06/06/2014 12:51 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:03 EDT

Nova Scotia hopes to keep international students in province after graduation

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government is working to attract and retain more international students by making it easier for them to immigrate to the province after they graduate.

The government says international graduates from a Canadian college or university with a job offer from a Nova Scotia employer will now be able to apply for permanent residency through the provincial nominee program, effective immediately.

Immigration Minister Lena Diab says not enough has been done until now to help international students pursue their careers in Nova Scotia.

Diab says international students are ideal candidates for immigration because they are educated, speak the language and have already made connections within the community.

She says post-secondary institutions also have a role to play by continuing to recruit international students to their campuses.

Students can be nominated for immigration through the provincial nominee program's skilled workers stream, though the final decision rests with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.