Nova Scotia's Express Entry Programme

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia has brought about a novel immigration programme which has been given the memorable title of “Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry”. Designed to offer migrants the opportunity of settling in one of Canada's Atlantic Ocean facing provinces, the programme differs from many others in the country - and across the globe - because it will operate for certain migrants even under the unusual circumstance that they do not have a job offer at hand. Understandably, the programme is likely to be popular and the provincial authorities have set the region to accommodate no less than 350 applications under the programme during this year. 

Although an offer of employment is not a requirement under the scheme, it should be pointed out that Canada Immigration points are. These points are something that is needed for virtually all the other visa application programmes run in the North American country. All applicants to the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry scheme must adhere to the point-based system which assesses various aspects of their life, work and skills. To be eligible for the programme, applicants need to score a minimum of 67 points out of 100. However, the scheme is not just available to people of working age and is extended to their families, as well. This means that applicants - along with their husband, wife or common-law partner – can be assessed. Under the programme, dependent children who are under 19 years of age, are also included.

Express Entry Application Requirements

Like other , every applicant will be assessed with a points grid which measures things like education, language skills and work experience. Other factors, such as age and adaptability are also included in the assessment process. Along with assessments that are offered to people without a job in the pipeline, potential candidates will be evaluated immediately if they are able to demonstrate that they have already obtained an offer of employment from a business in the province.

Anyone who is thinking about applying to Nova Scotia under the Express Entry Visa System, must bear in mind the following further requirements which they need to meet in order to be eligible. If not, then their application, no matter how diligently filled-in, is likely to fail. For example, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have completed a minimum of one year of full-time work or have similar work experience. The equivalent to one year's work experience in a part-time work placement will also be acceptable so long as it has been held for sufficient time. However, either part or full-time, the work experience must be completed in one of the 29 skilled opportunity occupations that the programme is limited to. These trades and professions are considered to be in high demand in Nova Scotia – and have been over the course of the past five years - hence the region's immigration policy of accepting people with the relevant skills, even if they do not have a firm job offer. Such is the demand in these areas of work that it is expected that gainful employment will soon be found after applicants have been accepted. The 29 opportunity occupations are quite widespread and include a variety of professions in the engineering, healthcare and computing industries. People with work experience in the fields of science and finance are also likely to be able to find a category of opportunity occupation suited to them, too.

Nova Scotia, which has a population of just under one million inhabitants, may demand a foreign diploma, an education certificate or another credential if an applicant under the Express Entry programme does not possess the equivalent of a post-secondary Canadian educational qualification. In addition, language ability will need to be assessed to a minimum score, in accordance with the regulations that are already in place across the country, under the federal government's rules. English or French are acceptable language skills to have and the standards of language can either be tested in IELTS or CELPBrighter in English or, for French speakers, TEF.

Potential migrants to the easterly region should remember that the province has three major immigration programmes in operation. Along with the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry programme, would-be migrants can also apply to live and work in the province under the Skilled worker programme or the Family Business Worker programme. Therefore, the new Express Entry system may not be the best route to take, in all cases. Nevertheless, because Nova Scotia has forecast that it will have the third-highest level of economic growth across all Canadian provinces this year, demand under all of the entry programmes available is expected to be high.

January 23, 2015

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