Nova Scotia Pnp

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Nova Scotia PNP

For those prospective immigrants who acquire the skills and experience that are required by the province of Nova Scotia, may be nominated to immigrate.

Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program streams are:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Skilled Worker

The processing time for eligible applications can be three (3) months or more.

Within six (6) months of receiving your nominee certificate, apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for your permanent resident visa. You, your spouse and your dependents must meet all requirements for medical, security and criminal admissibility. In some cases, you may be asked to go for an interview. CIC has the final authority to issue a permanent resident visa.


As mentioned

The Entrepreneur Stream is for experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Nova Scotia. They must start a new business or buy an existing business and must actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business. After operating the business for a year, the entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status. Application to the stream is by invitation only.


To apply you must:

  • be 21 years of age or older;
  • want to live permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business;
  • have a net worth of at least $600,000 CAD;
  • be able to invest at least $150,000 CAD of your own money to establish a business in Nova Scotia;
  • have at least 3 years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (1/3 ownership minimum) OR more than 5 years’ experience in a senior business management role;
  • have a score of at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French;
  • complete an online Expression of Interest;
  • receive an Invitation to Apply from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

Eligibility Criteria for Applicant’s Business

In addition to meeting the minimum eligibility criteria above, the applicant’s proposed business must also meet the following criteria:

  • The applicant must own at least one third (33.33%) 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.
  • Businesses must meet the legal requirements of the community in which they operate.
  • 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 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.
  • The business must be actively managed by the applicant 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 have the potential to create significant economic benefit to Nova Scotia. For example:
    1. Increasing value added manufacturing or processing, exports, destination tourism, research and development, and technology commercialization;
    2. Developing innovative approaches to traditional businesses
    3. Transferring technology and specialized knowledge to Nova Scotia; or
    4. Providing products or services to an under-served local or regional market.

There are two categories within the Entrepreneur Stream, Starting a New Business and Purchasing an Existing Business. Each category has unique criteria in addition to the criteria noted above.

Additional Criteria When Starting a New Business

If starting a business, the applicant must create a minimum of one full-time or equivalent part-time employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident in Nova Scotia (non-relative worker). This position(s) must:

  • Be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant. For clarity, jobs created for or filled by dependents or relatives of the applicant are not eligible.
  • Be relevant and directly related to the applicant’s business.
  • Meet the prevailing wage levels

Additional Criteria When Purchasing an Existing Business

If the applicant is purchasing an existing Nova Scotia business, all of the following apply:

  • The Nova Scotia based business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner in Nova Scotia for the previous five (5) years
  • All applicants purchasing or partnering in an existing business 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
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.

How to Apply

  • Complete the Expression of Interest.
  • If you are invited to apply, complete the application form and include all required information and attachments.

There are six (6) steps an applicant must complete:

  • Step 1: Expression of Interest Criteria and Process
  • Step 2: Invitation to Apply
  • Step 3: In Person Interview and Business Performance Agreement
  • Step 4: Work Permit and Business Establishment in Nova Scotia
  • Step 5: Request for Nomination
  • Step 6: Apply for Permanent Residence

Application and Assessment Process

The following section outlines the six steps required to obtain permanent residency. NSOI is involved in the first five steps. The final step, applying for Permanent Residency, involves the federal department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). More information on all of these steps is outlined below.

Step 1: Expression of Interest Criteria and Process

Prospective applicants must indicate their interest in applying for the Entrepreneur Stream by submitting an online Expression of Interest (EOI). NSOI will select EOIs based upon their score on the points grid, with the top scoring EOIs being prioritized for selection. Submitting an EOI does not guarantee acceptance to the program or nomination.


  • Complete this Expression of Interest. Once started, it cannot be saved and completed later.
  • After you submit the Expression of Interest, your score will be sent to you in a confirmation email.
  • You will be contacted again if you are selected to apply to the nominee program. Selection is based on nominee program targets and an assessment of your Expression of Interest. Submitting an Expression of Interest does not guarantee an invitation to apply to the nominee program.
  • Apply to the nominee program. If you are asked to apply AND you are nominated, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will decide if you can be a permanent resident.

Step 2: Invitation to Apply

If your EOI is selected, you will receive an ITA letter from NSOI. This letter will include an ITA File Number.

