Visa Crunch

With Canada’s Economy Ramping Up, Nova Scotia Expands Immigration Programs

Economic immigration to Nova Scotia is likely to increase as jobs return to the province and the economy expands, thanks to the Maritime province’s relaxation of Covid-19 public health limitations and the reopening of the Canadian border.

Foreign nationals who come to Nova Scotia to start a business or start new employment typically contribute to around three-quarters of all immigration. Economic immigration to Nova Scotia resulted in the province accepting 5,875 new permanent residents in the last full year before the pandemic, accounting for 77.5 per cent of the 7,580 who made the province their home in 2019.

Over the coming year, a strong job market and economic development are likely to boost economic immigration to Nova Scotia.

“We are projecting an expansion of 4.2 per cent for Nova Scotia this year, more than reversing the three per cent decline in 2020,” wrote economists Beata Caranci, Derek Burleton, Rishi Sondhi, and Omar Abdelrahman in their TD Economics Provincial Economic Forecast earlier this year. “Employment remains only 0.4 per cent below its pre-pandemic level as of August, one of the best performances in Canada.”

According to TD Economics, the construction and finance, insurance, and real estate industries will all contribute significantly to the province’s overall economic activity this year.

According to that prediction, the province’s real GDP will expand by 4.2 per cent this year and another 2.4 per cent next year. Nova Scotia’s job growth is similar to that of the rest of Canada, and it’s especially encouraging because many of the new jobs are full-time.

Nova Scotia, where Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser is from, is a proponent of immigration.

Due to labour shortages, the government began a $2.5 million marketing effort earlier this year to both attract immigrants and encourage people from other parts of Canada to relocate to the province.

Everyday Nova Scotians, known as Bluenosers, share this sentiment. According to a poll taken earlier this year, 75% of Nova Scotians believe their province should aim to attract more immigrants from other countries.

More Nova Scotians are in favour of bringing in medical doctors from other countries. The majority of Nova Scotians (92%) want the province to hire doctors from other nations. The present marketing campaign aimed at attracting more immigrants to Nova Scotia appears to be successful.

Despite the pandemic, which has resulted in public health restrictions and border closures, Nova Scotia has already accepted 44.7 per cent more permanent residents in the first nine months of this year than it did in the entire year of 2020.

Nova Scotia should welcome 89.4 per cent more new permanent residents this year than it did in 2019, the previous full year before the pandemic, based on the current rate of immigration. The number of new permanent residents in Nova Scotia has consistently increased, from 3,405 in 2015 to 5,485 the following year.

With only 4,515 new permanent residents in 2017, the influx of immigrants slowed slightly in 2017, but picked up again in 2018, with 5,965 new arrivals. Then, in 2019, immigration increased by about 27.1 per cent, bringing in 7,580 new permanent residents.

Nova Scotia is doing more than just selling itself in order to attract more immigrants to its borders. It’s also opening up new avenues for permanent residency.

The International Graduates In-Demand stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP), which targets international graduates, was launched this year by Nova Scotia Immigration. International graduates must also have completed at least half of their courses in Nova Scotia, in addition to having a job offer from a Nova Scotia firm that corresponds to their fields of study.

The NSNP has nine separate streams with a three-month target processing period for applicants.

Highly skilled immigrants with experience in Nova Scotia can apply for permanent residency under the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream if they have one year of experience in a NOC – O, A, or B position.

Priorities of the Nova Scotia Labor Market: The province can use the Express Entry stream to target specific occupations for immigration. Letters of Interest are targeted at vocations in this stream, with Early Childhood Educators being the first emphasis job.

The Nova Scotia Physician Stream is a comparable stream for physicians. It aids the province’s public health system in the recruitment of general practitioners, family physicians, and specialists. Its purpose is to assist the province in recruiting and retaining doctors for positions that it has been unable to fill with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Foreign nationals with company ownership or senior management expertise who live in Nova Scotia can either start a new firm or buy an existing one to gain permanent status under the Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream.

After operating the firm for a year, applicants are awarded a temporary Work Permit before seeking permanent residence. Candidates in a pool are asked to apply in this stream, which uses an Expression of Interest format.

The International Graduate Entrepreneur stream is another option for gaining permanent residency by running a business. It is intended for recent graduates of a Nova Scotia university or community college. On a Post-Graduation Work Permit, they must have created or purchased a Nova Scotia firm and operated it for a year.

The Atlantic High-Skilled Program is for skilled workers with managerial, professional, or technical/skilled employment experience who have at least a year’s worth of job offers. Those with permanent employment offers that need a high school diploma and/or job-specific training are eligible to apply for the Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program.

Candidates who have a degree, diploma, or equivalent credential from a publicly-funded university in an Atlantic province and a job offer for at least one year but no work experience are eligible for the Atlantic International Graduate Program.

Each employment offer made through the AIP must be approved by the province. After the candidate receives their Settlement Plan, the employer handles the application for endorsement.

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