Annex A — Provincial Nominees

1.0 Preamble

1.1 Both Parties recognize that Nova Scotia has particular labour market needs and circumstances and that these can be accommodated through the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program insofar as they are not incompatible with national immigration policy;

1.2 Both Parties recognize the importance of supporting and assisting the development of minority official language communities in Nova Scotia;

2.0 Purpose and objectives

2.1 The objective of this Annex is to increase the economic benefits of immigration to Nova Scotia, based on economic priorities and labour market conditions, by providing Nova Scotia with a mechanism to admit Provincial Nominees to Nova Scotia while taking into account the importance of supporting and assisting the development of minority official language communities in Nova Scotia.

2.2 To admit Nova Scotia Provincial Nominees for permanent residence as expeditiously as possible, taking into account:

a. Nova Scotia’s Nominee Program levels plan;

b. Canada’s immigration projections;

c. Statutory requirements; and

d. Operational and resource constraints, and service standards as developed.

3.0 Assessment and nomination

3.1 Nova Scotia will assess and nominate candidates who:

a. will be of benefit to the economic development of Nova Scotia; and

b. have a strong likelihood of becoming economically established in Nova Scotia.

3.2 Provincial Nominee applicants may be nominated on the basis of economic benefit to Nova Scotia, including, and as they may be economic considerations, long-term regional growth and community development.

3.3 In exercising its nomination authority under this Agreement, Nova Scotia will follow the procedures and criteria for nomination established by Nova Scotia, as amended from time to time, insofar as those procedures and criteria do not conflict with national immigration policy. Nova Scotia will share its criteria with Canada and keep written records of its assessments of its nominees against those criteria.

3.4 Nova Scotia will develop an annual Provincial Nominee plan and will share this plan with Canada.

3.5 Nova Scotia’s annual Provincial Nominee plan will be submitted to Canada in a timely manner to allow for levels planning for the following year. Canada undertakes to incorporate Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominee objectives into the operational targets set for visa offices. The targets, which will be agreed to by both Parties, may be exceeded at any time during the year, upon agreement by both Parties.

3.6 Nova Scotia will issue a dated Certificate of Nomination, valid in accordance with Nova Scotia's administrative requirements for each Provincial Nominee. For security reasons, Nova Scotia will forward a copy of the certificate to the mission where the candidate will apply for admission. A nomination certificate received directly from the candidate or other Parties will not be accepted as evidence pursuant to sections 3.8 and 3.9.

3.7 Canada agrees to process applicants nominated for permanent resident status by Nova Scotia as expeditiously as possible with a view to achieving targets that have been integrated into Canada’s annual delivery plan.

3.8 Upon receipt of the Certificate of Nomination from Nova Scotia, Canada will:

a. exercise the final selection in accordance with the relevant regulations;

b. determine the admissibility of the nominee and his or her dependants with respect to legislative requirements including health, criminality and security; and

c. issue permanent resident visas to Provincial Nominees and accompanying dependants who meet all the eligibility and admissibility requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations and of this Annex.

3.9 Persons who are nominated by Nova Scotia will be considered as applicants in the Provincial Nominee Class as described in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and, as such, will be considered to be of benefit to the economic development of Nova Scotia and that Nova Scotia has conducted due diligence to ensure that the applicant has the ability, and is likely, to become economically established in Nova Scotia.

3.10 Processing of applications and issuance of visas may continue beyond the calendar year in which the Certificate of Nomination was issued.

3.11 Should Canada determine that an individual nominated by Nova Scotia is likely to be refused a permanent resident visa based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the requirements for membership in the Provincial Nominee Class in accordance with the provisions of the IRPR, Nova Scotia will be notified immediately and consulted regarding the reasons for possible refusal.

3.12 Nova Scotia may raise concerns or seek clarification from the assessing officer at the relevant mission with respect to a potential refusal, where the refusal is based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the requirements for membership in the Provincial Nominee Class in accordance with the provisions of the IRPR, within 90 days from the date of being advised by Canada. Further representation, if necessary, may be made to the program manager at the mission within the 90-day period.

3.13 Should Canada determine that an individual nominated by Nova Scotia is likely to be refused a permanent resident visa based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the admissibility requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations Canada will forward a copy of the refusal letter to Nova Scotia.

