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Category Archives: Nova Scotia

Why global investors should invest in Atlantic Canada?

Atlantic Canada or “the Maritimes” includes the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island that boast Canada’s most spectacular and pristine coastline. They are well known for their lush vistas and uncrowded beaches, breathtaking scenery and a vibrant and welcoming culture.

Besides tourism, The Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy has been initiated to grow export and boost foreign investment in the region. Through an unprecedented level of collaboration, the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provincial governments have committed to working hand-in-hand to create jobs and strengthen the economy by increasing the number of exporters, the value of export sales, export markets and foreign investment in the region. Now, many multinational companies like IBM, Samsung, Tech Mahindra, Michelin have found strategic market development and have been investing in Atlantic Canada. Each of the Atlantic provinces have their own distinguished universities and industries which is appealing to investors.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (PEI) is Canada’s smallest province located on the east coast of North America. PEI’s population is growing which can be attributed to Atlantic Immigration Pilot. The program allows employers to attract highly skilled individuals as well as recent graduates from Atlantic Canada post-secondary institutions. New people are coming to the province, bringing new ideas and possibilities, and contributing to its social and economic fabric. The economy of Prince Edward Island is driven by a vibrant business environment, a stable labour force and a great place to operate a business which can benefit multinational companies.

PEI’s Bioscience Cluster is another industry which has gained international attraction which has more than 60 multinational companies, seven research institutions and Emergence- Canada’s Bioscience Business Incubator which assists growing companies in the bioscience and food sectors.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is the largest producer of crude oil in eastern Canada, and is the 3rd largest oil producing province in Canada. Since 1997, 1.7 billion barrels of oil have been produced and the industry accounts for 25 per cent of provincial GDP and 41 per cent of exports over the past 20 years. St. John’s is the commercial hub of Canada’s offshore oil industry and is home to international oil companies, supply and service firms, as well as a specialized and diverse range of marine expertise. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has released a plan for growth of Oil and Gas Industry in early 2018 which will rank Newfoundland and Labrador as the most attractive Canadian jurisdiction for oil and gas investment.

The federal government’s new approach to fostering innovation and economic growth in the ocean sector – the Ocean Supercluster – positions Canada to become a global leader in the knowledge-based ocean economy.  This initiative will see hundreds of millions of new dollars invested in ocean-related research and development and commercialization.

This industry is supported by research & development at Memorial University and The Fisheries and Marine Institute. Besides industry-based research they offer certificate, diploma, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs. They have been providing talented graduates who can be assets to local industry and multinationals like Kongsberg Maritime, Kvaerner, TechnipFMC and Vale who have invested in the province.

New Brunswick

Located on Canada’s east coast along the Atlantic Ocean, New Brunswick offers a distinct way of life and exciting career opportunities. NB has been growing its cybersecurity ecosystem where business, academic institutes, and government work together to facilitate growth and increase in talented workforce, promote innovation for secure critical infrastructure and secure business growth and customer trust.  IBM’s major innovation hub and Siemens Canada have their centers for cybersecurity in NB. And, with the opening of National Innovation Centre for Cybersecurity at Knowledge Park in Fredericton, NB, there will be a major addition to Canada’s national cyber security capabilities.

Nova Scotia

Located on Canada’s east coast, Nova Scotia has strong and stable economy, well-educated workforce, adequate environmental policies that offer competitive advantages for exporters and investors in Growing industry sectors including ocean technology, life sciences, aerospace & defense, finance & insurance and advanced manufacturing.

Michelin North America, manufacturer of tires, employs 3,300 people across the province while DSM Nutritional Products manufacturers concentrated fish oils in NS.

NS ocean technologies are its strength with high levels of R&D and innovation. Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE) is a collaborative facility for applied innovation in the ocean sector. This collaborative space will be home to local and global ocean technology businesses, start-ups, researchers, marine-based and service businesses.

Nova Scotia has a total of 10 universities and 13 community colleges and has one of the most educated workforces in the country, with over 62% of the population having some post-secondary education. Thus, there is a sustainable supply of top talent for the investors.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project is a fast-track employer driven immigration program that allows employers in four Canadian Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island) to hire foreign nationals for jobs they haven’t been able to fill locally. The program also has the goals of supporting population growth, developing a skilled workforce, and increasing employment rates in the region.

Express Entry Year – End Report 2019

Express Entry is Canada’s flagship application management system for the Federal Skilled Worker, the Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program. The 2019 year-end report provides an overview of Express Entry and presents data from across all stages of the Express Entry continuum, including profile submissions, invitations to apply, applications, processing times, and admissions.  In 2019, 332,331 express entry profiles were submitted through the system, which represents an increase of nearly 20% from 2018 and more than 30% since 2017.

Highlights of the report

Nearly 110,000 new permanent residents were admitted through Express Entry

A total of 109,595 principal applicants and their family members were granted permanent residence through express entry in 2019, compared to 92,229 in 2018. This represents a year over year increase of 19%. Federal Skilled Worker Program candidates represented the largest proportion of all individuals admitted in 2019 with 58,173 admissions, followed by candidates in Canadian Experience Class (30,230) Provincial Nominee Program (20,014) and Federal Skilled Trades (1,178).

