Province Acts to Increase Number of Skilled Immigrants

Changes to the provincial immigration program will open doors for more families and skilled workers to immigrate to Nova Scotia.

“The province is poised to take advantage of some of the greatest opportunities in our history, creating thousands of jobs for Nova Scotians,” said Marilyn More, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration. “I’ve been hearing from businesses and industries that we need to attract more skilled workers to help meet their growing needs.”

The province has a comprehensive immigration strategy to help attract new skilled labour into the workforce. The Nova Scotia Nominee program is the best option to attract professional and skilled workers, but the federal government caps the number of immigrants eligible for that program.

International graduates will now be encouraged to apply for permanent residency through the federal Canadian Experience Class. This eliminates the need for the international graduate stream in the Nova Scotia Nominee program, opening the door for more skilled workers.

Statistics show that nominees who are skilled workers are more likely to bring family members with them, increasing the overall number of immigrants to the province. International graduates and skilled workers contribute greatly to our economy and the diversity of our province.

“This means more than 180 families will be able to apply through the provincial program, while continuing to welcome international graduates through federal opportunities,” said Ms. More. “These changes will increase the number of skilled, professional immigrants choosing to make Nova Scotia their home for themselves and their families.”

“The Nova Scotia Nominee program offers growing companies like Lixar IT with the tools to hire exceptional candidates,” said Doug Mills, director of East Coast Operations. “Lixar’s focus is in mobile, big data integration and cloud products and services within the auto, air, telco and travel sectors. Lixar sometimes needs candidates with very specific skills and this program helps to recruit these individuals and add them to an already vibrant East Coast team.”

Applicants under the one-time, non-dependent child project and under the agri-food sector pilot will also be directed to federal immigration programs.

The federal government sets the number of immigrants a province can nominate and makes the final decision on whether they can become a permanent resident.

In 2012, the province received an additional 200 immigration nominees on top of the existing cap of 500, giving Nova Scotia a total of 700 nominations, the most ever.

The province is also increasing its efforts to welcome and support families when they come to Nova Scotia, so that they settle and stay here. The result is an almost doubling of the retention rate for families staying in Nova Scotia.

“We hope to see another increase in immigration nominees for 2013,” said Ms. More. “We have an aggressive immigration strategy that’s part of the jobsHere plan for the economy to help attract new skilled labour to Nova Scotia and it’s working.

“We are successfully marketing the province internationally–attracting and keeping more immigrants. We will continue to lobby the federal government for more immigrants to help us address existing and anticipated labour shortages.”

For more information on the Nova Scotia immigration strategy, visit


Media contact:
Deborah Bayer
Office of Immigration
Cell: 902-225-4982