News release

Immigration Fees Eliminated

The province is eliminating more provincial immigration fees, a move to attract more skilled workers and other immigrants to Nova Scotia. The decision, which takes effect Saturday, July 1, was announced today, June 30, by Immigration Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson.

"We need more skilled workers, particularly in our rural areas, to meet business needs and fuel economic growth," said Ms. Bolivar-Getson. "The elimination of fees will remove a significant barrier to potential immigrants who have the skills and talents we need in our communities."

A review of immigration fees was recommended in the province's Immigration Strategy and commissioned by the Office of Immigration earlier this year. Having considered the review, the province is eliminating the $5,000 fee under the skilled worker category for new applications effective July 1. Fees for the community identified stream were dropped earlier this year.

A third category, economic nominees, will undergo a review that is expected to result in a redesign and the elimination of all application and processing fees.

The province is allowed to nominate up to 400 applicants each year under the federal-provincial nominee agreement -- double the original cap of 200 applicants. The limit for this year will be met with the applications that have already been received. The province will not be accepting any new applications under the economic category for the balance of the 2006 calendar year.

Also effective July 1, the province will assume full responsibility for administration and delivery of the program, some of which has been handled by a private company, Cornwallis Financial Corp., under a contract which expires today, June 30th.

"We appreciate the work that's been done by our private sector partner, Cornwallis Financial, and we thank them," said Ms. Bolivar-Getson. "The expiration of the contract gives us a timely opportunity to re-examine fees and other aspects of these programs. We'll be looking for ways to make these programs even better in the months ahead."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

As of Saturday (July 1st), Nova Scotia will look even better to potential immigrants.

The province is eliminating more provincial fees for newcomers under the Provincial Nominee Program.

Immigration Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson says the move will help to attract more skilled workers to the province.

At the same time, the provincial government is taking over administration and other duties that have been carried out by its private sector partner, Cornwallis Financial.

The province will be review all aspects of the nominee program in the coming months.

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Media Contact:

Mary Anna Jollymore
Office of Immigration 902-424-3742 E-mail: