Nova Scotia Immigration

New Immigration Plan To Attract Francophones Released By Nova Scotia


On November 7, the Province of Nova Scotia released an action plan to promote the expansion of the French-speaking population. This new plan is also part of the Province’s National Francophone Immigration Week celebration.

From November 6 to 12, National Francophone Immigration Week honours the numerous significant contributions made by French-speaking immigrants in Canada. In this article, learn about:

Growing Nova Scotia’s Francophone Population Plan details

The Province wants to achieve or surpass the 4.4% goal set by the federal government for immigrants who speak French in Canada.

To achieve this goal, the Province will invite 150 Francophone candidates from the federal Express Entry system to apply to Nova Scotia’s Labour Market Priorities stream of the Provincial Nominee Program. 

Expanding efforts to attract francophone newcomers from other countries and provinces are part of Growing Nova Scotia’s Francophone Population – An Action Plan for Success (2022–25). It involves work on the following:

  • Increasing partner and community engagement 
  • Promoting and attracting newcomers 
  • Population growth initiatives
  • Inclusion and retention through settlement services
  • Program research and evaluation

The new action plan is the result of collaboration with francophone partners from across Nova Scotia, including:

  •  Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse, 
  • Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse, 
  • Université Sainte-Anne, 
  • Provincial Council of School Boards, and 
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

In response to this new plan, Conseil Scolaire Acadien Provincial, president Marcel Cottreau says,

“As a francophone organization, the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial looks forward to working with the Province on this new plan. This action plan will allow us to welcome more francophone newcomers to our beautiful province and, in turn, will increase our student population, expand our qualified staff, and develop Nova Scotia’s Acadian and francophone community.”

Marcel Cottreau, President, Conseil scolaire acadien provincial

Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Comments 

Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration Jill Balser says, “The Acadian and francophone communities have been an essential part of our province’s identity and heritage for more than 400 years.”

“Our new action plan demonstrates Nova Scotia’s commitment to increasing the number of French-speaking newcomers throughout the province and ensuring they have opportunities and supports to thrive,” said Balser. 

Moreover, during the Destination Canada Mobility Forum in France and Morocco the following week, Minister Balser will go with a provincial delegation to promote Nova Scotia to skilled French-speaking employees.

Nova Scotia Immigration Goals 

Nova Scotia is making headway in attracting French-speaking residents. 

Since the launch of the first francophone immigration action plan in 2019, the percentage of French-speaking candidates approved under the Provincial Nominee Program has increased from less than 1% in 2018 to 6.4% in 2021.

Additionally, Nova Scotia exceeded its one million population goal in December 2021 and intends to reach two million by 2060.

Click here to view the Growing Nova Scotia’s Francophone Population – An Action Plan for Success (2022–25).

Source: Nova Scotia News Release

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  • Recommendations To Improve Canada Immigration Made By CIMM

    The Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (CIMM) released a report, Promoting Fairness in Canada Immigration Decisions, where the Committee investigated visa outcomes in the immigration system. Upon examination, they found the system systematically and unjustifiably disfavours particular groups based on race and country of origin.

    As a result, the Committee makes wide-ranging suggestions to improve the immigration system, which consistently disadvantages some groups depending on race and country of origin.

    After hearing from several immigration advocates, lawyers, and settlement agency staff, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration decided to examine the immigration system. 



    CIMM’s Key recommendations for the immigration system 

    IRCC will share their response to the CIMM report and recommendations in a few months. Meanwhile, below are the key recommendations:

    • Visa officers should record applicant interviews to prevent miscommunication.
    • Ottawa should expand the extraordinary measures already available to Ukrainians, such as the provision allowing for the sponsorship of extended family members to people from other nations and regions experiencing humanitarian crises.
    • The Canadian government should establish a separate monitoring body responsible for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), whose mandate should include dealing with racism and complaints concerning the agency. 
    • Immediate implementation of an Anti-Racism Quality Assurance process for decisions made by visa officers to investigate the impact of individual bias and systemic racism on decisions and refusal rates at visa offices
    • Requesting that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) dedicate more resources to process caregiver permanent residency applications from all streams faster. 

    As per IRCC, they train all officers to assess all applications equally and use the same criteria regardless of their country of origin. With the upcoming reports, they are looking to examine the impact on racialized applicants and minority community members. 

    CIMM highlights longer wait times in application processing 

    According to the Committee’s information, waiting for durations for various refugee groups may differ depending on shifting government priorities and quotas.

    A non-denominational charitable group called Remember Ministries’ executive director, Jennifer Miedema informed the Committee that fund allocation tells you where priorities are placed or who are the favoured demographics.

    Miedema says that “the uneven distribution of delays equals the uneven distribution of suffering,” adding that even holding out hope for final resettlement could be harmful over a prolonged period of waiting and delay.

    Further, she explains the impact on refugees, as their hopes are raised when they submit their applications, but they need to wait for a year or two without any response. As a result, it has a heavy impact on their mental health. 

    According to the Parliamentary Committee, the government should raise the overall number of refugees it welcomes to Canada during a crisis rather than backtrack on or delay receiving those whose applications are currently on hold. 

    They also want a complete racial equity assessment of Canada’s immigration and refugee system and to allocate more resources to process and give priority to privately sponsored refugees. 

    An increasing number of federal appeals 

    The number of people requesting federal appeals to become new Canadians has increased seven times in the last three years. 

    The court system is becoming overburdened with these judicial requests to contest allegedly unjust decisions made by visa officers and procedural delays. These applications are a judicial remedy in the immigration context that compels the IRCC to carry out a public legal obligation owed to an applicant.

    The recording of candidate interviews has been recommended as a potential solution to help with court-ordered redeterminations of unsuccessful applications. According to Vancouver-based immigration lawyer Victor Ing, IRCC needs to be more transparent and honest with clients to avoid more mandamus applications.

    Next, the Committee highlighted the increased wait times in the caregiver program. 

    The caregiver Program has the longest wait times

    The Live-in Caregiver Program saw some of the longest wait times before and after the pandemic. For example, the average time to process caregiver visas in 2020 was about 57 months and two days. While in 2021, the wait time was 68 months plus one day to process applications. 

    As a result, 15,621 applications were pending or anticipated to be pending in the Home Child-Care Provider Pilot backlog as of December 31, 2021. In addition, there were 1,639 more applications in the Live-in Care Program’s database.

    Arlene Ruiz, a licensed and regulated immigration consultant and a recruiter from Alexene Immigration & Employment Services, informed the Committee that many caregivers are from the Philippines. For them, the delays in application processing cause breakdowns in their marriages and children growing out of their dependent status. 

    Immigration attorney Steven Meurrens also mentions that the IRCC lacks transparency, which adds to the problem. For example, the processing times mentioned on IRCC are inaccurate. Further, the Access to Information Act shows that there have been no caregiver files processed since 2019.

    Following this month’s announcement by the federal Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, that Canada aims to settle 500,000 new immigrants by 2025, a new report by the Parliament has been released.

    The announcement comes after a record-breaking year for immigration to Canada in 2021, when more than 405,000 people arrived. The nation is also dealing with an unprecedented backlog of visa applications, with 2.2 million being processed by IRCC as of this month.

    Source: CIMM Report


  • New Immigration Plan Can Help With Alberta Labour Shortage

    As Canada intends to significantly increase the number of immigrants annually, groups in Alberta believe it will benefit businesses facing labour shortages. The immigration levels plan, which immigration minister Sean Fraser unveiled on November 1, 2022, calls for a massive influx of immigrants to enter the country: 465,000 in 2023, rising to 500,000 in 2025.

    Government has a strong focus on admitting people based on their employment qualifications or experience. Alberta-based organizations want the government to ease limitations on immigrants choosing lower-paying positions and to support organizations that assist newcomers’ resettlement in ensuring that the new Canadians can genuinely help with the labour shortage.



    Calgary Chamber of Commerce Report on Immigration 

    The Calgary Chamber of Commerce released a report outlining the crucial role immigration plays in easing labour shortages. 

    President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Deborah Yedlin, explained that whether you work in the service industry, technology, energy, or the healthcare industry, everyone is searching for that last unit of labour. Immigration has become important to address the talent shortage that every business faces across the country.

    Regarding the latest immigration levels plan, Yedlin accepts the new plan but suggests expanding the options to low-wage workers rather than solely focusing on highly skilled, technically trained experts. 

    According to Yedlin, there is a bit of a catch-22 with programs like the Alberta Opportunity Stream since you require prior work experience and language proficiency, which limits the pool of immigrants who can apply.

    She explains that the government needs to figure out how to ensure that the ability to come and work is offered as an opportunity for a broader proportion of the immigrant population than it already is, including low-wage workers.

    Affordable housing to attract immigrants

    According to Randy Boissonault, a member of parliament for Edmonton Centre, Alberta’s lower cost of living can draw people.