As part of your application to NSOI, you are expected to provide the following:

  • A complete application forms
  • All supporting documentation
  • A Business Establishment Plan; and
  • A Net Worth Verification Report

All documentation for your application must be provided in English or French.

NSOI Assessment of Your Application

Eligibility and Completion Check

After your application is received and subject to application volumes, NSOI will review your application to ensure that it is complete and meets eligibility criteria before it is accepted for assessment. If your application is not complete or if you do not meet basic eligibility requirements, your application will be rejected and your file will be closed.


NSOI will conduct a full review and evaluation of the complete application. The processing time for a completed application eligible for consideration will depend on the time required for the verification of documents included in the application and on the volume of applications received. Your application will be assessed against the Entrepreneur Stream Eligibility Criteria and your EOI points assessment will be verified. If upon review of your application you do not meet Entrepreneur Stream Eligibility Criteria your application will be declared ineligible, and subsequently closed.

Step 3: In Person Interview and Business Performance Agreement

In Person Interview

After assessment of the application is complete, if you appear to meet the Entrepreneur Eligibility Criteria you will be contacted to participate in an in-person interview with NSOI staff. You will be required to travel to Nova Scotia to participate in this interview. It is anticipated that the interview take place within 60 calendar days of NSOI’s request.

Upon completion of a successful in-person interview, you will be sent a Business Performance Agreement for your review and signature.

Business Performance Agreement

Upon completion of a successful in-person interview, you will be sent a Business Performance Agreement:

  • You must scan your signed and dated Business Performance Agreement and submit as instructed within 15 business days from the date the agreement was sent to you electronically by NSOI.
  • Your Business Performance Agreement is your legal agreement with the Province of Nova Scotia. It will state the amount you will invest in your business and the business sector where you will operate your business. The Business Performance Agreement will also list any other information relevant to your application including but not limited to: job creation, business succession, and business location. This is based upon the information you supplied in your Business Establishment Plan.
  • A Business Performance Agreement template can be found at

Application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a Work Permit

Upon receipt of your signed and dated Business Performance Agreement, NSOI will issue you with an Entrepreneur Approval Letter and instructions on how to apply to IRCC for a Work Permit (WP). A WP allows you to settle in Nova Scotia and operate your business.

Step 4: Work Permit and Business Establishment in Nova Scotia

If your application for a WP is approved, you will be expected to arrive in Nova Scotia within 12 months of receiving your Entrepreneur Approval Letter.

Upon arrival in Nova Scotia, it is recommended that you start operating your business within six months of your Arrival Date.

Arrival Meeting with NSOI

All approved applicants are required to meet with NSOI staff within 60 calendar days of their Arrival Date.

Step 5: Request for Nomination

In order to be eligible for nomination you and your dependents must be living in Nova Scotia and you must have fulfilled the terms outlined in the Business Performance Agreement including transferring the required funds to Canada, and maintaining legal status in Canada. You must also have operated your business in accordance with your Business Performance Agreement for at least one year before requesting nomination.

Nomination Decision

Nomination is at the sole discretion of NSOI. If an application is assessed, NSOI will communicate the decision in writing to the applicant or their representative.

Step 6: Apply for Permanent Residence

If you are nominated by the Province of Nova Scotia, then it is your responsibility to submit a complete application for a permanent resident visa to the Centralized Intake Office as indicated in NSOI’s Letter of Nomination, within 6 (six) months.

A nomination by the Province of Nova Scotia does not guarantee that a Permanent Resident visa will be issued.

Application for Permanent Residence

  • To obtain Permanent Residence status, you must apply to IRCC with your NSNP nomination. You must:
    1. Ensure you maintain your legal status in Canada; and
    2. Have a valid Work Permit while you are waiting for IRCC to process your permanent resident application.
  • IRCC considers your application after they receive the nomination certificate from the NSNP.
  • IRCC completes health, security and criminal reviews, and then, if approved, issues a permanent residency visa to you and your dependents.

IRCC makes the final decision for the granting of permanent resident visas after ensuring that all legislative requirements are met, including medical, criminality and security checks.

NSOI is not responsible for IRCC’s decision to grant or deny Permanent Residence status.