Most common primary occupations

Software engineers and designers were the most common primary occupation with 6,529 invited to apply for permanent residence. The most common arranged employment occupations went to computer programmers and interactive media developers.


Most people who received an invitation were already in Canada. Of all foreign countries India was the most common place to be issued ITAs, then the United States., Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan. India was also the most common country of citizenship for ITA recipients. Then it was Nigeria, China, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

Most popular province of destination

About 62% of principal applicants choose Ontario as the province of their destination, slightly less than 2018 when 65% indicated the same. Interest increased considerably in Alberta, Manitoba, Nunavut, and Prince Edward Island.

Increase in median cut off scores

The CRS cut off ranged from 438 to 475 in 2019, making an average score of 461. In 2018 the average score was 442. This increase in average CRS cut-off score demonstrates that the express entry pool became more competitive last year. This increase was partially due to a larger pool size, as well as the increased number of candidates selected through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). PNP recipients automatically receive an additional 600 CRS points toward their overall score.

Female candidates in the express entry pool

The express entry pool in 2019 was made up of about 41% female candidates, up from 38% in 2018. However, profiles submitted by females were more often eligible for at least one program than those submitted by men. Of all the submissions by female candidates, 76% were eligible for at least one program compared to 69 per cent of those submitted by men. Most female candidates who received ITAs had administrative assistant listed as their primary occupation. Food service supervisors were the most common arranged employment occupation for female candidates. Female candidates made up 48% of those who were invited by French language proficiency and 47% of those invited to apply by siblings.

Overall, the most common primary occupations among female candidates who were invited to apply for permanent residence included more low-skilled occupations, in comparison to the most common primary occupations among men. Of all the applications for permanent residence through express entry in 2019, 43 per cent came from women.

How express entry works? 

  1. The Express Entry system manages applications for permanent residence in two steps. First, individuals express their interest in immigrating to Canada by completing an online profile, which is screened electronically to determine if the individual is eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Canadian Experience Class. Individuals who meet the eligibility criteria for at least one of these programs are placed in the Express Entry pool and assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which is determined by comparing information in their profile to a transparent scoring criteria. Candidates in the pool are ranked against one another according to their CRS score.

The CRS is the backbone of the Express Entry application management system. A CRS score comprises two components: core points and additional points. A candidate without an accompanying spouse can receive a maximum of 600 points under the core component, depending on the person’s human capital characteristics (e.g., age, education, official language proficiency, work experience). These factors help predict candidates’ potential for success in the Canadian labour market. 6 Under the additional points component, a candidate can receive points for having a provincial/territorial nomination (600 points), arranged employment (50 or 200 points), Canadian post-secondary education credentials (15 or 30 points), French language proficiency (15 or 30 points), or a sibling in Canada (15 points). With the exception of points awarded for a provincial/territorial nomination, which is high enough to virtually guarantee a candidate an ITA in the following round that includes the Provincial Nominee Program, additional points increase the probability that a given candidate will receive an ITA without guaranteeing that outcome. The maximum CRS score a candidate can achieve is capped at 1,200 points—600 points under the core component and 600 points under the additional points component. All information provided at the profile stage for the purpose of generating a CRS score is self-reported and must be supported with appropriate documentation from the candidate at the application stage or the application could be refused.

  1. Ministerial Instructions are regularly published specifying the number of invitations to apply (ITA) for permanent residence that will be sent to candidates in the Express Entry pool on a specific date. The Ministerial Instruction also specifies the economic program(s) for which the Express Entry ITA round will apply. For each round, invitations are issued to candidates, in descending CRS score rank order, until the maximum number of invitations specified in the associated Ministerial Instruction is met. The profiles of candidates who do not receive an ITA, or decline an ITA, remain in the pool for up to 12 months. Candidates that receive an ITA have 60 days to either decline the invitation or submit an online application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Candidates who receive an ITA but take no action within the 60-day period are withdrawn from the pool.
  1. Upon submission, an immigration officer assesses the application to verify the applicant’s CRS score, program eligibility, and admissibility. If the immigration officer is satisfied that all conditions have been met and that the applicants are not inadmissible, they are approved for a permanent resident visa. Applicants and their accompanying family members become permanent residents when they are admitted to Canada.
  1. The processing standard for applications sourced via express entry is six months for 80% of cases. Processing time is measured from the day a complete application is received until a final decision is made by an immigration officer.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has elicited unprecedented challenges for the country throughout the spring of 2020, the IRCC is monitoring express entry and exploring ways the system could be used to ensure that Canada continues to derive maximum benefit from economic immigration in a rapidly evolving environment.

How Can-X can help?

