their industry or sector as per the Government of Canada Website.

Regional Labour Market Demand Stream

The new Regional Labour Market Demand stream, introduced on March 06, 2014, is aimed at selecting individuals who meet the labour market needs, are destined to join the labour market with a full-time and permanent position, and wish to live in the Province of Nova Scotia permanently.

Applicants are NOT required to have a permanent, full-time job offer from a Nova Scotia employer at the time of submitting their application; however, they must intend to pursue employment in an occupation that is in demand in the Province. To determine whether your intended occupation is in demand, please refer to the following list:

You can also refer to the Working In Canada website under the” Explore Careers by Occupation”.

The outlook for your intended occupation must be good-to-fair in the area you intend to settle in order for your application to be considered under the Regional Labour Market Demand stream.

There is no deadline for applying to the NSNP. However, program criteria may change without notice and your application will be assessed according to the criteria in place at the time the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration receives your complete application.

Some of the highlights of the Regional Labour Market Demand stream:

  • No job offer required
  • There is no deadline for applying to the NSNP
  • No cap or quota on the receipt of the number of applications
  • IELTS (General and Academic) pass score requirements are comparatively lower
  • Processing time for confirmation of eligibility is usually up to  three months or more

The NSNP has released some additional information regarding the Regional Labour Market Demand stream and its requirements, including the following:

  • At this time, there is no limit to the number of applications that will be accepted for review under the Regional Labour Market Demand stream. This year only 150 applicants to this stream will receive a Provincial Nomination Certificate, but not necessarily the first 150 applications submitted.
  • Applicants who do not receive a Provincial Nomination Certificate for this year will be given the option of withdrawing their application or remaining in the queue for next year.
  • Both IELTS General and IELTS Academic tests will be accepted as proof of English proficiency.

Q:    I hear there is a cap.  Have you reached it yet?
A:    NSNP is still accepting applications for all of our streams.  They have received a huge number of applications for the Regional Labour Market Demand stream, though, and they will only be nominating 150 of those this year.  The successful applicants – the ones who are nominated – will meet all of the qualifications listed in their guidelines, will have included all of the information and documents that are required, and show a sincere intention to live in Nova Scotia.

Q:    What will happen to my application after you reach 150?
A:    NSNP will give you the option of withdrawing your application or keeping it in the queue for next year.

Q:    When will I hear whether I’ve made it in or not?
A:    NSNP will send you a letter once  they have had an initial look at your application to see if it is complete.  They call this “pre-screening.”  Because of the large number of applications they have been receiving under the Regional Labour Market Demand stream, it will take them longer than their normal three months (or less) to process.  Please do not contact them to ask about the status of your application – if you haven’t heard from them, they haven’t reviewed your application yet, and answering calls takes time away from processing your file.

Q:    I forgot something in my application – can I send it now, or should I resubmit my application?
A:    NSNP is not able to accept missing documents at this point, and preference is given to complete applications.  Wait until you hear from them before sending anything else.

Q:    Can I apply to your Nominee Program if I don’t yet have a job lined up?
A:    If you have training and experience in an occupation that needs workers, you may qualify for the NSNP Regional Labour Market Demand stream, even before you have a permanent job lined up.  Read the qualifications and the list of occupations in demand in Nova Scotia carefully.

Q:    My job is not included on the In Demand list prescribe by NSNP.  Can I still apply through the Regional Labour Market Demand stream?
A:    You will only be eligible if your occupation is listed on the In Demand list, or on the Working In Canada list.

Q:    Do I need to take the IELTS General test if I’ve already passed the IELTS Academic?
A:    No, you don’t.  You need to prove that you have good ability in English or French, and the IELTS Academic will do that.  The different ways that you can prove language competence are outlined in the NSNP application guide.

Q:    I have put in an application to the Nominee Program in another province and not heard anything.  Can I apply to your program?
A:    You can, if you really want to make a life in Nova Scotia.  In order to receive a nomination through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, you need to meet all of the requirements listed in the NSNP guidelines, submit a complete application and show that you have a sincere intention to settle permanently in Nova Scotia.

