Nova Scotia Nominee Program: Physician Stream

Nova Scotia Nominee Program: Physician Stream

Internationally-trained doctors and specialists with the necessary skills to fill healthcare positions in Nova Scotia may be eligible to work and apply for permanent residence in Nova Scotia under the Physician Stream.

The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) launched the Physician Stream to support Nova Scotia's public authorities — the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) and the Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) Health Centre— to employ general practitioners, family physicians, and specialist physicians to work in the province and help alleviate healthcare labour shortages.

The Physician Stream allows the NSHA and the IWK Health Centre to recruit foreign physicians to fill positions that they have been unable to fill with a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.


Eligibility Requirements for the Nova Scotia Physician Stream

Nova Scotia's Physician Stream is only open to general practitioners and family physicians (NOC 3112) and specialist physicians (NOC 3111) with signed approved offers from the NSHA or IWK Health Centre.

Approved offer with the NSHA or the IKW Health Centre

The approved offer letter must be on official NSHA or IWK letterhead and must:

  • be signed and dated by a person authorized to hire physicians at the NSHA or IWK;
  • be signed and dated by the applicant who is accepting the opportunity;
  • indicate eligibility for licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of NS; and
  • indicate that the applicant is eligible to apply for privileges and credentials with NSHA and the IWK.
Legal Status

If the applicant is currently residing in Canada, he or she must have legal status as a temporary worker or visitor in Canada. However, if an applicant is applying to the stream from overseas, he or she must provide proof of legal status in their country of residence. Applicants without legal status cannot apply to the stream until their status is restored.

Education and Language Ability

To apply for Nova Scotia's Physician Stream, internationally-trained primary care doctors and specialists must provide a copy of an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) or show proof of education and medical training required for licensure in Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) will consider the employment offer from the NSHA or the IWK as evidence of an applicant's ability to perform job duties in one of Canada's official languages.

Application and Assessment Process
  1. Prepare and submit a NSNP application online or by mail to the NSOI.
  2. Application is assessed for completion and eligibility by the NSOI.
  3. The NSOI issues a decision on the application. If approved, the applicant will receive a letter form the NSOI to confirm that a nomination has been issued and the NSOI will be send proof of nomination directly to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If the NSOI intends to issue a refusal, the applicant will have 10 business days to provide additional information before being re-assessed. Once a final decision is made, the NSOI does not perform an appeal process.
  4. If nominated, the applicant may request a letter of support from the NSOI to apply for a temporary work permit or the renewal of an existing work permit. The letter of support replaces a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) when applying for the new work permit. The work permit allows an applicant to continue working in Nova Scotia while a Canadian permanent residence application is being processed by IRCC.
  5. The NSOI may invite the applicant for an interview and (if applicable) a spouse or dependents must demonstrate that they meet statutory requirements for medical, security and criminal admissibility.


Who is not eligible to apply for the Physician Stream

Individuals should not apply to the stream if they are:

  • a candidate who has received a nomination under the Nova Scotia Nominee Program dated within the last 12 months;
  • an applicant under humanitarian and compassionate grounds, a refugee claimant or a failed refugee claimant;
  • not legally present in your current country of residence;
  • in Canada illegally, under a removal order, or are prohibited from entering or being in Canada;
  • an individual who does not have status. You are not eligible to apply until your status has been restored;
  • an international student who is currently studying at a Canadian post-secondary institution;
  • an international graduate who has studied in Canada, whose studies have been sponsored by an agency or government and who is contractually obligated to return to their country of origin; or
  • an individual with unresolved custody or child support disputes affecting any dependent.