News release

Family Members of Business Owners Welcome

People from around the world may soon be able to join their families who live in the province and who own a business.

Feedback is now being requested on eligibility criteria for a new family business category of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program. The key criteria include a close family relationship with a Nova Scotia business owner and a guaranteed job offer in that business.

Immigration Minister Rodney MacDonald said this new category will directly support the province's efforts to help more immigrants settle and stay in Nova Scotia.

"The main reason immigrants leave the province are lack of work, and the absence of family and friends," said Mr. MacDonald. "By welcoming immigrants who have close family connections and guaranteed work, we believe they are far more likely to succeed and stay for many years to come."

Draft eligibility criteria for applicants, as well as obligations for business owners, are available for comment.

The family relationship is defined to include: brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles, and sons or daughters over the age of 22. The job offer must be permanent and full-time, at a proposed minimum salary of $20,000 a year. Other criteria relating to age, education and language ability are also included.

The family business owner must be a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, and show proof of their ability to offer a permanent job. The business must also provide language training if the family member does not speak English or French.

Now that the federal government has raised the cap on the number of families Nova Scotia can nominate each year, the timing is right to begin creating new opportunities for more immigrants, the minister said.

"We will soon open the door to international students and entrepreneurs too," said Mr. MacDonald. "These are important steps in putting our immigration strategy into action."

As with all categories under the nominee program, nominated families must still be approved by the federal government. The federal government is responsible for medical, security and criminal checks for all immigration applicants.

The draft family business criteria are contained in a discussion paper at www.novascotiaimmigration.com .

Comments can be sent by email to , fax to 902-424-7936 or by mail to: Office of Immigration, Attn: Program Director, 1741 Brunswick Street, Unit 110A, P.O. Box 1535, Halifax, NS, B3J 2Y3.

Feedback is requested by Friday, Nov. 25.

The criteria were drafted by staff from the provincial Office of Immigration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and an immigrant business owner.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

People from around the world may soon be able to join their families who live in the province and who own a business.

Immigration Minister Rodney MacDonald says the main reason immigrants leave the province is lack of work, family and friends. Attracting and welcoming immigrants who have close family connections and guaranteed work will help them to succeed and stay in the province.

Immigrants should be able to apply to work in a family business early in 2006 through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program.

Feedback is now being requested on application criteria.

The discussion paper can be found at W-W-W dot novascotiaimmigration dot com .

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Media Contact:

Donna MacDonald
Office of Immigration 902-424-3742 Cell: 902-223-6334 E-mail: