New Immigration Pathway Created for International Students

International graduates now have a route to immigrate to Nova Scotia after changes to the Provincial Nominee Program.

Beginning today, June 6, an international graduate from a Canadian college or university, with a job offer from a Nova Scotia employer, can apply for permanent residency through the nominee program’s Skilled Worker stream.

“This is great news for international students like me who will graduate soon and will be considering their options for what comes next,” said Durgesh Singh, NSCC construction management technology student.

“Now, because of these changes to the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, international graduates will have an avenue to immigrate to Nova Scotia that wasn’t open to them before.”

Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab said international graduates are ideal candidates to immigrate to Nova Scotia.

“International graduates are educated, they’ve made friends, they know the language, and they’re already familiar with all the great things Nova Scotia has to offer,” said Ms. Metlege Diab. “Over the past year, there hasn’t been a provincial door open to help them stay. Today, that changes.”

Universities, community colleges and businesses are key to help ensure international students and graduates have information, community contacts and jobs that will make them want to settle and stay in Nova Scotia.

“Government cannot boost immigration alone,” said Ms. Metlege Diab. “We are grateful for the support of the many employers, business organizations, connector programs, communities and people across Nova Scotia who work to recruit and retain international graduates who will help enhance our economy and our culture.”

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce welcomes government’s move.

“This policy change aligns well with the chamber’s work, and has the potential to help international students make better connections with employers that could lead to more international graduates choosing to stay in our region,” said Mark Fraser, the chamber’s lead for the skilled workforce task force.

“We believe that if you can help an international student feel like they’re a citizen by building roots in the community, the likelihood of them choosing to stay in our region increases.”

The change will also help colleges and universities attract international students.

“This will improve Nova Scotia’s position as an outstanding education destination in the international marketplace, and our ability to attract those students to institutions and communities across the province,” said George Cooper, University of King’s College president and member of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents.

“Our universities commend government for taking this decisive action, and we look forward to working with government and others across Nova Scotia to explore and act upon the enormous potential of universities to attract and retain top talent to our province.”

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration negotiated the change with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, the province can nominate potential immigrants, but Citizenship and Immigration Canada makes the final decision.

The Skilled Worker stream helps employers recruit and hire foreign workers for positions they have not been able to fill with permanent residents or Canadian citizens.

More information on the nominee program is available at


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Carla Grant
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