Last Updated on February 7, 2020
February 21, 2019 – Nova Scotia welcomed more new immigrants in 2018 than any other year, new data has revealed.
The Atlantic province saw 5,970 new permanent residents arrive, beating the previous record of 5,485 set in 2016.
Importantly, the province boasts a retention rate of 71 per cent of the newcomers who arrive, the best in the Atlantic region.
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“We are thrilled to see an increase again this year and it’s evidence that the work we’re doing with settlement partners, employers and community groups is making a difference,” said Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab.
“Immigrants want to come to Nova Scotia and attracting and retaining newcomers will help grow our population, strengthen our economy and revitalize our communities – benefiting all Nova Scotians.”
Nova Scotia nominates candidates for Canadian permanent residence through six streams falling under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program.
- Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry
- Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry
- Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities: Express Entry
- Skilled Worker
- International Graduate Entrepreneur
The province is already close to hitting its 2024 target of retaining 10 per cent of international students after they graduate.
The retention figure hit 9.4 per cent in 2018, up from 5 per cent in 2014.
Through innovative immigration policies, such as Nova Scotia Study and Stay, the province is seeing success as it tries to reverse an aging population trend.
The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) also operates the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, while the province also falls under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which has an international graduate category.
The 10 per cent target was set in the provincial government Ivany report of 2014, out of which came One Nova Scotia, a body set up to achieve some of the report’s targets.
Since 2014, the province has sharply increased the number of international students nominated for permanent residence, from 35 to 440 in 2018.
While not all those nominations are successful, the numbers reveal the province’s motivation to push international students to stay.
Federal government data shows the number of new permanent residents who previously held a study permit increased from 125 in 2015 to 210 in 2018.
In looking to retain international students, Nova Scotia is taking its lead from the federal government, which sees the group as important new permanent residents of Canada.
International students are young, educated, have the required language skills and experience of life in Canada, factors which make them able to integrate quickly as permanent residents.
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