NSOI may withdraw your nomination at any time prior to the issuance of the permanent resident visa if:

  • You no longer meet minimum eligibility requirements of the program including deviations from your Business Performance Agreement;
  • NSOI is advised by the Canadian visa office that any information provided in your application for permanent residency is false or fraudulent; or
  • IRCC finds that you or a dependent is inadmissible as a result of medical, criminality, security checks or invalid passport.

If approved by the visa office, you and your dependents will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence.

You must provide NSOI a copy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence within 30 business days.

Entrepreneur Document Checklist

Please follow the Entrepreneur Document Checklist when submitting your application to NSOI.

Documents Required:

  • Application Form
  • Use of a Representative Form (if applicable)
  • Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual Form (if applicable)
  • Business establishment plan
  • Net Worth Verification Report
  • Travel Documents, Passports and Visas
  • Proof of legal status in your country of residence
  • Identity and Civil Status Documents
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Children’s Information: Birth certificates, Adoption papers (if applicable), Custody document and permission for the child to come to Canada (if applicable).
  • Education certifications received (e.g., degrees, diplomas or certificates)
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)
  • Transcripts for successfully completed secondary or post-secondary studies
  • Language Tests Documents
  • Resume
  • Reference letters
  • Copies of employment contracts
  • Pay stubs or payroll records s for a period of the most recent 12 months
  • Business registration license
  • Registration with taxation authorities
  • Proof of shareholding
  • Enterprise’s last year’s financial statement, highlighting where the salaries and/or dividends paid to PA were recorded
  • Business items of principal applicant’s current business/employer such as product brochures, photographs of business establishment, etc.
  • Any other documents that will support business ownership.
  • Business valuation report
  • Financial statements from the business for the previous five (5) years
  • List of current employees with their salaries and number of hours of work
  • Proof of payment of employees’ salaries for a period of 12 months
  • Employment offer letters accepted by employees of the business
  • Proof of exploratory visit to Nova Scotia and related supporting documents such as:
    1. Flight itinerary and boarding passes
    2. Summary of meetings including the itinerary of meetings and associated photographs or business cards for personal and business interactions
    3. Photographs of the principal applicant’s trip
    4. Email correspondence with any business contacts in Nova Scotia/Canada, etc.
  • Previous study in Nova Scotia (if applicable) – you and/or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner
  • Previous work in Nova Scotia (if applicable) – you and/or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner
  • Relatives in Nova Scotia (if applicable) – Submit proof of relationship, Proof of status, Proof of residency
  • Your spouse or common-law partner’s language proficiency

Nova Scotia Entrepreneur Ranking System

The Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream uses the following system to rank candidates who have submitted Expressions of Interest (EOIs).

Overview of Factors

Selection Factor
Maximum Points
Business Ownership or Management Experience35
Net Worth10
Economic Priorities10

Skilled Worker

As in

The Skilled Worker stream helps employers recruit foreign workers and recently graduated international students whose skills are needed in Nova Scotia.


To apply you must:

  • have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer;
  • have 1 year of work experience related to the job. (Semi-skilled and low-skilled workers must already have six months’ experience with the employer.);
  • be 21 to 55 years old;
  • have a high school diploma;
  • have the appropriate training, skills and/or accreditation for the job;
  • prove language ability equal to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5 if you are a skilled worker. If your first language is English or French, that is enough proof. Semi-skilled and low-skilled workers must have test results to prove they meet CLB 4 even if their first language is English or French;
  • show enough financial resources to successfully settle in Nova Scotia.

How To Apply

Complete the online application form and include all required information and attachments.

You must apply to 2 levels of government: provincial and federal

Level 1: Nova Scotia (provincial)

First you apply to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) Skilled Worker stream. If you are nominated for this stream, an email is sent to you with a nomination certificate. At the same time, a proof of your nomination to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is sent to you.

Level 2: Canada (federal)

Next, if you are nominated by the Province of Nova Scotia, apply to IRCC for your permanent resident visa within 6 months of receiving your nomination certificate. You may submit applications for yourself and include your spouse and dependents in the application.

It is up to you to provide ALL of the documents required including those that you get from your employer, your spouse or common-law partner, and your dependents. You must also ensure that all documents are valid when you submit your application for this stream AND when you apply for a permanent resident visa. If you are missing documents or any document is invalid, your application will be refused.