    Since all of the communities in Alberta have done an excellent job of continuing to create housing, Edmonton and Calgary are at the top of the list for affordable housing nationwide, according to Boissonault.

    He anticipates that the hundreds of thousands of newcomers will be able to fill employment gaps in the IT industry.

    On meeting the Alberta Machine Institute in the heart of Edmonton, they told Boissonault that many of their partners are searching for computer scientists and mathematicians who can significantly advance the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

    The provincial government oversees a program whose objective is to hasten the processing of visas for foreign workers hired by IT firms in Alberta.

    Yedlin claimed that because Albertans frequently lack the qualifications required for a position, businesses are forced to rely heavily on immigration. She emphasizes the tech positions that have remained unfilled for a considerable time despite being advertised for months in Calgary. 

    Newcomer settlement organizations need more support.

    Rispah Tremblay, senior manager of settlement services at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN), which assists newcomers in settling in the capital area, said the immigration levels plan presents some difficulties for other organizations.

    Such that with increasing numbers, newcomer settlement organizations need additional resources, explained Tremblay. 

    Tremblay says that EMCN would require additional funding to pay employees who handle cases, assist clients in finding housing, and teach languages.

    New immigrants might not be able to integrate into the Canadian workforce without the assistance of the staff members who assist newcomers with their settlement needs.

    There must be an additional help to settle and get the right training or support they need as soon as they get here, she said. It will allow them to integrate and start working immediately.

    Tremblay is also worried that the housing supply would start to run out with everyone migrating here. Although she hasn’t heard anything from the federal government on funding to support service expansion, she anticipates that discussions will begin in the spring.


  • New NOC Codes: Step-Wise Guide To Find Your NOC

    New NOC codes: On November 16, IRCC switches to the new 2021 National Occupational Classification (NOC) version in alignment with Employment and Social Development of Canada (ESDC). It implies that the NOC 2016 skill type and skill level framework (NOC 0, A, B, C, and D) will now be represented by new 6-category system representing the training, education, experience, and responsibilities (TEER) required to work in an occupation.

    As a result, the previous four-digit codes will become five digits under the new NOC 2021. It will also impact the eligibility criteria for all programs that use NOC. To prepare for these changes, you can learn the following in this article:

    Steps to find new NOC code 

    Step 1: Visit the National Occupational Classification (NOC) official website. 

    NOC 2021 and TEER

    Step 2: You can search by job title or NOC code on this page. If you want to search by job title, look for the “Version” section, then click on the box below it that says “NOC 2016 Version 1.3.” Then, it will open a drop-down menu and select the latest “NOC 2021 Version 1.3.”

    NOC 2021 and TEER

    Step 3: Once you select the new NOC 2021 version, enter your job title to find your NOC 2021 code and TEER category. 

    NOC 2021 and TEER

    Below is an example of a job titled Marketing Coordinator. You also view other matching job titles. 

    NOC 2021 and TEER


    Understanding New NOC categories

    All programs that previously used skill types or levels will now use NOC 2021 codes and TEER categories. 

    Most positions will remain in the TEER category, corresponding to the skill level in the table below. However, certain jobs may change to other TEER categories. The most significant change is the subdivision of Skill Level B jobs that will now become TEER 2 or TEER 3 jobs.

    The table below explains the distribution between skill types or levels and corresponding TEER categories. 

    NOC 2021 and TEER
    NOC 2021 and TEER

    Immigration Programs that new NOC will affect 

     Generally, all programs that have used NOC skill types or levels to invite applicants will be affected. Therefore, all the programs below will switch to using NOC 2021 codes and TEER levels. 

    Additionally, several occupations will become eligible and ineligible under specific programs due to the new NOC 2021 implementation. 

    Frequently Asked Questions regarding new TEER system

    Do you need to update your Express Entry profile as new NOC is implemented? 
    Suppose you are an Express Entry candidate who submitted your profile before November 16 but has not yet received an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Then, you must update your Express Entry profile with your new NOC 2021 code and TEER category. 

    If you receive an ITA before November 16, you can submit your Express Entry application using the NOC 2016 system. In addition, you can also refer to the NOC code mentioned on your ITA receipt and submit your application accordingly. However, there is no need for you to update to NOC 2021 if you received an ITA before November 16. 

    How will new NOC affect CRS scores? 
    The points distribution would be similar to what it has been with NOC 2016. Such as, so far, Express Entry applicants with arranged employment in Skill Levels 0, A and B have received 50 additional points. 

    With NOC 2021, applicants will receive 50 additional points for arranged employment provided their NOC is in TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3. 