Q:    Do I need a consultant or a lawyer to apply to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program?
A:    No, you don’t, but you may make use of a consultant or lawyer if you wish.

Q:    I’ have called your office or sent a question your office email address and have not heard back.  When will I?
A:    NSNP has been getting hundreds of calls and emails asking for information and sometimes it may not be possible to receive a replies to all the queries.  Because of the large number of applications they have been receiving under the Regional Labour Market Demand stream, it will take them longer than their normal three months (or less) to process.  Please do not contact them to ask about the status of your application – if you haven’t heard from them, they haven’t reviewed your application yet, and answering calls takes time away from processing your file.

 Family Business Worker

The Family Business Worker stream helps employers hire workers who are close relatives, and have the work experience and required skills for positions employers may have been unable to fill with a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

Before submitting an application to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), the family business worker must have a full-time, permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer who is a close relative and who owns an established business in Nova Scotia.

The worker or the spouse must be related to the family business owner or spouse of the business owner in one of the following ways. The worker is the business owner’s *:

  • Son or daughter
  • Brother or sister
  • Niece or nephew (children of brothers or sisters)
  • Uncle or aunt (parent’s brothers or sisters)
  • Grandchild

(* or a step or half-relative of the same degree)

Note: At this time, under the Family Business Worker stream, the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration will not consider low-skilled occupations that fall under the NOC Skill level D.

A word about Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is Canada’s second-smallest province in area, but with almost 1 million residents it is the most densely populated in the country. It is located in Eastern Canada, close to the province of New Brunswick and the American state of Maine. It is one of the country’s three Maritime Provinces, and is almost completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.

Nova Scotia’s capital, Halifax, is a city of about 400,000 residents. It is home to world class universities such as Dalhousie University, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Saint Mary’s University. Despite its modest size, Halifax is internationally renowned for its active music, art, and theatre scenes.  A large number of Canada’s most famous actors and painters call Halifax home.

Working in Nova Scotia

According to a government study, Nova Scotia expects to experience “significant growth” due to retirement rates as well as expansion of new sectors of industry. These sectors includes: aerospace, information technology, skilled trades, financial services, and healthcare.

It is no surprise that the 43 eligible occupations for the Regional Labour Market Demand stream fall largely within the scope of the province’s emerging sectors. In fact, Nova Scotia’s economy is expanding so quickly that the province has projected that it needs 75,000 new workers between the years 2011 and 2016. A full two-thirds of these new jobs will originate from the service sector.

It is said that when it comes to career options, Nova Scotia is setting itself up to compete with some of the world’s best markets. But work is just one aspect of life in Canada. Residents of Nova Scotia find that, between bustling cities and towns and miles of pristine beach and forest, the province truly has the best of both worlds. The NSNP’s new stream is a rare opportunity for applicants to have the chance of moving to one of Canada’s best kept secrets.”


    1. International Graduate Stream
      The International Graduate stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program is closed. International graduates interested in acquiring permanent residence status in Canada are encouraged to apply through the federal Canadian Experience Class.
    2. Language Standards and Mandatory Testing
      As of July 1st, 2012, applicants in NOC skill levels C and D occupations must submit official language results with their application to the NSNP. This is a requirement from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. For additional information about standards, please visit the CIC website.
    3. Centralized Intake Office for Provincial Nominees
      As of December 1st, 2011, once you have been nominated by the Government of Nova Scotia, you must submit your application for permanent residence to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Centralized Intake Office.
    4. Community Identified Stream
      The Community Identified stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program is closed. The Community Identified stream has been replaced with the new Regional Labour Market Demand stream 

Our goal is to provide each client with a successful outcome by determining the most appropriate solution. If you would like to know whether you could be eligible to immigrate to Canada, we invite you to complete our online assessment questionnaire.

If you are interested in seeking professional assistance to guide you through the immigration process or if you have any questions, please contact us.

Looking for more information about the Provincial Nominee Progam (PNP)?

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