  • We make sure client qualifies for Express Entry (EE) program based on comprehensive assessment.
  • We help is creating Express Entry (EE) profile.
  • We review the documents and submit the final Permanent Residence application.
  • We track the application throughout the process while communicating with the government on client’s behalf.

Contact us for consultation and assessment.

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) : an opportunity for international graduates for PR

Canada not only offers quality education to international students but also an opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience and settlement opportunities thereafter. Every year significant number of students come to Canada from around the globe. Around 572,425 foreign students obtained Canadian study permits by the end of 2019 and it has been suggested that approximately 68% of these international students intend to work and settle in Canada as permanent resident.

International students contribute to the cultural, social, and economic landscape of Canada. They add an estimated $15.00 billion a year to Canada’s economy, and many are viewed as ideal candidates for permanent residency given their language proficiency, Canadian education credentials and Canadian work experience. Thus, various provinces have been targeting to attract and retain young graduates with their nomination programs.

BC offers two categories for international graduates across Canada who have a job offer from Canadian employer in BC and satisfy other eligibility criteria:

  • Express Entry BC – International Graduate
  • Skills Immigration – International Graduate

BC has Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) which is a points-based registration and application system that helps BC select the best workers to meet its labour market needs. The applicant’s score is based on the job, its location in B.C. and offered wage, as well as applicant’s work experience, education, and language ability. However, in BC it is more difficult for international graduates to become permanent residents who have high school and post-secondary diploma from BC as they do not get enough points for education and thus, do not qualify to be invited from BC-PNP.

Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSNP): better option for international graduates

The Skilled Worker stream assists employers in hiring workers whose skills are in limited supply in the province. The stream helps employers recruit and/or retain foreign workers with the required skills for positions that they have been unable to fill with a permanent resident or Canadian citizen. The Skilled Worker Stream is not an Express Entry (EE) linked Stream which means foreign nationals can apply for Canadian permanent residence even if they are not eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool.

This stream is not a point-based system and, the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration accepts the application on first cum first basis. International Graduates having one years of Canadian experience usually qualify for the program indeed they meet other program requirements.

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) does not provide a specific occupation or skills shortage list for the Skilled Worker Stream. However, the NSOI utilizes the National Occupational Classification to distinguish between three occupation types: Skilled Workers, Semi-skilled, and Low-skilled Workers.

Skilled Workers: This category is for individuals with experience in an occupation classified as NOC level 0, A or B. NSOI gives priority to these highly skilled applicants.

Semi-Skilled Workers: This category is for workers whose occupations are classified as NOC level C. Applications in this category will only be considered if all eligibility criteria are met and the applicant has worked for at least six months with a Nova Scotia employer that is supporting the applicant’s permanent residency application.

Low-Skilled Workers: This category is for individuals whose occupations are classified as NOC level D. Applications in this category will only be considered if all eligibility criteria are met and the applicant has worked for at least six months with a Nova Scotia employer that is supporting the applicant’s permanent residency application. There must be a strong sense of support from an employer, such as contribution to the immigration fees, accommodation/housing, language training, and career training plans.

General eligibility requirements: To apply for Skilled Worker Stream 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.

Contact us for consultation and assessment.

Canada extends Atlantic Immigration Pilot

Canadian Government announced extension of its Atlantic Immigration Pilot to December 2021 in a bid to maintain the program’s momentum. Initially launched as a three-year pilot, the AIP will be extended by two years to December 2021. This will give IRCC and the Atlantic provinces more time to assess the innovative aspects of this pilot: its employer-driven focus, mandatory settlement plan, and new model of partnership with the Atlantic provinces and ACOA.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) is an innovative partnership aimed at attracting and retaining skilled immigrants and international graduates to meet the unique workforce needs of the Atlantic region (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island). The goal is to ensure the long-term retention and integration of newcomers in Atlantic Canada to help drive economic growth. The Government of Canada and the Atlantic provinces have made great strides in implementing the AIP since its launch in March 2017. As of February 25, 2019, there were 1,896 AIP designated employers in the Atlantic region. AIP designated employers made over 3,729 job offers to skilled foreign nationals or international graduates. As a result, there are already over 2,535 approved permanent residents destined for or already in the Atlantic Canada.

  • International graduates will now have 24 months post-graduation to apply for the AIP. This change will increase the number of eligible international graduates that can participate in AIP and give them the time they need to complete the PR application process.
  • Employers in the healthcare sector will be able to hire internationally trained nurses to work as continuing care and home care support workers in order to fill job vacancies.
  • The Atlantic provinces will have new authorities to focus their AIP spaces on in-demand labour market needs. This change will lead to better oversight of the pilot and give provinces greater ability to manage designated employers.
  • Beginning May 1, 2019, IRCC will require that applicants meet the language, education and work experience requirements of the AIP prior to being approved for a work permit.

Designated employers do not have to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment for jobs endorsed under the pilot program.

In order to be eligible, foreign workers must have a full-time job offer from a designated employer and possess at least 1 year of full-time (or part-time equivalent) paid work experience in an occupation designated Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or Skill Level B under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).