    Similarly, you will continue to receive points for Canadian education. However, your work experience must be in occupations that are TEER 0, 1, 2 or 3. 

    How can you prepare for new NOC? 
    To be prepared, you can be mindful of the new changes in the TEER lead statements and primary duties. Although most duties may be similar, your work experience letter must reflect the duties mentioned in your new NOC 2021 code and TEER category. 

    Moreover, you must continue to match the duties in your NOC 2021 occupation if you want to claim points for the skilled experience inside and outside Canada. 


  • Canada To Start Targeted Draws For Skilled Workers Next Year

    To address the severe labour shortages, Canada is prepared to begin targeted Express Entry draws for skilled workers as early as next year, according to Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

    In an interview, the federal immigration minister told Reuters that Canada would begin conducting targeted draws for skilled immigrants next year. It would allow them to handpick candidates with the most in-demand skills for the areas of the country that need workers the most.

    Learn about the minister’s latest interview on targeted draws coming next year, IRCC focus and what we know so far.

    Conducting targeted draws in early 2023 

    The current Express Entry system ranks potential economic immigrants according to their language, education, experience and other skills. Those with the highest CRS scores receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency. 

    With the upcoming changes, Canada can select individuals with particular skills and abilities in specific professions. As well as consider those who plan to move to certain provinces. 

    We can do a targeted draw beginning in 2023. That will allow us to select workers by the sector that they work in and the part of Canada that they are going to

    This means we will be able to bring a greater focus to welcome more healthcare workers … in jurisdictions that will allow them to practice

    -said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser


    Focus on healthcare workers 

    The COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of nurses are putting excessive stress on Canada’s healthcare system. As a result, many foreign-trained doctors and nurses do not wind up working in their sector. The country has also had difficulty licensing healthcare employees after they arrive.

    The healthcare system in Canada is the provinces’ responsibility. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser promised to work with provinces that make recognizing the foreign credentials of doctors and nurses simpler in an interview with Reuters. 

    He continued by saying that the federal government would work with the provinces to establish a clearer pathway and move forward with targeted draws for the provinces that facilitate the transition.

    Further, he explained that he would focus only on provinces that make it simple for health professionals to verify their qualifications from abroad and begin practising as soon as they arrive. 

    “I’m not interested in conducting a targeted draw for healthcare workers that are going to come to Canada and not be permitted to practice their profession”

    – Said Fraser

    Targeted draws to invite the Federal High Skilled Class category

     The federal government increased its immigration targets this week, announcing a three-year goal of 1.45 million new permanent residents. The targeted draws will fall within Canada’s federal “high-skilled” category, representing about 21.1% of new arrivals during that time.

    Canada is experiencing a severe labour shortage. According to the most recent data on job openings, there were 1.0 million unemployed persons and 958,500 available positions in Canada in August.

    Business organizations have argued that the government should take stronger action on immigration to support businesses facing a historic labour shortage.

    As immigration numbers reach historic highs, concerns about where the newcomers will live are increasing. There is already a housing scarcity in Canada.

    According to Fraser, the government will emphasize bringing in trained labourers to help create new housing and choosing immigrants for places with the “absorptive capacity” to accept them.

    Increased focus on Economic class immigrants 

    More than 60% of all immigration to Canada is expected to be from the economic class this year.

    Canada is already on track to accept 279,292 new permanent residents through economic programs this year, which is about 2.6% or 7,267 new permanent residents more than Ottawa had hoped to achieve through the new immigration levels plan for the next year.

    President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, Goldy Hyder, explains that economic-class permanent residents account for only 58.5 percent of overall admissions in the immigration levels plan announced by the federal government last week. 

    Of the 309,240 new permanent residents who entered Canada during the first eight months of this year, they arrived under the economic immigration programs making up 60.2% of the total.

    If the country adopted the target of 65% for economic immigration set by the Business Council of Canada, 302,250 new permanent residents would enter the country under economic programs out of the country’s total 465,000 in the following year.

    Economic immigration, according to the Business Council of Canada, is essential to expanding the Canadian economy.

    Every unfilled position represents one less person contributing to the economic prosperity of Canada and one less person paying taxes to maintain Canada’s social infrastructure, says Hyder.


  • IRCC Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) – All You Need To Know

    An official document known as an Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) proves that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has received your immigration application. 

    IRCC issues an AOR document after you submit an application and the processing time officially begins from the date of AOR. The document’s importance varies based on the application filed and how it is submitted.

    This article delves into:

    When do you receive an AOR? 

