Nova Scotia is only 1.5 hours by plane from New York, the same distance from NY to Toronto. When we tell our clients this, they are often surprised. Since we believe that Nova Scotia presents valuable employment opportunities for foreign workers, we often recommend choosing that province over others in Canada when setting up your Express Entry profile online. What can also happen, by selecting Nova Scotia, is that the Province will view your profile and have the option of selecting you from the pool if you meet its needs. You are sent what is called an "Interest letter" and this means you have received a "Provincial Nomination" by the NSOI.
In late January 2019, Nova Scotia randomly selected eligible financial auditors and accountants to apply for a nomination for permanent residence through its Labour Market Priorities Stream. These selected applicants needed to have at least five years of work experience in NOC 1111 — Financial auditors and accountants. Candidates drawn by Nova Scotia had to meet these additional criteria:
They had submitted an Express Entry profile on or after July 1, 2018;
Had a CRS score between 400 and 450;
Had a bachelor's degree OR completed a program of three or more years at a university, college, trade or technical school, or another institute;
Language (CLB) skill level of 7 or higher in English or French for speaking, listening, reading and writing; and
Five years or more of work experience in NOC 0, A or B, with letters of reference from employers to demonstrate proof of a minimum of 5 years of work experience in NOC 1111.
Candidates with a provincial nomination obtain an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points in the Express Entry program. This essentially means that they move right to the top of the line for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence in the next draw and are almost guaranteed to receive an ITA.
In order to be nominated by the Province, the work experience outlined in the Express Entry profile must match the job description for the targeted occupation listed in the federal government's NOC 2016. The letters of reference from the employers to confirm this work experience have strict requirements.
Once a Letter of Interest is received from the NSOI, an applicant has only 30 calendar days to submit a complete application for a Nova Scotia provincial nomination. We cannot overemphasize how little time this gives any applicant, even with the help of a lawyer, to file a proper case. Having said that, we are accustomed to moving quickly to equip our clients with the best chances of success.
What is interesting about this last draw by Nova Scotia is that it grabbed candidates with only 400 points, whereas the federal pool of Express Entry draw was over 440. Lesson learned: It may definitely be worthwhile for candidates with less than 440 points to enter the pool, especially if they are willing to consider more remote (but incredible) provinces in Canada like Nova Scotia. We cautiously expect the CRS points on the Federal Express Entry Stream to keep rising so it is time to consider other options.
For more information, please contact Partner Véronique Malka at email@example.com.