Nova Scotia Community Identified Stream
The Community Identified Stream is one of the categories within Nova Scotia‘s Provincial Nominee Program.
The Community Identified Stream | Nova Scotia Immigration states:
The Community Identified stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) is aimed at selecting individuals who have strong connections to a Nova Scotia community, wish to live there permanently have excellent employment prospects, and can contribute to the labour market and economy of that specific community.
 What's involved?
- Nova Scotia has mandated several organisations that you approach depending on where you are going to settle. See Appendix 3 of the application guide for these organisations.
- A good relationship with one (or more) of those organisations is key.
- You have to convince local and provincial authorities that you intend to make Nova Scotia your home, and you are not using it as a stepping stone to another part of Canada.
- The mandated organisation writes a Letter of Identification for you, based on your community connections and whether you would be of economic benefit to that area.
- Your application then goes to the provincial government for rubber stamping.
- When the provincial government have approved your application, they forward it to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), which is a federal government department.
- The provincial government does not charge an application fee, but CIC charges the usual application fee for a PR visa.
- After the application reaches CIC, the normal requirements for a permanent residence visa come into play -- police checks, proof of funds, medicals, and landing fees.
- Anecdotal evidence suggests that a permanent residence (PR) visa application via the Community Identified Stream can take between 9-18 months in total.
- The Community Identified Stream also may assist someone who can get a job offer in Nova Scotia, but not a job offer that satisfies the requirements for the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) that would lead to a temporary work permit (TWP). As you may know, an LMO is forthcoming only if an employer can demonstrate that he/she has recruited across Canada and has been unable to attract a qualified Canadian resident to the job. So a person who can get a job offer, but not an LMO, may consider applying for PR via the Community Identified Stream. (But there is nothing to stop you from applying for LMO / TWP while you‘re waiting for your Community Identified Stream application to go through.)
- Housing in Nova Scotia is cheaper than it is in many other parts of Canada.
- Nova Scotia is an exceptionally friendly province.
- Being on the east coast of Canada, Nova Scotia is closer to the UK than many other provinces are.
- The actual experience of BE members is that you don‘t need the “long established connections“ to which the Nova Scotia government‘s website refers.
- BE members have reported that, once you make friends with a contact person in a mandated organisation, they are helpful (they put you in touch with prospective employers in the local area, they communicate with the immigration office in Halifax, and they act as an advocate on your behalf).
- How do you package yourself as a member of a community when you are relocating from far away? It is possible, but it does take some effort and some networking activities.
- To demonstrate their commitment to a community, some people buy a house in a Nova Scotia and live there while they technically still are visitors in Canada.
- This requires some independent resources, as visitors are not allowed to work in Canada, they are not eligible for the provincial health care insurance plan, and their children are not eligible for free schooling.
- Not everyone who applies through this route buys a house in Nova Scotia (although there are some who recommend a house purchase, as it demonstrates commitment).
- At a minimum, it would take two or three recce trips to establish the necessary relationships with members of a community, a contact person in a mandated organisation, local employers, etc. (But, in fairness, you should be aware that some other methods of getting into Canada require recce trips as well.)
- If you buy a house while you‘re still a visitor, you have to jump through more hoops to get a mortgage (but it can be done).
- Update as of April 22, 2008: This article previously stated, "Although community ties are required, the interpretation of what constitutes community ties is flexible." However, an immigration expert recently reported on the BE Canada Immigration forum that, while investigation into community ties previously had been quite lax, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has beefed up its analysis of applications and is scrutinizing claims of community ties much more closely.
- If you want to go to Nova Scotia, the Community Identified Stream is one of the options you may want to consider.
- Getting in via the Community Identified Stream is one way of fast-tracking your entry to Canada.
- The Community Identified Stream may enable you to get into Nova Scotia if other avenues, such as a temporary work permit, fail.
- The Community Identified Stream does require some independent resources.
- It may require the purchase of a house and the ability to support yourself and your family while you are living in Canada as visitors.
- At a minimum, it would require two or three recce trips to Nova Scotia.