    Depending on the kind of application, IRCC could release an AOR at different times. One such instance is the automated generation of an AOR for Express Entry, which often occurs minutes after the permanent residence application is filed. 

    Contrarily, the AOR for a citizenship or sponsorship application may take weeks or even months.

    What does receiving an AOR indicate? 

    The AOR is a receipt that confirms that IRCC received your application. However, the date of the AOR is important if the factors below apply to you. 

    The age of your dependent children: Only children who match the description of a dependent child may be added to your application. Except in certain circumstances, a dependent child must be unmarried and under 22. Your child must satisfy this requirement by the date IRCC receives your application, as stated on your AOR.

    Validity of your document: The validity of some documents, including police records, IELTS test scores, and ECA reports, is limited. Therefore, when your application is received, these documents must be current and valid on the date stated on the AOR. For this reason, ensure that you apply before your documents expire. 



    Does AOR indicate your application is complete? 

    Obtaining an AOR does not always imply that your application is completed or incomplete. It all depends on the kind of application you filed. For instance, IRCC automatically gives an AOR to Express Entry applicants, but they might reject the application if certain papers are missing.

    The IRCC has verified that the application is complete if you receive an AOR after filing a citizenship application.

    The difference in applying via paper or online 

    When IRCC receives your application, they send you a confirmation as an AOR. As a result, the AOR date for a paper-based application will be the day the IRCC mailroom receives your application package. 

    Once they begin processing your application, they will send the AOR. To monitor your application and get a confirmation when it arrives, it is crucial to utilize a courier service that demands a signature when delivering it.

    The AOR date for an electronic application submission usually coincides with the day you click the submit button. However, due to clerical errors or time zone variances, the date on your AOR may occasionally show to be one or two days later. It is a good idea to submit in advance because of this reason. 

    How soon after receiving AOR do you get decision?

    The IRCC may not have even begun processing your application when you get the AOR. Receiving an AOR does not essentially mean that IRCC has started processing your application.

    AOR is just an acknowledgement by IRCC that they have officially received your application. Therefore, the time it takes to receive PR after receiving your AOR may vary depending on the program you applied for.

    Certain applicants start comparing or expecting the decision on their application based on consensus mentioned over the various online forums after receiving the AOR. However, that is not the case. IRCC processing is random and certain applications may take longer than others.

    For more information, visit IRCC’s official page.


  • Job Experience Letter For Canada – Know Full Details To Include

    Job reference letters are an essential part of your permanent residency application. Whether you apply through Express Entry, PNP or come on a work permit, you will need an employer reference letter to evidence your previous work experience. 

    Moreover, there are certain Canadian immigration specifications that your letter needs to match if you want to claim points for your work experience in the Express Entry system. In this article, you will learn about the details your reference letter should include, along with common mistakes and alternatives to reference letters. 

    Details to include in a job reference letter 

    For IRCC to verify your employment history, your employer reference letter should include the following information. 

    • Company information, including company name and address 
    • Printed on the company’s official letterhead
    • Your Full name 
    • All positions held while employed 
    • Supervisor name, position and contact details 
    • Main duties of all positions 
    • Duration and dates of each held position
    • Annual salary 
    • Employment duration 
    • The number of hours worked each week
    • Dates you worked at the company 


    Common mistakes on job reference letters 

    One of the most common mistakes is when your reference letters do not include your main duties. While evaluating your application, IRCC uses your NOC’s description and duties you assess your application. 

    Therefore, to ensure that you get points for your experience, check if your reference letter includes your main duties, which align with your NOC’s description and main duties. Additionally, if you have a new job offer while your permanent residency application is processing, make sure that you update your profile according to the new job offer.

    Another critical point to remember is that from November 16, IRCC will implement the use of the new NOC 2021 to assess all applications. 

    Alternatives to the employment reference letter 

    A job reference letter is the most suitable evidence you can provide to claim points. However, in circumstances where the company is no longer operating or your point of contact is not with the company anymore, there are certain alternatives you can consider. 

    The following is alternative evidence that may help your application: 

    • Pay stubs 
    • Tax forms 
    • Offer of employment 
    • Personal letters from co-workers 
    • Bank statements with pay deposits 
    • Any media references with your name on the company can include social media posts welcoming you as a new hire 
    • Affidavit from your former supervisor or co-worker, including their official ID and business cards 
    • Include a letter explaining why you could not get a job reference letter. 

    Lastly, include any evidence you think will help strengthen your application if you are missing a job reference letter. Remember to refer to the new NOC 2021 while you self-assess your application.