You may need a licence or certificate for the job you have been offered

Before you apply to the Skilled Worker stream, find out if you need a licence or certificate to do the job you have been offered. Your employer can help you with this.

There are no guarantees

Submitting an application and meeting the eligibility requirements for the Skilled Worker stream do NOT guarantee that your application will be processed and assessed.

Even if you are successful and receive a nomination certificate, we cannot guarantee that you will receive a work permit or permanent resident visa.

Gather the Documents

You will need a number of documents to complete your application. Documents in languages other than English or French must be translated by a certified translator.

Documents related to your job offer

NSNP 200—Your employer must complete and sign this form. It proves that they have offered you a permanent, full-time job.

A signed copy of the accepted job offer

A copy of your Employer Registration Certificate if you need one

A copy of the LMIA in which the applicant is named. The expiry date must be on or after the date that the applicant submits their application to us (NSOI).

Documents related to your work experience

To prove that you have the work experience and skills needed for the job, you must include letters of reference from your employers. These letters must be written on company letterhead and they must be stamped with the company’s official seal if it has one.

Documents related to your education and training

  • a copy of your high-school diploma
  • Copies of all certificates, diplomas, and degrees
  • copies of the licences or certificates required for the job you have been offered, if needed

Documents related to your ability to communicate in English or French

If your first language is NOT English or French, you must provide evidence that you meet one of the following:

  • the criteria listed under Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Level 5 or higher
  • the criteria listed under Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) Level 5 or higher

Documents about you and your family

  • Passports
  • A copy of proof of legal status for the country where you are currently living, including Canada
  • Letters from previous attempts to immigrate to Canada.

Documents related to your spouse and children if they are immigrating with you

Include the documents that apply to you:

  • a copy of your marriage certificate
  • copies of birth certificates for dependent children
  • copies of custody documents and permission for the child to come to Canada
  • copies of adoption papers

Documents related to your immigration status

Include the documents that apply to you:

  • If you currently live in Canada, include a copy of proof of your legal status in Canada. Ensure that your proof is valid when you submit your application.
  • If you currently live in a country of which you are NOT a citizen, include a copy of proof of your legal status in that country.
  • If you have applied to immigrate to Canada before, include copies of every letter you have received from the Canadian government or any provincial or territorial government regarding each application.

Documents related to your move to Nova Scotia

You may provide one or both of the following:

  • banking statements from the past 3 months showing all account balances and transaction history
  • statements from your investment portfolio showing fixed deposits and the terms for withdrawing funds before the investment matures

This may include transferable funds in your name or your spouse’s name.

Application Process

Apply to the NSNP under the Skilled Worker stream:

1. Go to to submit your application.

You must complete the eNSNP 100 form online and ensure that you include all the documents we need. On the form you must show your intention to settle in Nova Scotia.

2. You will either be nominated or refused

If you are nominated

If you meet the Skilled Worker stream criteria, you will receive an email with a nomination certificate to you or your representative. The certificate expires 6 months after the date of nomination. You will also receive proof of your nomination directly to IRCC. You need to apply for this visa within 6 months of receiving your nomination certificate.

If your application is refused

Your application will be refused if you do NOT meet the criteria for the Skilled Worker stream. You will receive an email explaining the concerns or requesting further information. You have 10 business days to submit new information to consider. After 10 business days your application will be re-assessed, including the new information. A final decision will then be made and emailed to you or your representative.

If your application is refused, you will receive a notification.

3. Ask for a Letter of Support for your Temporary Work Permit

After you have been nominated by the Province of Nova Scotia, you can request a Letter of Support from the office (NSOI) if your work permit is expiring within the next several months. You can use this letter to apply for a temporary work permit or to renew your existing work permit with IRCC.

4. Apply for permanent residence

Within 6 months of your nomination certificate having been issued, submit a complete application for a permanent resident visa to IRCC.

5. Inform NSOI when you become a permanent resident

Contact NSOI within 30 days of your arrival in Nova Scotia. Send these documents:

  • a copy of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • a copy of your passport
  • your Nova Scotia contact information including
  • your current address
  • your phone number
  • your email address
  • if your status changes at any time before you receive a permanent resident visa (a change in marital status, you no longer have a job offer and/or you changed employers)

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