Transfer to Nova Scotia from outside Canada

Applicants with a law degree from outside of Canada who have been admitted as a lawyer in their home jurisdictions may seek admission to the Nova Scotia Bar via an application for admission on Transfer. These individuals have earned their law degrees and were admitted/called to a foreign Bar. They may or may not have practised law in the country where they were admitted/called. They must be lawfully entitled to be employed in Canada.

Review the guide for applicants with a law degree from outside Canada.

Individuals who hold a law degree from outside of Canada but have not been admitted in any jurisdiction must apply as an articled clerk.

Review the Pathway for Internationally Trained Lawyers.

Steps required to be called to the Bar in Nova Scotia – for applicants with a foreign law degree who are admitted:

1. Apply to the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) to have the lawyer’s law degree and credentials assessed. Commence this process before immigrating to Canada as it will take time. Note: Nova Scotia, as a province of Canada, is a Common Law jurisdiction. Therefore, the NCA criteria are generally greater for lawyers with civil law degrees and who practise in a country with a Civil Code than they are for lawyers with a non-Canadian common law degree.

2. NCA issues a Certificate of Qualification.

3. Submit an Application for Admission on Transfer to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. Applications can be sent via email to

4. The application is considered by the Executive Director. Processing times vary but can take at least 6 weeks during periods of high application volume.

5. The application is approved.

6. The applicant completes the necessary requirements set by the Executive Director. This could include all or parts of our Bar Admission Program, which includes the Society’s Cultural Competence Workshop and the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP) offered through the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED). See FAQ’s for more details on conditions.

7. Upon successful completion of the conditions set by the Executive Director or the Credentials Committee (as per #6 above), the lawyer is eligible for admission to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. Review the Society’s Guide for New Lawyers.


Please review the Frequently asked questions for Internationally Trained Lawyers. Email Education & Credentials at if you have any questions.