3.14 Where an individual nominated by Nova Scotia has received a job offer from a Nova Scotia-based employer, the responsible Canadian visa officer may issue a temporary work permit pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, if the work permit application includes a letter from Nova Scotia that:

a. states that the nominated individual is urgently required by the employer; and

b. determines that:

i. the job offer is genuine and would create economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities;

ii. the employment is not part-time or seasonal; and

iii. the wages and working conditions of the employment would be sufficient to attract and retain Canadian citizens, and

c. requests the visa officer to issue a temporary work permit.

3.15 Nova Scotia will not issue a Certificate of Nomination to anyone whose employment will affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or where their employment will adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Nova Scotia.

4.0 Promotion and recruitment

4.1 In furtherance of the objectives of this annex, Nova Scotia will undertake active recruitment initiatives designed to implement its strategy on immigration including:

a. participation at trade fairs and other targeted missions;

b. development of promotional materials describing the nature and quality of life in Nova Scotia;

c. provision of information on a Nova Scotia-maintained website to prospective permanent residents on occupation certification and business requirements for working in Nova Scotia;

d. preparation of information for staff working in Canadian missions abroad; and

e. consultation with representatives of the francophone community in Nova Scotia.

4.2 Canada agrees to make all practical efforts to assist Nova Scotia to identify prospective permanent residents to fulfill Nova Scotia’s targets in its immigration strategy (subject to limitations imposed by conditions faced at missions at the relevant times, including competing promotional interests of other provinces and territories), including:

a. directing potential applicants through Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website, to visit the Nova Scotia website;

b. displaying promotional materials provided by Nova Scotia at selected missions abroad;

c. participating in provincially initiated missions to attract permanent residents within the limits of mission resources; and

d. inviting Nova Scotia to participate, as appropriate, in training or information sharing exercises with program managers and other mission staff to communicate the province’s specific needs and opportunities.

5.0 Program evaluation and information exchange

5.1 Canada and Nova Scotia recognize the importance of evaluating the Provincial Nominee Program in order to determine its impacts and outcomes in Nova Scotia. Accordingly, immediately following the date of the signing of the Agreement, Canada and Nova Scotia will negotiate an evaluation activity plan that will ensure that sufficient data and analysis are completed and available at appropriate intervals so that it might form the basis of discussions regarding the modification of this Annex.

5.2 Subject to 5.3, Canada and Nova Scotia agree to share information on prospective and actual permanent residents so as to aid in the evaluation and management of Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominee Program. This will include information with respect to the retention of Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominees within the province and the community the nominee was originally destined to.

5.3 Canada and Nova Scotia will ensure that any exchange of information shall be conducted in accordance with applicable federal and provincial legislation and in accordance with their policies relating to protection of privacy, access to information and security of records.

5.4 In order to facilitate the exchange of information between Canada and Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia will obtain from each nominee and his or her dependents a signed release allowing Canada to share with Nova Scotia information regarding the nominee’s application, including the processing thereof.

6.0 Other

6.1 The designated representatives for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Annex are:

a. for Canada, the Director, Permanent Resident Policy and Programs, Immigration Branch; and

b. for Nova Scotia, the Director, Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program.

6.2 The Ministers or their designates shall meet at least once annually, for the purposes of:

a. ensuring that necessary communication for the furtherance of activities under this Annex takes place, including the exchange of information regarding likely processing times for Provincial Nominees, and ways that Canada and Nova Scotia can cooperate to optimize these processing times; and

b. providing a forum for the consideration and resolution of disputes between the Parties with respect to the selection decisions of Canada regarding the admission, or denial of admission, of specific Provincial Nominee candidates.

6.3 Practices under this Annex are subject to audit by the respective audit and evaluation agencies of Canada and Nova Scotia. The Parties agree to provide full cooperation and information if, when and where such audits take place.

6.4 Subject to clause 6.5, this Annex will remain in effect indefinitely.

6.5 This Annex may be amended at any time by mutual written consent, subject to any required approval or authorization, including the approval of the Governor in Council. This Annex may be terminated by either party by written notice provided at least one year in advance.

6.6 In keeping with the purpose and scope of this Annex, Canada will be open and transparent concerning its intention to enter into agreements with other provinces respecting Provincial Nominee Programs and Canada will provide, at Nova Scotia’s request, other federal provincial agreements made under section 8 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and will negotiate amendments to this Annex, taking into consideration the different needs and circumstances of the provinces.

6.7 Nova Scotia shall not nominate, as a Provincial Nominee, any applicant who intends to enter, has agreed to enter, or has entered into a “passive investment proposal”, as described in Section 87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, or any amendments thereto.

6.8 Nova Scotia will advise Canada on any proposed arrangement to be entered into with another party to carry out Nova Scotia’s nomination responsibilities under this Annex.

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