Nova Scotia sets stage for economic recovery with increased levels of immigration

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: January 12, 2021

Nova Scotia approved an increasing number of immigrants in 2020, paving the way for economic recovery over the next few years.

A total of 3,517 immigration candidates were approved last year, many of whom are either skilled in essential services, such as healthcare workers, or already living in Canada. Those who currently live abroad are expected to arrive in Canada once coronavirus-related travel restrictions are eased.

The focus on essential services this year means that many healthcare workers were retained in the province, such as care assistants, nurses and physicians.

The immigration levels were lower in 2020 compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. Despite this, Nova Scotia continued to process applications through the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) and the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP). The province’s immigration minister Lena Diab recognizes the crucial role that continued immigration will play in Nova Scotia’s post-pandemic economic recovery and growth.

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

“Immigration will play an important role in our economy as we recover from this pandemic,” Diab said in a media release. “We will continue to work with our stakeholders to identify labour needs in key essential service sectors and employers who need specialized skills and talent to create economic growth.”

The province seems to focus on attracting foreign talent with specialized skills or occupations that match identified labour shortages. In addition, the province seeks to retain international students after they graduate. Last year, 1,018 graduates chose to apply to stay in Nova Scotia after graduation, a significant increase from 2014, when only 35 graduates remained in the province.

How to immigrate to Nova Scotia

Those who are interested in moving to Nova Scotia permanently have two options to choose from: the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP), and the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP).

The AIP allows employers in Atlantic Canada to hire foreign nationals for occupations that they were unable to fill. Employers do not need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Atlantic Canada consists of four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island.

Candidates arriving in Canada under the AIP must have a job offer from a designated employer and must have an individualized settlement plan. Candidates who accept a job offer from an employer in Atlantic Canada will be connected to a designated settlement service provider by their employer to develop their individualized settlement plan.

Under the NSNP, candidates can choose between eight different immigration streams:

Find out if you’re eligible for Canadian immigration

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit to discover your Canadian immigration options.

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Five things you need to know about Labour Market Impact Assessments
Hispanic businessman and his Asian female colleague cooperating while going through reports in the office.
Nova Scotia to issue 12,900 study permits to international students in 2024
IRCC clarifies requirements for foreign nationals coming to Canada as digital nomads
Digital transformation concept. System engineering. Binary code. Programming
Expediting the hiring of foreign workers as an employer in Quebec
The Parliament of the capital of the province of Quebec in Canada.
Top Stories
8 Tips for the Listening Component of your CELPIP Test
IRCC proposes amendments that require students to re-apply for a study permit if they change schools in Canada
New data suggests growing demand for temporary foreign workers in several Canadian industries
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Work
New data suggests growing demand for temporary foreign workers in several Canadian industries
This illustrates the continuation of an upward trend – save for 2020, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic – that has persisted since at least 2016.
Finding your first job as an international graduate in Canada 
candidate's waiting for a job interview in an office.
Six frequently asked questions about Canadian work permits
A group of working professionals, in an office building.
Why IRCC may refuse your application for a post-graduation work permit
Female entrepreneur working using laptop looking at camera.
Link copied to clipboard